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When may I qualify for temporary disability benefits?

The California Unemployment Insurance Code requires employers to withhold part of their employee’s wages for the State Disability Insurance program. As noted by the California Employment Development Department website, you may qualify for temporary benefits if you earned at least $300 in wages.

To confirm your employer’s deductions, you may check your pay stub for the “CASDI” withholding. If you work for more than one company, each employer must deduct California State Disability Insurance from your wages. The amount of eligible weekly benefits generally reflects between 60% and 70% of the earnings received during the five to 18 months before filing a claim.

What may classify as a short-term disability?

As noted on FastCompany.com, a debilitating illness or injury not related to a workplace accident may classify as a disability. Workers’ compensation benefits cover illnesses and injuries caused by an on-the-job accident. Any physical or mental health condition that prevents you from performing your job tasks, however, may qualify as a temporary disability.

If you become pregnant or experience a severe illness that requires regular treatment, you may consider applying for California’s SDI. Eligibility, for example, may follow major surgery with a doctor’s note ordering you to rest and recover. Certified medical records could show a debilitating condition requiring you to stay home from work.

Could my employer fire me for a temporary disability?

Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees with a disability. Your employer cannot fire you for taking time off to treat a debilitating condition. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, employees also have a right to a leave of absence for pregnancy or birth.

If you need to treat an illness, medical condition or injury and cannot work, you may apply for short-term disability benefits. Medical conditions do not need to have resulted from job tasks.