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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My husband had a stroke in 2010. He went back to work in 2011

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My husband had a stroke in 2010. He went back to work in 2011 and his company "accommodated" the disabilities from his stroke. He was laid off in March 2013 and has been collecting unemployment for 6 months but having difficulties getting a job due to his disabilities. Can he transfer from UI to SDI if his doctor approves? Also, he had six months of severance so he has paid into SDI although he had a claim in 2010 for a stroke which they paid out the maximum amount. Can he file another claim for the same reason?
Good morning and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am extremely sorry to hear about your husband's health problems and his inability to work. The good news is that the answer to your question is "yes," an individual collecting unemployment benefits can switch to collect SDI. The only limitation is that he cannot collect both forms of benefits at the same time, since one requires demonstrating a present ability to work and the other an inability to do the same.

It is irrelevant that your husband previously collected disability payments for the same health problem. Provided he can get a doctor to present certify that he is unable to do what would be his regular or customary work for at least eight consecutive days and he has sufficient base period wages to support a claim (which should be no problem if he was working as recently as March), an individual in his circumstance should be eligible. It is also important for your husband to complete and mail his SDI claim form within 49 days of the date he became disabled or he may lose benefits.

See here for information on how to file a claim:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He will also be applying for Social Security benefits. How will this affect his state disability?


Thank you very much for your reply. Social Security payments will be subtracted by the amount he receives in SDI. If your husband was working for a State or federal employer, the rule is slightly different. I'll be more than happy to explain further if that is the case.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, he does do work for a government employer. He already has a claim open with unemployment. What is the smoothest way to transition from an unemployment claim to SDI? I ordered a form from SDI, but can doctors do this on-line?

Unforutnately, a doctor cannot make an assessment about your husband's ability to work online. He will need to go in and be examined. As soon as he submits his SDI application, he will typically want to suspend his UI claim, since at that point he is "certifying" his inability to work, which is technically in conflict with the criteria for UI benefits. There should be no overlap.

There may be some delay until his SDI claim is approved, but SDI typically pays retroactively from the date of the claim, so ultimately there should not be a substantial (if any) loss of benefits.

I hope this helps. Please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service if you don't have any further questions.

Best wishes to you and your husband.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How does my husband suspend his claim? Also, can he still receive SDI from California if he moves out of state? You have been very helpful and I think this will be my last question.


It's my pleasure to assist you further.

With regard to suspending a claim, the UI regulations are not particularly clear. If you simply do not send in your continued claim form, the EDD states they will automatically suspend your claim. You can also fill out the claim form and specifically check the box for INABILITY to work. That is the route I would probably go, as it creates a clear record for the reason you no longer are pursuing benefits. Though the EDD doesn't encourage it, I would attach a very short cover letter making clear that you no longer wish to receive benefits because you are presently unable to work.

SDI (and UI benefits for that matter) can be received even if the claimant is out of state. The relevant concern is where the base period wages were earned, and that of course remains the same no matter where the claimant goes afterward.

I hope this helps and I wish you both the very best.
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