A disability of any kind can be difficult – even if it is temporary. If your financial situation depends on working a job and regularly receiving a salary, being without that salary for even a short time can be very stressful. The good news is that if you’re a California resident, you may qualify for state disability insurance, or SDI for short.
Many employees know that workers’ compensation may cover them if they are hurt at work. However, injuries and illnesses often occur when an employee is not at work. In that case, individuals may be able to seek short-term disability through either personal short-term disability insurance programs or the SDI program administered in the state of California. Let’s take a closer look at how to apply for each.
Applying for SDI Benefits
If you are a California resident and employee, you may have noticed that a very small percentage of your wages are withheld for state disability insurance. If a California employee develops an injury or illness that renders them unable to work, the SDI program provides weekly benefits from this fund to replace some of the injured employee’s lost income. This program also provides benefits for women who cannot work due to pregnancy and, in some cases, for those who need paid family leave to care for a sick relative or a newborn baby.
To Apply For SDI Benefits In California, You Will Need To:
- Gather essential documentation proving your identity. This might include your Social Security number, California driver’s license, passport, or other state identification.
- Provide information regarding your most recent employment.
- Gather and provide medical documentation of the illness or injury that has rendered you unable to work.
- Create an account on the state SDI website to submit and process your application online. Another option is to order a hard copy of the application to be delivered by mail. Typically, the applicant will fill out Part A of the application, while the medical professional treating the employee for the disability will fill out Part B.
Generally, although not always, benefits are issued approximately two weeks after the time that the completed application is submitted.
Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits
Another option for individuals struggling with a short-term disability is a short-term disability insurance policy. Short-term disability insurance is intended to replace a portion of an employee’s income for a certain period of time while the employee recovers from an injury or illness. Sometimes, employers provide STD benefits as part of their compensation and benefits to employees, while other employees choose to purchase this insurance privately. In either event, it is essential to have a policy in place before the injury or illness occurs, as you cannot apply for benefits retroactively.
Before applying for a particular policy, it is always a good idea to review various options and consult with different insurance providers before selecting the one you feel will best fit your needs. After choosing which policy you want, typically, an agent will assist you with completing the application and setting up a regular payment schedule.
If and when a disability occurs, you can contact your insurance company to file a claim. Doing so will require medical proof, information verifying your identity, and information about your policy. After submitting a claim, the insurance company will review it, and if all necessary information is provided and policy conditions are met, begin to issue benefits.
Sackett Law – Here For You
Although understanding the basics about different temporary disability options can be helpful, it is ultimately no substitute for consulting with an attorney who knows and understands the law. Like all legal matters, applying for disability benefits can become complicated, depending on your circumstances. You need a legal team that can guide you through the process with the knowledge and expertise you need. At Sackett Law, we’re here to help.
If you are struggling with a short-term injury or illness, you deserve to focus on rest, recovery, and getting back to normal. You don’t need any added stress – and certainly not the stress of worrying about how you will pursue the benefits you need. Instead, you can leave those matters to us, and rest assured that when you do, you’re putting your case in good hands. We understand the law concerning short-term disability benefits, and we know the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf.
If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We’re here for you, and we’re ready to help. We look forward to speaking with you soon.