October 05, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Patient Care
In September 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that authorizes physician assistants (PAs) to certify disability insurance (DI) and paid family leave (PFL) claims after a physical examination and under physician supervision.
Individuals seeking DI or PFL benefits in California are required to file a claim that includes a certificate from a treating physician or practitioner. PAs in California were previously unable to certify these claims because they were not included in the definition of “practitioner.”
For more information about the physician's role in certifying for benefits, view the Employment Development Department (EDD) Physician/Practitioner’s Guide to Disability Insurance and Physician/Practitioner’s Guide to Paid Family Leave brochures.
Physicians are also reminded that they can certify DI and PFL claims online via EDD’s electronic claim filing system, SDI Online. The system allows physicians, practitioners, claimants, employers and voluntary plan administrators to submit claims and other supporting documents online. For more information about SDI Online or to establish a physician/practitioner account, visit www.edd.ca.gov/disability.
For more information on PFL, see CMA’s On-Call document #6203, "Family and Medical Leave." On-Call documents are available free to members in CMA's online health law library. Nonmembers can purchase documents for $2/page.