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California UI after SDI is exhausted

by Mike
(San Diego, Ca)

I am at 50 weeks of SDI benefits used following rotator cuff surgery. I will be seeing my doctor in two weeks and feel I am ready to go back to work. However, I was terminated after my 12 week FMLA protection expired. I called the SDI division of California's EDD program today to inquire about eligibility for UI as I don't have a job to go back to but am ready and able to work pending my doctor's release. They could not tell me if I would be eligible and advised me NOT to call the UI division as this would probably halt my SDI benefits. He stressed that just by inquiring I would jeopardize my benefits. So I found your site, but nothing that really addresses my situation. What I need to know is, first, will I be eligible for UI and secondly, what will they use as a base period for a claim? Also, I was told by my employer's HR when I was terminated that I should apply for UI at that time. This seemed odd as I was collecting SDI at the time but figured it's California... the UI was approved, then I got a letter saying that I was not eligible so I never collected any UI, which seems like the correct way it should work. I'm just trying to plan ahead and would like to hear from someone who has had a similar experience or if there are certain hoops I need to jump through. Thanks.

Hi Mike,

Let me know if I've assumed anything incorrectly.

When you use SDI, do you mean short term disability insurance through your past employer?

I ask because CA is one of 6 .. maybe seven states
that have some kind of law that either requires a person out on disability to have some kind of wage replacement.

California actually has temporary disability unemployment and taxes to fund this program are collected from employees, but I thought the duration of that type of benefit was only 12 weeks, to cover FMLA leaves not covered by STD insurance.

I'll assume your disability payment are from some STD policy your employer carried.

I have no idea why "just inquiring" would be bad. I mean, how else do you find out stuff, nonetheless, it wouldn't do any good to file another claim or more likely try to lift the A&A (ability and availability for work) disqualification on the claim you were denied for.

You will have to let me know if I assumed the reason for disqualification incorrectly.

But the HR person was right. You needed to file that claim then because I suspect you weren't certain how long it would take to be released back to work and it sounds like they were helping you because California does not have what is called an extended base period which basically lets the state use some very old wages to qualify you monetarily.

So, what I really want to know right now .. is this.

Why were you denied unemployment when you filed for it .. was it 38 weeks ago?

And did I misinterpret what type of short term disability payments you are receiving?

And, on what date did the employer terminate your employment and what date did your UI claim start. It's the BYB date.


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Jan 19, 2018
Sdi to unemployment
by: Anonymous

When my time is up on sdi i am going to apply for unemployment benefits was wondering will there still be a 7 day waiting period.

Hi Anonymous,

I'm assuming you mean you're currently receiving California State's TDI benefits
(temporary disability insurance).

TDI benefits really aren't my area of expertise, but I know enough to question whether the state can, or would waive the waiting week so you can continue collecting regular benefits, if your base period wages are sufficient for you to monetarily qualify for regular UI benefits.

So, I'm telling you, I can't tell you for certain, one way, or the other .. after I only scanned this page of the EDD's UIBDG (unemployment insurance benefit determination guide), which is to say, I think you might find an answer to your question by reading that page thoroughly .. and possibly following a breadcrumb I took note of .. about exceptions (waiving) the typical waiting week.

(d) He has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week as defined in Section 1254, unless this waiting period has been waived pursuant to Section 8571 of the Government Code."

Dec 21, 2016
California SDI Notice of Exhaustion
by: Chris -

I could speculate and take a guess but then I don't think guessing about what two separate government agencies might be able to do for anyone deserves only a guess.

Especially since one is a state agency and the other federal and your question, although reasonable, is asking what if anything one might do to smooth the transition from state temporary disability benefits in CA to SSI, or SSDI.

Sounds reasonable to me, but for me, it would take lots of additional googling to see if I could find a confirming regulation to take the guess out of it.

In other words, I don't know Timotheus64.

But I'm posting your comment in the hope someone who might know .. might answer, because it's a good question I think deserves some sort of answer.

I did do one google search, "regulations to transition from CA Temporary Disability insurance to SSDI" and came up with this (see the last bullet point)

Other than this, I might strongly suggest a phone call to the CA EDD / SDI Insurance program and ask if they know.

Dec 20, 2016
SDI Notice of Exhaustion
by: Timotheus64

I am on SDI (California), Is it possible to get the "NOTICE of BENEFIT EXHAUSTION" to Social Security a few months ahead , so the transition to full Social Security Award (Money) won't take long to process. (so there is no two to three months waiting for first SSA check.

Apr 06, 2012
did the sdi weeks exhaust some of the UI weeks?
by: the415

i'm approaching a similar situation.

when you went back on the UI, was it as if you had collected it for the weeks you were on SDI?

meaning that if you were entitled to 99 weeks of UI and got 52 weeks of SDI under your belt, that you would be left with 47 weeks?

Nov 30, 2011
Reply to Anonymous
by: Mike

I was able to reopen the claim and the original base period was used. This means that my one year for Ca UI is up in December. I was told by a rep that I could file for a extension after that. Hope this helps and good luck!

Nov 24, 2011
What Was Your Outcome....
by: Anonymous

Hi Mike,

I am in a similar situation and wondering what your end out come was? Were you able to reopen your claim, filed in December, and collect UI benefits after your SDI was exhausted? If so,what base period did UI use?

Jul 28, 2011
Response to Chris
by: Mike

Hi Chris,
Thank for answering my question. To answer your questions:
1. Why was I denied UI 38 weeks ago? While receiving State Disability Insurance (SDI), I received a Notice of UI Award, mailed 12/23/2010, with a claim beginning date of 12/12/2010 and an ending date of 12/10/2011. This shows quarterly wages from 9/2009 through 6/2010 which were used to compute a weekly benefit amount, with associated stipulations, including that I am able and available to accept full time work. About two weeks later, I received a letter dated 1/10/2011 stating "You are not eligible to receive benefits under CA UI Code Sect 1253C beginning 12/12/10 and ending when the disqualifying conditions no longer exist, and you contact the above office to reopen your claim. You cannot work for health reasons. Sect 1253C provides - an individual is eligible for benefits in a week only if the Department finds he was able to work and available for work." It was in reading this and wanting to be proactive as I am preparing to look for new work that I contacted Ca EDD (Employment Development Dept), not knowing that there are at least six different agencies under this umbrella which do not communicate with each other. Then, as stated in my first post, I was told to not contact the other agency, unless I wanted to put my current benefits in jeopardy.
2. By SDI I mean state disability insurance, (I had tried to sign up for AFLAC, but was turned down due to an old back injury that I had seen a doctor about within the past year, thus was denied). This has a 52 week limit with no extensions available. The person I spoke to at the SDI division of EDD indicated that the 52 week eligibility would end on 8/17/2011 and my payments would end on 8/11/2011 as that is when my last doctors Supplemental Certification ends.
3. I was terminated by my employer on 11/15/2010, at the end of the FMLA period, with the since rescinded UI award starting on 12/12/2010. I'm not sure exactly when I filed for UI, only that it was after being terminated.

If I could land a job, this, of course would all be a moot point, as I want to be unemployed as briefly as possible with (at my age) retirement underfunded, two kids to put through college and my wife not exactly thrilled that I'm not working. So I need to insure that I do what is neccessary to keep some kind of income stream active until I'm hired again. At the present time, this would be UI payments, while at the same time utilizing their support services to obtain employment. If I think of this logically, I should be able to get a release from my doctor, call the UI division of EDD and reactivate the UI claim. This is how I interpret section quoted above in answer #1, especially the "when the disqualifying condition no longer exists" part. However, we're on Earth and not on Vulcan, so I need advice. Again, thanks for your help.

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