SDI and Other Programs

Social Security Disability programs:

State Disability Insurance (SDI) generally lasts a year. If you and your doctor think that you are going to be disabled for longer than a year, you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is a federal disability insurance program that you’ve paid into through income taxes. If you’ve paid into the system for a long enough period of time, you can get this benefit. SSDI requires that your disability lasts longer than a year, so it can pick up where SDI leaves off. If you are on SSDI and SDI at the same time, your SSDI will be reduced.

You should also consider applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you expect your disability to last longer than a year. This is a federal income program that provides a benefit for low-income aged, blind, or disabled individuals. If you are on SSI and SDI at the same time, your SSI benefit will be reduced.

For both of these programs, you should apply right away, as claims often take more than a year to be processed.

Workers’ Compensation:

SDI is for non work-related disabilities. There’s a separate program for on-the-job injuries called Workers’ Compensation (WC). You generally cannot get WC and SDI at the same time. An exception is that you can get SDI while waiting for a WC claim to be approved. For more information on WC, see the following guide from the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Unemployment Insurance:

There’s also a separate insurance program for the unemployed. If you’re unemployed and disabled, it’s generally a good idea to apply for SDI benefits before applying for Unemployment Insurance. You cannot receive SDI and Unemployment Insurance at the same time. Click here for more information on Unemployment Insurance.