Employees in California are required to contribute a small payroll tax to the short-term disability insurance (SDI) program. This program funds disability benefits for workers who are temporarily unable to work because of disability, including elective surgery and pregnancy. Those who qualify for these benefits will get a percentage of their regular wages. An sdi benefits calculator can help any employees figure out their benefit amount.
SDI Base Period
California benefits depend on an employee’s earnings during the base period, which is the 12 months ending before the last complete calendar quarters the worker was able to work. The highest-paid calendar quarter during the base period is used as a starting point. If a worker gets the same salary year in and year out, their claim’s timing will not impact them much because their highest-paid quarter is the same as any other quarter. But, if they get irregular wages, the period their claim is filed will affect their benefit amount. That is why they may have to time their claim to ensure their base period captures their highest earnings.
How to Calculate SDI Benefits
The state pays SDI benefits every day. The Economic Development Department (EDD) will use the highest-paid quarter of the base period to determine a daily amount. For instance, an employee who earned $10, 000 in the highest-paid quarter and this quarter included 91 days, their daily earnings amount would be around $109. The worker will be paid by the EDD 60% of this amount, which is around $65 per day. It is important to note that this is the amount the worker earns for every day they are not working, including weekends.
Moreover, any earnings the worker will receive while disabled will impact their benefit amount. They will still get full disability benefits if they are using accrued paid vacation time. But, if they use accrued sick time, paid disability leaves granted by their employer, or PTO meant for covering all reasons for time off, their benefits will be impacted. The EDD will only provide the worker the difference after subtracting the amount they are being paid from the benefit amount.
Getting SDI Benefits
Typically, benefits can be claimed every two weeks while the disabled work is out of work. The worker may get the benefits on a bank debit card that they can use to withdraw cash or pay items. But, they can also transfer their benefits from the EDD debit card to their regular bank account.