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California State Disability Insurance (SDI), including Paid Family Leave (PFL)

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California State Disability Insurance and Paid Leave

The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program is state mandated and funded through employee payroll deductions. SDI provides two, short term benefits to eligible workers: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL).

State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage replacement insurance plan for eligible California workers who have a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program was established as a component of the existing State Disability Insurance. SDI and PFL only provide monetary benefits; however, a job may be protected through other laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

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Information presented below as of 1/1/2022

Effective Date

  • Effective 1946: State Disability Insurance (SDI) was established
  • Effective 2004:  Paid Family Leave Benefits begin

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Plan Features

California Paid Family & Medical Leave plan features
Specific features you may inquire about Relevant information

Covered Employer

California employers paying wages over $100 in a calendar quarter to one or more employees.


Earn at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during the base period.

Leave Types

  • Employee’s own serious health condition
  • Care of a seriously ill family member
    • child, spouse or registered domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law
  • New child bonding within 12 months of birth, adoption or foster care placement
  • Military exigency

Elimination Period

  • SDI - 7 days
  • PFL - None

Weekly Benefit

60% of earnings in the highest quarter of their base period; 70% for workers earning less than 1/3 of state’s average weekly wage.

Maximum Weekly Benefit


Maximum Duration

  • SDI Effective 1/1/2022: $80,080 (MWBA x 52 weeks)
  • PFL Effective 1/1/2022: $12,320 (MWBA x 8 weeks)

Note:  Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (MWBA)

Employee Contribution

  • California’s SDI and PFL programs are fully funded by employee contributions. No employer contributions are required.
  • For 2022, the maximum annual employee contribution for SDI and PFL combined is $1,601.60. This is based upon a 1.1% withholding rate on the employee’s first $145,600 in taxable wages. The withholding rate and taxable wage base are updated annually.

Private Plan Options

  • Establish a self-insured Voluntary Plan (VP). Administration can be provided by an insurance carrier, third-party administrator, or the employer.
  • Establish an insured program

The self insured private plan must be equal to or better than the state mandated plan. An election is required - the majority of an employer’s eligible California employees must agree to implement a voluntary plan (VP) and this consent is established through an election process. If 85% or more of eligible employees agree to establish a VP, all new hires are automatically enrolled in the VP. If fewer than 85% consent, all new hires must actively elect to participate in the state plan versus the VP.

Special note about insured VDI Plans: In order to establish an insured Voluntary plan, Employment Development Department (EDD) must be satisfied that the approval will not result in substantial adverse risk to the state Disability Fund. In order to meet the standard for approval, the employer’s population must substantially conform to the state’s population in gender, age, and wage distribution on the voluntary plan application date and each January 1 it remains in effect. Due to the difficulty in satisfying these requirements, self-insured voluntary plans are the only viable plan alternative to California SDI.

Prudential's Plan Options

  • Self-insured Voluntary Plans

Additional Information

https://www.edd.ca.gov opens in a new window

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Need More Information?

Visit California's PFL website opens in a new window for more details and to read the regulations.

Please contact your Prudential representative with questions.

The Prudential Insurance Company of America (Prudential), Newark, NJ

For Compliance Use Only: GL.2019.223

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