State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program California 2020 – Tax, Rates and Limit

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    State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program California 2020 – Tax, Rates and Limit

    Posted by Brian Robinson on October 24, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    California State Disability Insurance (SDI or CASDI) is a statutory (state-regulated and state-audited) state disability program of the State of California for short-term disability income replacement. The program has been in effect since 1946. The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who need time off work. You may be eligible for DI if you are unable to work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth. You may be eligible for PFL to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

    How to determine the cause of the disabling condition for SDI?

    If it is unknown that an injury or illness is work-related, a physician/practitioner may be able to help determine the cause of the disabling condition. If a worker believes that a work-related disability occurred it must be reported to the employer and a physician/practitioner’s medical report must be submitted to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. The costs of the program are covered by contributions to the State Fund in the form of SDI tax paid by employees, optionally by employers. Employee contributions to the state fund are deductible as state taxes.

    The SDI Benefit

    The plan provides up to one year of tax-free benefits equal to 55% of the recipient’s average gross (pre-tax) income in a recent base period quarter. The weekly benefit amounts are the same for DI and PFL claims. For calendar year 2020, the DIEC minimum weekly benefit amount is $50 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,300. Excluding the current and immediately previous quarter, the base period is the four quarters immediately prior to that. The weekly benefit is 55% of the recipient’s average weekly pay during the highest earning quarter in the base period. If for example, you made $24,000 last year and $48,000 two years ago, which number would they use? SDI solves this problem by looking at your wages in a specific 12 month period of time. The idea here is to get a sense of your average wages. The 12 months they look at starts roughly 17 months before you become disabled and ends about 5 months before you become disabled. Those 12 months are called your base period.

    The base periods are determined as follows:

    SDI Online Process Benefits

    SDI Online is your fast, convenient, and secure way to submit your State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) claims and forms online. SDI Online reduces claim processing time, provides online confirmation of submitted forms, decreases costs in paper and postage, includes security safeguards to detect and manage fraud and abuse, and is mobile friendly.

    Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail.

    SDI Online Hours of Operation

    SDI for State Employees

    State employees are divided into 21 bargaining units. SDI covers employees in bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21.

    SDI pays part of an employee’s wages if they have to stop working due to:

    • A non-work-related illness or injury.
    • A pregnancy or to bond with a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
    • To care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.

    Non Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI) covers excluded employees and rank-and-file employees in bargaining units 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, and 19.

    SDI Voluntary Plan (VP)

    This is a private plan, approved by the EDD, which may be substituted for the State Plan. Employers and employee groups may apply to the EDD for approval of VP if the majority of employees and the employer agree to do so. If you are covered by a VP, the provisions of this site may not apply to you. Obtain information about your coverage and file a voluntary plan claim through your employer.

    SDI Elective Coverage

    Employers and self-employed persons, including general partners, may elect coverage. However, the method of computing benefits for elective coverage participants is not the same as for employees whose coverage by the State Plan is mandated. The cost of participating, which is set annually, can be obtained by contacting your local EDD Employment Tax Office.

    Eligibility for California State Disability Insurance (SDI)

    To receive benefits, you must meet all of the following requirements:

    • You must be unable to do your regular work for at least eight consecutive days.
    • You must have been either employed or actively looking for work at the time you became disabled.
    • You must have lost wages because of your disability.
    • You must have earned at least $300, from which state disability insurance deductions were withheld, during a previous period.
    • You must be under the care and treatment of a licensed doctor or accredited religious practitioner.
    • You must complete and mail a claim form within 49 days of the date you became disabled.
    • Your doctor must complete the part of the form that provides medical certification of your disability. A licensed midwife, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner may also complete the medical certification for disabilities related to normal pregnancy or childbirth.

    You are Unqualified for SDI if:

    • You are not suffering a loss of wages. If you are still working and receiving your regular salary, or you are on paid sick leave, you may not have any wage loss to be made up by SDI benefits.
    • You are claiming or receiving Unemployment Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits.
    • You became disabled while committing a crime resulting in a felony conviction.
    • You are in jail, prison, recovery home, or any other place because you were convicted of a crime.
    • You are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits at a weekly rate equal to or greater than the SDI rate.
    • You fail to have a requested independent medical examination.

    Who is covered by the SDI program?

    Almost all workers in California are covered by the program, and may receive benefits if they meet the eligibility requirements. However, workers in certain jobs cannot get SDI, such as certain domestic workers, independent contractors, election campaign workers, and student workers working for their school. A few employers are permitted to opt out of SDI and to offer comparable benefits through a private plan. If you are unsure if your employer participates in the SDI program, ask your HR department or manager for information.

    Brian Robinson replied 1 year, 8 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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