How to Get Disability Benefits in California

How to Get Disability Benefits in California

A calamity, accident, disability, etc., does not come with a warning sign. That makes it almost mandatory for all of us, be it in any country or state to have health and disability insurance. Most of the countries therefore have this mechanism wherein people can claim insurance and benefits on account of any health issues, disabilities, and so on. Of course, every state will have its own system, rules, and regulations, in keeping with the local scenario pertaining to health and related issues.

The state of California has its own disability insurance mechanism which it makes available to the people. First we will have a look at the prerequisites needed in order to apply for disability benefits, and then we’ll check out the procedure to apply for the same.

It is not an easy task to get disability insurance and deal with paperwork related to social security disability. However, doing a requisite research and getting enough information about the whole process, makes things a bit easier. Here are the prerequisites for getting social security disability benefits.

  • The person has to be looking out for employment or has to be employed at the time of disability.
  • Disability should have led the person to lose out on his salary or wages.
  • The concerned person has not been able to go about his routine work for a minimum 8 days.
  • The person should have earned a minimum of $300, from which at least $300 have been amongst the amount withheld as deductions from the SDI (State Disability Insurance), previously.
  • A Certificate of Disability form has to be completed by a doctor.
  • The person concerned has to be under the treatment by a licensed doctor or even an accredited religious practitioner in the first eight days of disability.
  • For insuring the eligibility, the person has to complete and send a claim form through mail within 49 days of the date of commencement of disability.

These are the basic eligibility requirements to get disability benefits in California. Now, let us take a look at how to claim and apply for it.

Application Process 
The California’s Employment Development Department (CA EDD) takes care of the California State Disability Insurance (CASDI), and all the documents, forms, and procedures will be directed to that office. All the information about disability benefits, including short-term disability benefits can be checked out on the department website.

Step 1
The first thing a person is required to do is that, he needs to tell his employer that he wants to avail and apply for the California disability insurance. The Human Resource department will then give that person a CA SDI claim form, for him and his doctor to fill out. In addition to this, the person can also see if he can claim Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),, as that will help him keep the job for around 12 weeks. The HR department will help with that.

Step 2
Prior to thinking about the disability benefits, the concerned individual will need to decide if he or she wants to combine and integrate a vacation and sick leave. Integrating the two will get him full salary, and then the California disability insurance is used to make up to the full amount of the salary. Basically, what this does is decrease the amount of sick and vacation time consumed, and lets him keep the complete salary. The time for the two would not be integrated unless an employee specifies it to the employer. This is a very important thing as far as disability benefits in California is concerned.

Step 3
Another important thing an individual needs to do is to ask his doctor to fill up the disability insurance form. This is more so when the CA SDI documentation goes through a hospital’s insurance department, instead of the doctor, which in fact happens in many places.

Step 4
Finally, to get disability benefits, mail the California State Disability Insurance documents to the Employment Development Department. The address will be there on the application. If the person concerned has given the papers to the hospital, once they finish filling out the form, the papers will be mailed back to the person.

Ideally, as a last step, a person will have to wait for sometime. He will get a response mailed to him from the EDD, mentioning the amount of disability benefits he is entitled to. The disability living allowance will be paid every couple of weeks till the time of the person’s disability.