Frequently Asked Questions
Disability and Paid Family Leave
1. What is Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance provides partial wage replacement to eligible employees who are unable to work due to injury, illness or pregnancy. Disability insurance also includes Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. All Media Services employees who are California residents can participate in Media Service’s Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI) or in California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI).
2. How do I determine if I am covered by VPDI or SDI?
If your pay stub indicates VPDI then you are covered by VPDI. If your pay stub indicates SDI, then you have opted for disability through the State of California. If you are currently covered by SDI, you may contact Media Services to opt back in to VPDI. If your disability begins prior to the job end date, you will file your claim with whichever plan the current employer has. If you have left employment through Media Services, your claim will very likely need to be filed with SDI.
3. How do I file a claim for Disability and Paid Family Leave claims?
4. How much are the California Disability and Paid Family Leave benefits?
The VPDI and SDI weekly benefit amounts cover a range depending on various factors.
Benefit calculation is complex, so we recommend contacting SDI or VPDI for this information. VPDI always pays the higher of the two calculations.
5. Is there a waiting period?
VPDI has a 3 day waiting period. Benefits are paid from the 4th day forward.
SDI has a 7 day waiting period. Benefits are paid from the 8th day forward.
6. Does Disability Insurance exist for non-California residents?
There are five states that provide state disability programs: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Contact Media Services at 310 471 9388 for assistance with filing claims in these states.
7. What is Paid Family Leave?
The Paid Family Leave program was established for workers who suffer a loss of wage when they need to take time off from work to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth, or to place the child with foster care or adoption. It also applies to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or registered domestic partner.
8. What does “seriously ill” mean with respects to Paid Family Leave?
A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition of a patient that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility. This includes any period of incapacity (e.g., inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities), any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care, or continuing treatment by a physician or practitioner. Unless complications arise, cosmetic treatments, the common cold, influenza, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, and headaches other than migraines are all examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a “serious health condition” for purposes of Paid Family Leave insurance benefits.
9. How are benefits calculated for Paid Family Leave?
Benefits are calculated in the same way as they are for disability insurance.
10. How do I file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim?
Please call 310 471 9388 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm (Pacific) for assistance. Your benefits will be provided by SDI or VPDI. You will need to submit a W-4 form and a PFL Claim Form or file your claim online.
11. How long do Paid Family Leave benefits last?
Under VPDI, the maximum benefit is eight weeks with no waiting period.
Under SDI, the maximum benefit is six weeks with a one week unpaid waiting period.
Under both plans, the weeks need not be consecutive.
12. How do I know that VPDI will remain solvent and be able to pay my claim?
State laws require the Voluntary Plan Employer (Media Services) to post a security deposit with the Employment Development Department (EDD) to guarantee that it meets all financial obligations of the voluntary plan. All voluntary plans must be approved by and are under the direction of the State of California.