CASDI, standing for California State Disability Insurance (SDI), is a statutory (state-regulated) program providing short-term disability insurance and Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who need time off work.
The program is designed to partially replace wages lost due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy, or for individuals needing to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.
CASDI works by collecting employee contributions through payroll deductions. The funds accumulated in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provide temporary benefits to eligible workers who are unable to perform their regular or customary work due to physical and mental conditions, including disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Additionally, the program offers Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits to people who require time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
In the State of California, most employees are subject to CASDI withholding. Employers automatically deduct the CASDI contributions from the wages of their employees.
It is important to note that CASDI is entirely funded by workers' contributions; employers do not contribute to the CASDI program. However, employers are responsible for withholding and transmitting the employee's contributions to the Employment Development Department (EDD).
The contribution rate to CASDI is subject to annual adjustments. As of 2023, employees contribute 1.0% of their gross wages, up to a maximum of $1,229.09 for that year.
The taxable wage limit for CASDI for 2023 is $122,909. Any income beyond this limit is not subject to CASDI deduction.
CASDI provides eligible employees with up to 52 weeks of partial pay if they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, including pregnancy-related conditions.
Additionally, CASDI offers six weeks of partial pay to eligible employees who need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. These benefits are considered tax-free.
An employee can claim CASDI benefits by submitting a claim to the EDD. The claim must be accompanied by a medical certification verifying the individual's physical or mental condition that renders them unable to perform their regular work duties.
For pregnancy-related conditions, a medical certification may not be required under certain circumstances. Claims must typically be filed within 49 days from the first day of disability, or the employee may lose benefits.
Eligibility for the California State Disability Insurance (CASDI) program requires meeting several criteria. An individual may be eligible for CASDI benefits if they meet the following conditions:
The eligibility requirements ensure that CASDI benefits go to individuals who are genuinely unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Remember, it's the healthcare practitioner's responsibility to submit the medical certification after the claim form is received for the claim to be complete.
The CASDI benefits are subject to a maximum limit. The actual weekly benefit amount is approximately 60-70% of earnings and depends on the individual's income, up to the maximum weekly benefit amount.
As of 2023, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,357. The maximum benefit duration is typically up to 52 weeks for disability insurance claims. However, for Paid Family Leave (PFL) claims, the maximum duration is up to eight weeks within a 12-month period.
While both CASDI and Workers' Compensation provide benefits to individuals who are unable to work, there's a fundamental difference: CASDI covers disabilities resulting from non-work-related illnesses or injuries, while Workers' Compensation covers disabilities resulting from a job-related illness or injury.
Yes, self-employed individuals or independent contractors who are not automatically covered can opt to participate in CASDI through the Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC) program.
This is a voluntary program that provides the benefits of CASDI to individuals not otherwise eligible, such as self-employed individuals or independent contractors. However, participation involves paying into the program via contributions, which are based on net annual income.
If an employee received benefits, and returns to work, but then becomes disabled again due to the same or a related condition within 12 months, it is considered a continuous claim. The employee can reopen the existing claim without serving a new seven-day non-payable waiting period.
With CASDI, the state of California ensures that its employees have access to necessary benefits during times when they are unable to work due to illness, injury, or other life events. It provides critical support to help employees manage their health and family responsibilities while minimizing financial hardship.
Related: Disability Leave