During your work, you may experience certain conditions that make you unable to work for a period of time. For example, you need to take a short break from work due to sickness, injury, work incidents, or maternity and delivery. Here, many states have already passed a law under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to help uphold employees’ rights to maintain their work and prevent income lost due to these family and medical emergency conditions.
Also, some states also grant benefits for employees with short-term disability insurance (SDI) program. Under this program, the employees are still able to receive a portion of their payment, although they are unable to work due to those conditions. One of those states is California. If you are working in this country, you should learn more about short-term disability California insurance so you can prepare in the future. Check out the details below!
Eligibility for Short-term Disability Insurance (SDI) Program in California
Short-term disability California insurance program is also known as temporary disability insurance (TDI), both are the same things. When joining this program, employees need to fund their SDI program by payroll deductions. Later, the benefits you can get when they are temporarily unable to work due to disability conditions, including pregnancy. To be eligible for this program, employees should have received at least $300 in wages during the base period (the salary that has been withheld from SDI taxes). The base period calculated in one year period. The base ending period is just before the final complete calendar quarter before filed the claim. For example, if the employee files a complaint in June 2017, then the base period is 2016.
Moreover, California also has Employment Development Department (EDD) that provide paid for employees who need to leave due to family conditions, such as a family member get a severe illness or a mother who need to bond with her new child. In the past, California also offers long-term disability insurance, but it has been disabled now. If employees need to take a year or more leaves, they should apply for Social Security disability or claim their long-term disability policy, if any.
To get the short-term disability benefits, employees need to file a claim to EDD. Take a note, and you must contact the EDD and file your complaint within seven weeks before unable to work. If not, you might lose your right to get benefits. Before reaching the benefits, there is waiting or elimination period which the employees get no pay for seven days. Following your claim, you need to file medical record of disability from your doctor or another authorized medical practitioner.
How much does SDI program cover? After filing the claim, EDD will determine whether you are eligible under SDI program or not. If yes, you will automatically receive benefits in every two weeks. Here, the amount of interest will be determined by how much earning of the employee during the base period. The SDI only pays for about 55% of the wages during the highest-paid calendar quarter of the base period. However, you will receive more than 55% of your usual net payment because SDI wage is not subject to tax. If you get any earnings while you are under SDI program, the amount will be subtracted from benefits.
Short-term Disability for Pregnancy Leave
The SDI program in California also covers for women employees who need to take a short break from work due to pregnancy and delivery. Under SDI program, the employees can get 4-6 weeks of usual period of disability. Commonly, the period begins four weeks before the delivery date for normal pregnancy then will extend to 6 weeks after the delivery date. However, employees can get additional weeks due to medical conditions. For example, the delivery is by Caesarean section, so the mother needs more time to get recover. Or, some other medical conditions such as hypertension during pregnancy or post-tantrum depression that make the employees be at rest. Here, there should be proper medical records or certification from the physician to gain additional weeks of leave.
Moreover, Californian government protects pregnant employees under the law to help to prevent discrimination against them. The law allows the pregnant employees to collect their SDI benefits during pregnancy. Under pregnancy disability leave law, employers are required to let employees take a leave for the period of time, particularly when they can’t work anymore due to pregnancy, delivery, and other related conditions. It applies whether the employees collect their SDI benefits or not. The period time of disability leave that allowed is up to 4 months off due to pregnancy or delivery. Although this one doesn’t get them to be paid the employees can use their accrued paid leave if available.
Take a note that pregnancy disability leave law isn’t covering maternity leave. When referring this law, employers don’t have an obligation to prove time off for their employee who needs to spend time with her new child. If the employee wants to do so, they should take parental leave under California’s Family Right Act or FMLA.
Short-term Disability for Family Medical Leave
Several conditions are eligible for family medical leave, including employee’s critical health condition that needs to hospitalized or outpatient, taking care a family member with serious health condition, spend time with a new child, or other similar conditions. Under California law, the employees can take up to 12 weeks off in a-year calendar period.
This Family Rights Act doesn’t cover for pregnancy leave, only for previously mentioned conditions. So, it means the Californian employees have right to take more time off. For example, an employee can take a short break from work for about six weeks due to pregnancy and delivery leave under California pregnancy disability leave law. Once the employee can go back to work, she can take time off again using Family Rights Act for parenting leave. Here, she can take additional full 12-weeks of leave.
For that reason, California considered as one of the most generous states regarding family and medical disability leave. If you are fortunately working in California, you are a lucky employee. Do take note this information, if shortly you need to take a leave.