How to Apply for Disability Insurance Benefits in California

If you wish to file a claim for DI in California, then you will need to obtain a copy of the Submit a Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DE 2501) form either online or by mail. You will need to be very careful when specifying the dates when you are applying for disability insurance in California, so that you do not lose any of your benefits. Along with your disability insurance application, you may also be required to provide additional information in support of your claim. Learn how to apply for Disability Insurance Benefits in California by reviewing the below sections.

How to File a Claim for DI

For those wondering how to file a disability insurance claim, you have two options. You can apply for disability insurance in California by contacting or visiting your local SDI office and requesting a paper claim form, or you can go online to the SDI website and download a form there. You may also file a claim for DI online. There are a number of advantages to applying for disability insurance in California online, including:

  • The website is accessible 24 hours each day, seven days each week.
  • Reduced processing time.
  • Checking the status of you DI claim at any time.
  • Seeing your full payment history online.
  • The many security safeguards.
  • The expense of paper and postage is reduced.

Applying for Disability Insurance in California: How to Register for SDI Online

When you are completing a disability insurance application online, you will first need to visit the SDI Online website and create an account with a username and a password. Before you can submit your disability insurance application, you will be given a California Employment Development Department (EDD) customer account number. You will also receive a notification of your registration via email and regular mail. You are now ready to log in and file a new claim.

To learn more about the online system for DI applications, download our free guide.

How to File a Disability Insurance Claim Online in California

When you are filing a claim for DI online, it is best to first confirm your eligibility for benefits. Then, you must be sure to provide your name, Social Security Number, CA driver’s license number or ID card number, the name and address of your most current employer’s company and last dates you worked. If applicable, your disability insurance application should also include details of any wages you are still expecting to receive from your previous employer, such as annual leave or vacation pay. To file a disability insurance claim, you must also include any worker’s compensation, if applicable.

When you begin applying for disability insurance in California, you must be careful about the date on the start of your claim. Your application for disability insurance in California should begin on the date you became unable to work. Once you have developed a valid disability insurance application, you may not change the start date of your claim or adjust the base period.

To learn more about the steps associated with filing your disability insurance application, download our comprehensive guide.

How to Submit Your Medical Certification for Your Disability Insurance Application

Once you have filed a claim for DI, you should give your form receipt number to your medical practitioner, so he or she can provide the necessary medical certification. When you are applying for disability insurance in California, your doctor will have to submit the certification within 49 days of the commencement of your disability, otherwise you may lose your disability benefits. Discuss the process of submitting certification with your doctor so that you know which process he or she follows; not all physicians submit certification in the same way. It is your responsibility to obtain a physician certification for your disability.

Double-Check Your Disability Insurance Application

It is very important that your disability insurance application is complete before you submit it. An SDI application that is properly completed will include two parts:

  • Part A: This section is the claimant’s statement. This is the section that contains your information, and you will submit this part.
  • Part B: This section is the physician/practitioner’s certificate. This is the part that your doctor fills in, explaining the conditions of your illness or disability.

Your claim will not be processed until both of these completed sections have been received. If your doctor, for some reason, is not able to submit your medical certification online, then you should obtain a paper Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) form. Remember, filing your SDI claim by mail will take longer to process.

Completing Your Disability Insurance Application

You have successfully made an SDI application when you have submitted Part A of the claim form, and your doctor has sent in your medical certification. Shortly after, you will hear from the California EDD about the status of your claim. If you wish, you can obtain further tips on how to file a claim with SDI Online by watching the available Claimant Tutorial.

To learn more about applying for disability insurance in California, download our free guide.


What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.


What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.