State of California

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Apply for disability insurance benefits

These short-term payments replace part of your income if you can’t work for at least eight days because you’re:

  • Sick
  • or injured
  • or pregnant

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    Check if you qualify

    If your employer has a Voluntary Plan, talk to your human resources office to apply for disability benefits.

    If you’re self-employed, you can apply for disability insurance.

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    A doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant has to certify your medical condition. They must submit a form within 49 days of the first day you couldn’t work because of your disability.

    Ask them what they need from you to submit the form for disability insurance.

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    Within 14 days, we will email you or send you a letter to let you know if you can get disability benefits.

    If you do qualify:

    • You can get paid eight days after the start of your claim.
    • You can choose to get paid through a debit card or checks in the mail. (Checks take 7 to 10 days to mail.)

    If you don’t qualify:

    • You can tell us you disagree with the decision.
    • In your letter, you’ll also get an Appeal Form. You can fill out this form and send it back to us within 30 days.
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    To keep your benefits, you have to let us know you still are unable to work. To do that, you must return one of the forms below. Please note: If you don’t, your payments will stop.

    The fastest way to submit these forms is through SDI Online.

    If you get automatic payments:

    • We will send you a form after 10 weeks.
    • The form is called Disability Claim Continuing Certification.
    • You must return this form to continue your benefits.

    If you don’t get automatic payments:

    • We will send you a different form every two weeks.
    • The form is called Claim for Continued Disability Benefits.
    • You must return this form to continue your benefits.