FAQs for Filing a State Disability Insurance Claim

FAQs for Filing a State Disability Insurance Claim

Always check with your Human Resources department for any laws and/or regulations for your state and employer before filing any claim.

  1. Where can I file for a State Disability Insurance (SDI) claim with the Employment Development Department (EDD)?
    You must first create a Benefit Programs Online (BPO) account and then proceed to file a claim with the EDD.


  1. Where can I set up my Benefit Programs Online account?
    Register at: https://portal.edd.ca.gov/WebApp/Registration. Once you register, you will receive an email to confirm your account, which includes a link. If you don’t get this message in your inbox, check your spam or junk mail folder. Then select the link to complete your registration.


  1. What information do I need to create my Benefit Programs Online account?
    Once you’ve selected Register: (To change the language of all pages to Spanish, select En español on the BPO login page)
    1. Accept the Terms and Conditions.
    2. Provide a personal email address that is current and is used only by you.
    3. Set up a password that is between 8 and 20 characters. The password is case sensitive and must contain at least:
      1. One uppercase letter
      2. One lowercase letter
      3. One number
      4. One special character e.g. !@#$%^&*( )
    4. Create the Security Profile with security questions, a personal image and caption.

Once you submit your registration information, an email with a link will be sent to you. Open the unique link within 48 hours to complete your registration.


  1. What if I don’t receive the email link, where can I call for assistance?
    Contact the Employment Development Department at 800-480-3287 for assistance with your application.


  1. Does the Benefit Programs Online link expire?
    For security purposes, the link will expire within 48 hours. For more information on how to register, access Benefit Programs Online: Overview and Registration for New Users in the EDD website or view the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/l0O37hyLU5Y.


  1. I’ve set up my Benefit Programs Online (BPO) account, where do I submit my State Disability Insurance claim?
    Visit https://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/How_to_File_a_DI_Claim_in_SDI_Online.htm.

To file your claim online, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your BPO account.
  2. Select SDI Online.
  3. Select New Claim.
  4. Select Disability Insurance and follow the steps in each section.
  5. Submit the completed Part A – Claimant’s Statement.
  6. Save your receipt number. Write down the Form Receipt Number because you must provide this number to your physician/practitioner’s office.

You will be assigned an EDD Customer Account Number once you complete the registration process. You will also receive a registration confirmation by email and a mailed copy.


  1. What information is needed to file a State Disability Insurance (SDI) claim?

You must provide the following information to file an SDI claim:

  • Valid California Driver’s License (CDL) or Identification (ID) card number.
  • Your full legal name as it appears on your CDL or ID.
  • Date of birth as shown on your CDL or ID.
  • Social Security number.
  • Most current employer’s business name, phone number and mailing address (as stated on your W-2 or paystub).
  • Last date you worked your normal or usual duties, or the date you began working less than full or modified duty.


  1. Is there any additional information needed to file the SDI claim?

Only if it applies to you, you must also provide the following information:

  • Any wages you received or expect to receive from your employer (sick leave, paid time off (PTO), vacation pay, annual leave and wages earned after you stopped working).
  • Any workers’ compensation claims information.
  • If you receive in-patient treatment at an alcohol recovery home or drug-free rehabilitation facility, provide the name, address, and phone number of the home or facility.


  1. Do I need to contact my physician/practitioner’s office to submit my medical certification?

Yes, you are responsible for obtaining a Physician/Practitioner Certification for your disability. Provide your Form Receipt Number to your physician/practitioner so they can submit the medical certification. The physician/practitioner must submit the certification no later than 49 days after your disability begins or you may not qualify for your benefits.

Talk to your physician/practitioner about their process for submitting a disability insurance claim; they do not all follow the same process. Your claim will be returned if the Physician/Practitioner Certification is not received within 30 days.


  1. Is there a timeframe by when a State Disability Claim (SDI) must be filed by?
    You must submit your SDI claim the day after your surgery and as long as you file within 49 days of becoming disabled so you can avoid disqualification.


  1. How long does it take to get disability once it is approved?

If you submit your claim by US mail, the typical wait is one-to-three months after approval. If you submit your claim online, then it typically takes two-to-four weeks. There may be a three-to-10-day grace period for claims to be completed by your physician’s office, check with your physician’s office. People that have a state of CA debit card should check to see when funds have been added, unless you specifically asked for a check for your claim.

Note: EDD does not notify your physician’s office when you have filed a claim. It is your responsibility to notify your physician that a State Disability Claim has been filed.


  1. How much will I get paid once my claim is approved?

EDD offers a calculator to help you calculate the estimated amount.

  1. Does the EDD claim cover my entire time off during disability?

There is a seven-day, non-payable waiting period for benefits. Your benefits start on the eighth day.


  1. What if I recuperate faster than the return-to-work date my doctor has projected?

Your physician will provide to the EDD what is the “usual and common timeframe” for your illness/injury. EDD will be in touch with you to ask you for your up-to-date disability information. You can let EDD know of your “actual” return-to-work date and EDD can stop payments. EDD will be contacting your employer for verification.


  1. What if my condition/surgery has already been addressed by my first referred physician, but I am referred to another physician/specialist to continue my treatment? Does your office submit the extension for the new physician/specialist needed?

No. Once you have been cleared from your condition/surgery with your first physician’s office, it is your responsibility to have the new physician/specialist continue your disability claim, as he/she sees fit. The physician/specialist can use the same claim number already filed. Plus, the new physician/specialist will have all the new up-to-date information on your disability and the reason for continuance.


  1. Is there an informational video available on how to file my claim?

Yes, view one of the YouTube videos below:


  1. Can I apply for disability if I am retired?

No, you may not apply for disability if you are retired. You must be working at least a part-time job to apply for disability.


  1. If I need to file a workers’ compensation claim, where do I go? 
    Visit https://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/Employer_Workers_Compensation.htm to file an online workers’ compensation claim.


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