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Changes to California’s Short-Term Disability Insurance Rules as a Result of the Coronavirus

The State of California has recently made changes to the short-term disability insurance program, or SDI, in order to help individuals who have been affected as a result of COVID-19. California workers who need to take time off will be able to receive SDI benefits that equal from 60 to 70% of their regular pay.

Qualifying Factors for SDI Benefits

California workers who have become ill with the coronavirus are unable to return to work and will therefore be medically eligible for SDI benefits. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of California has waived the seven-day waiting period to collect benefits and consequently, coronavirus infected workers can begin to receive benefits on the first day off work.

In order to qualify for short-term disability insurance, the nurse practitioner or doctor will need to submit a medical certification that the patient has COVID-19. This certification will need to include the date of when the illness began, the patient’s diagnosis and/or a statement of his or her symptoms, and the projected time of rest. State or local health officers may also fill out this form.

California workers can also qualify for short-term disability insurance benefits if they have been medically quarantined as a result of an exposure to the coronavirus. This quarantine will also need to be certified by a public health office or a medical professional.

Workers who were laid off at the time when they became ill with coronavirus may be able to collect SDI benefits but they may not be able to collect unemployment benefits concurrently.

Collecting SDI Benefits Along With Employer’s Paid Sick Leave, Vacation Pay, or Paid Time Off

Short-term disability benefits are not just for employees who do not get any form of sick-pay. Although SDI benefits will not be able to be collected in conjunction with full sick pay or paid time off, California workers may be able to combine SDI benefits with partial paid time off or partial sick leave.

Additionally, California workers may be able to concurrently collect their short-term disability benefits with their vacation pay without having their short-term disability benefits reduced.

Filing for Short-Term Disability Benefits

A short-term disability claim can be filed online on California’s EDD website. Once the filing has been completed, the claimant will receive a receipt number, which will need to be provided to his or her doctor. The medical professional will then submit the required medical certification for the worker online. It is important that workers follow up with their doctor’s office in order to ensure that the certification has been dutifully submitted within 30 days of the visit.

If you or someone you love has become ill as a result of a coronavirus infection, it is important to know that there may be an eligibility for state-provided benefits. Speak to a well-versed attorney who can guide you through the complex process. A skilled attorney will also help you maximize the amount of benefits available.

Attorney Scot T. Moga understands that for thousands of families across the state, the pandemic has presented worrying situations. When falling ill as a result of COVID-19, Attorney Moga will work hard to ensure you obtain the maximum amount of benefits available. Consider contacting the Moga Law Firm today.

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