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Pregnant and Relocating out of California: How You Can Receive Short-term Disability.
Change is stressfull
Have you recently moved out of the state of California, been unable to find employment, and now find yourself pregnant? Are you stressed about making ends meet and having a healthy baby? Hopefully this article will help alleviate some of that stress.
After we left California for another state I had no worry about finding a job. Soon it became obvious that it was going to be harder than expected. To top it all off I became pregnant and this only made finding a job even harder. I was on unemployment for most of my pregnancy and at the end of my pregnancy term I thought I would be without the additional income we needed. Thankfully after talking with the EDD representative I found out that I could receive the SDI benefits that I had paid into the system in the same way I had received unemployment benefits.
How will we make ends meet?
Most people are unaware that the state of California allows for you to follow your spouse or significant partner out of state and still receive unemployment benefits or that they can begin a claim once they leave the state. I have written an article about that here. This same policy applies to short term disability.
This is a great stress reliever since the loss of you income has more than likely put a burden on your family and the addition of baby with all the added expense only adds to the burden.
You will need to contact the SDI department of the EDD at http://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/SDI_Online.htm. From here you will need to request the forms that you will take to your doctor to be filled out. The forms are printed with a special red ink and must be used. You may fill out your portion of the forms online or with the paper copies. Only fill out 1 not both. Your doctor may also fill out the forms online (but I wouldn't count on it).
It is advisable to give you doctor's office the forms along with the preaddressed envelope with a stamp so that they can send the forms out as soon as they are completed. This will save you a trip into the office and the forms might get maid a little faster too.
The Waiting Game
Be prepared to wait. The EDD department and the SDI departments are still overloaded with claims since the economy went south in 2008.
The SDI department will need to verify that your OBGYN is licensed and able to practice. That is not a problem living in California since they keep a database of doctors, but once you are out of state it will take more time to confirm your disability and authorize benefits.
The best way to reach a representative from the EDD or SDI departments is to email then a question. You will receive a response in about 24 hours. When calling in on the customer service lines you can wait a long time if you are even allowed to hold. I have found that once the hold queue is full the system just dumps new calls. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone through the prompts just to be disconnected once I get through them and am told to hold for the next representative.
When to Apply
If you are early in your pregnancy and you are able and willing to accept work then you should apply for unemployment benefits. If you are already receiving these benefits and are ready to go on disability per you doctors instructions contact the EDD and let them know when you become disabled and then file your claim for SDI.
Do not feel bad about asking for your benefits. These were paid for by you while you were working. You are not taking advantage of the system. It may take time to navigate the system but once you receive you benefits you will see that the time was worth it.
Good Luck and Congratulations!
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