Unemployment and SDI

Unemployment and SDI

by Bobbi Yeo, Canon for Administration & Finance, & Thea Mangels, Office Coordinator

For the Employee:

The Office of the Bishop began offering Unemployment and State Short-Term Disability Insurance for its lay employees on January 1, 2012. 

While churches are exempt from the mandate to offer Unemployment and State Short-term Disability insurance coverages, this does not mean that our employees are safe from unemployment and disabling injury. Are you curious about Unemployment Insurance and State Short-Term Disability Insurance (SDI)?

As Church employers, the churches and institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California are not required to provide these benefits, and many of our organizations have chosen not to. Some of these churches and organizations may not have realized that they have the choice to opt into these programs. If you are an employee interested in Unemployment and State SDI, consider talking to your employer.

Short-Term Disability Insurance

If you are currently working 20 or more hours per week, you should already be enrolled in the Short-Term and Long-Term Disability coverage required by our policy through the Episcopal Church Medical Trust. The benefit is 70% of gross salary up to $1,000/week. The elimination period is 30 days, meaning that you qualify to receive benefits after 30 days of missed work. Short-Term Disability is anything under one year off of work.

For State SDI, the benefit is 55 percent of gross salary up to $987/week. The employee pays for this insurance through payroll withholding. The rate is 1.2 percent of gross salary up to $1,119.79/year. The elimination period is seven days.

If you are an employee working under 20 hours, you would qualify for State SDI, but not for the Church Medical Trust (CMT) SDI. If you are an employee working 20 or more hours, you would qualify for both.  The two plans would be coordinated so you could receive 55 percent of gross salary for the first 23 days of a disability then you would receive 70 percent of gross salary up to the maximums noted in plans.  You would not get double coverage during a period of disability but you would at least get some coverage after day seven.

Unemployment Insurance

Unlike State SDI, Unemployment Insurance is an employer paid benefit.

Unemployment Insurance provides replacement income in the event of certain circumstances causing the loss of work (other than disability). The maximum benefit is $450/week. The duration of benefits is changeable.

For both UI and SDI you are eligible to receive a benefit from your insurance in the seventh month after your coverage begins.

For more information, visit www.edd.ca.gov

For the Employer:

The first thing you need to know is that you cannot have Unemployment Insurance without SDI, or vice-versa. The two are linked.

The second thing that you need to know is that for all Lay employees, if you decide to offer these insurances, they are then mandatory. Clergy are allowed a one-time vote with majority rule, which will either result in the clergy having UI and SDI or not having UI and SDI from that time forward.

The third thing you need to know is, the employer pays for Unemployment Insurance which costs up to $238/employee/year for this coverage during the first three years. After that the premium would be adjusted up or down depending on experience. The employee pays for SDI; the rate is 1.2 percent of gross salary up to $1,119.79/year (as of 8/20/2011).

The fourth thing you need to know is that the enrollment process takes two weeks from the time that the Employment Development Department receives your paperwork. They will require a New Registration Form for Nonprofit Employers (DE 1NP), an Application for Unemployment and Disability Insurance elective Coverage Form (DE 1378), a Selection of Financing Method by a Nonprofit Organization Form (DE 1SNP), and a copy of your 501C3 letter from the IRS.  These forms can be found on the EDD website

For information on this process, contact the Disability Elective office of the Employment Development Department of the State of California at 916-654-6288. We also recommend that you contact Canon Bobbi Yeo as you begin this process. 

Resources:
- The Disability Elective office of the Employment Development Department of the State of California at 916-654-6288
- The EDD website
- Unemployment/SDI Clergy Option Form (feel free to adapt this form written for the Office of the Bishop to your location), click here to download

 

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