Injured Workers: Are You Eligible for State Disability Benefits in California?
It’s been two years since you were injured at work, and your temporary disability benefits are about to run out. You can’t go back to work yet, and you’re not sure how you’re going to pay the bills and feed your family. Are there any other benefits options that can keep a roof over your heads?
The good news is there are a number of additional benefits you may qualify for—one of the most overlooked is California state disability insurance (SDI) benefits. This tax-free benefit provides an additional year of wage replacement payments for qualified employees, and may be able to provide the help you need.
Obtaining California State Disability Benefits ASAP
- Check eligibility – In order to receive these benefits, you must have paid into the stated disability insurance (SDI) system for 17 months prior to the date of your injury. One way to check your eligibility is to look at your old pay stubs over the past 18 months to see if there is a state deduction for SDI. If you have, you can submit a benefit application via the California Employment Development Department (EDD) website.
- Avoid “double dipping” – It is important to note that you cannot collect temporary disability benefits and state disability benefits at the same time. However, if your state disability estimate is higher than your temporary disability payment, you are entitled to receive the difference.
- File early – While you cannot simultaneously collect temporary disability and state disability payments, it is vital that you apply for state disability before your temporary benefits run out. The EDD will likely deny your claim while you are still receiving temporary disability, but that’s okay. When you re-apply for state disability when your workers’ comp benefits terminate, your qualification will be determined by your original application date, getting you the benefits you need quickly.
It is important to have a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney review your case to make sure you have maintained eligibility for this benefit. If you have fallen out of your insured status during your temporary disability period, an attorney can help you explore other benefits options that can help you and your family as you recover.
Need more information about California disability benefit programs? Click the link on this page to request a FREE copy of our book, The Northern California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual. You can also call the Ledgerwood Law Group at 888-761-7383 today to schedule a free initial consultation.