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I am a California teacher who has been denied short term disability benefits. I have been a middle school and high school teacher for 13 years in California. I went out on disability at the beginning of this year, 2024. My doctor wrote me out for short term disability from January until June. I applied for short term disability coverage and was denied. I was told that I did not sign up for the school’s voluntary plan. It was my understanding that I needed to opt out of disability coverage instead of opting in. According to state law employers must provide this coverage unless the employee opts out. I have also been told that teachers, for some reason, are not covered by this law.  I was told by the employment development department that I am not covered by the state because teachers do not pay into state disability. I have been told by California Teachers Association and the private insurance company that I am not covered by private disability insurance because the school that I work for chose not to cover their employees. At this point, I have drained my savings and am barely able to get by financially. I have spent months trying to resolve this issue instead of focusing on my healing and my health. I am asking for support to cover my necessities and bills for this time and to help get me back on my feet so that I can return to the classroom and continue to teach.


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