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  • Writer's pictureLisa Grossman, RN, IBCLC

How to File for Pregnancy Disability Leave (SDI)

If you are pregnant and planning to take Pregnancy Disability Leave (also called SDI) through the Employment Development Department (EDD), this blog post may help guide you through the process. Keep in mind that I am located in the state of California and if you are located in a different state the process may be different.

First, you will want to have a discussion with your doctor/practitioner about when you can take leave. In California it is permissible to start leave once you are 36 weeks gestation. You may be able to take pregnancy disability sooner if deemed medically necessary. This will be determined by your provider.

Note: If you pay for an additional/supplemental Short-Term Disability Coverage through your employer (such as Lincoln Financial, for example), you will want to check with your HR Department to determine the process for filing your claim.

Step 1

To initiate a claim, you will need to start the process on the EDD's website. You can use the following link to take you to the SDI Online main page:

Step 2

You will need to register on the site first by creating a profile. You will need to enter the required personal information to complete your profile. To register use the following link and select SDI Online:

Step 3

Once you have completed the registration process by creating a profile you will next need to initiate a new claim. Once the registration process has been completed you also be issued an EDD Customer Account Number that can be found on your personal "SDI Home" tab within your profile. To initiate a new claim you will need to click on "New Claim" within your profile and this link will take you to the page you will need to complete.

Step 4

After clicking "New Claim" you will next need to complete the SDI application. Select "Disability Insurance" listed under the heading "Apply for Disability Insurance Benefits."

You will next be taken to a page titled "Before You Start and After You File." Please review this page to make sure that you have the necessary information to complete your application. If you are missing information you can save the document as a draft and come back to it later if necessary.

Once you click "Next" you will be taken to a series of questions to complete the application. You will need to enter information such as the last date that you worked, the date that your disability started, if you will be working any partial or full-time days once your claim starts, why you stopped working (in this case you will select "Illness, Injury or Pregnancy") and other questions related to your employer and employment history.

Step 5

Once you have completed all of the required information on your SDI application ("Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits"), you will need to submit it. Before doing so, I highly recommend that you click the link that allows you to save a copy of your application so that you have documentation of your completed Claimant's Statement (Form DE 2501). The document will draft as a PDF. You may also want to print a copy of this page to give to your doctor's office as well.

Step 6

Once you have submitted your SDI application ("Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits") you will receive a confirmation containing a Form Receipt Number (highlighted below). It is important that you save this number to give to your doctor. Unlike the SDI application ("Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits") form, the confirmation will not draft as a PDF. You can copy and paste the text into a blank document and save it.

Step 7

Bring the paperwork to your doctor/practitioner's office so they can complete the Physician/Practitioner's Certificate. Your practitioner may collect a fee for processing this paperwork.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog post!


Lisa Grossman, BSN, RN, PHN, IBCLC, CLC, CLEC, AHA-certified CPR Instructor

Owner of South Bay Baby Care Nursing Services, Inc.

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