When an employee gets injured or acquires a disability, he may not be able to work for some time. During this period, he should obtain certain benefits to fund his medication and the expenses of his family. Fortunately, some disability benefits such as Workers Compensation may provide financial support for his costs. But what if an unemployed person got injured? What should he do?

While unemployed workers obviously cannot be eligible for workers compensation, they can try another source of benefits – the State Disability Insurance or SDI. SDI is rather a specialized type of disability benefits because it is only offered in five states in the country – New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and California. If a person has a non-work related injury and he wants to apply for SDI, here are some things he should know:

  • Eligibility – Eligibility in SDI is simple. You just need to have contributed a certain amount from your previous salaries. Even if you do not have a job at the moment, you would still be able to obtain your past contributions. Aside from injuries, disabilities, and pregnancies may also be covered by SDI.
  • Duration of benefits – SDI benefits can only be obtained by a claimant for 52 weeks. However, it can be extended given that your medical care provider has allowed it, and your condition has not yet improved.
  • Amount of benefits – The amount of benefits you will receive depends on an average of your previous salaries. Your annual salary five to 17 months before you were injured or disabled will be considered and dissected into four quarters. 55 percent of your wages in the highest paying quarter will be the basis of your SDI benefits.
  • Filing a claim – In order to file a claim, you should fill out a four-page form. You will complete the first two pages with your personal information and some details related to your injury. The remaining two pages would be filled out by your health care provider.

Unlike the disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SDI is easier to obtain. While it may not compensate all of its claimants' expenses, it sure provides them significant financial support for their needs. If you want to obtain SDI benefits, just seek legal advice from a disability lawyer in Los Angeles.

Getting injured outside of work is indeed a serious situation. And because you would not be covered by workers compensation benefits, your only choice is to get SDI benefits. If you want to know more details about State Disability Insurance in California, just consult a disability attorney in Los Angeles.