Let's Talk about Disability

Accidents, injuries and illnesses happen – both on a worksite and at home. It can be painful, stressful and expensive. Fortunately, help is available. Disability benefits can bridge the financial gap when you’re unable to work.

What is Disability?

According to the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD), “Disability is an illness or injury, either physical or mental, that prevents you from performing your regular and customary work. Disability also includes elective surgery, pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions.”

The type of disability and where it occurs determine how the State of California handles your claim. When injured on the job, you file for Workers’ Compensation through your employer. State Disability Insurance (SDI) is for all other types of disability, injury or illness that happen outside the workplace. Find more information and forms at

There are two types of disability: Short-term (or Temporary) Disability, and Long-term Disability. Short-term Disability is an injury or illness that prevents you from working for 90 days to 52 weeks. Long-term Disability is when illness or injury prevents you from working for at least a year, and can last until you retire.

Today let’s focus on Short-term Disability.

Your employer contributes to State of California funds that distribute money and pay benefits to disabled Californians. Every temporarily-disabled worker in California can receive Workers’ Compensation or SDI benefits.

Carpenters Funds Benefits give you more help

As a Union carpenter, you may be eligible for additional benefits administered through CFAO. These can provide extra help along with your State of California benefit.

Together, State of California plus Carpenters Funds benefits can get you through a temporary disability healthy and financially sound.

What are your Carpenter Funds disability benefits?


Carpenter Funds Disability includes three different possible short-term benefits. They are:

  1. Extension of Health Coverage - Up to 9 months for Plan A, 4 months for Plan B participants.
  2. Supplemental Monthly Disability Benefit - $365 a month above what you receive from Workers’ Compensation or SDI while in receipt of the Extension of Health Coverage benefit.
  3. Future Service Eligibility Pension Credit – Adds time to your Pension hours while out on disability (cannot exceed 20% of total credit).

The good news is you only need to fill out one form to apply for all three benefits. Find it on our website here:

Disability Benefit Application



  • Extra Benefits. These benefits are on top of Workers’ Compensation and/or SDI. Carpenter Funds benefits can give you extra peace of mind and financial security when you’re sick or injured.
  • Disability does NOT have to be work related. You can be eligible for benefits whether you’re injured at work, at home or anywhere else.
  • Contact your Benefits Administrator. It’s important to reach out to the Trust Fund as soon as possible when your injury or disability occurs to confirm eligibility.

What Makes You Eligible

  • You filed and were approved for State of California Workers’ Compensation or SDI benefits (proof of payment is required)
  • You must have worked for a Contributing Employer at least one day in the 30 days prior to the First Day of Disability. Important: This means the date you actually got hurt and couldn’t work.
  • You applied for benefits through the Carpenters Trust Fund within 12 months of your disability claim date.

Not Eligible: Flat Rate Participants or Stakeholders (owners, partners, shareholders, superintendents). Future Service Benefit not available if you have less than 7 years vested without a break in service.

Remember: Carpenter Funds and State of California disability benefits are intended to help you financially survive a short-term disability. They will not pay everything you make while working.

Still have questions? Call us.

Being sick or injured is hard enough. Benefit specialists at the Carpenter Funds Administrative Office are available by phone or in person to help navigate forms and plan jargon, and answer questions. Our toll-free number is (888) 547-2054 or you can email us. We look forward to helping you!

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