If you are an independent contractor, you can opt in to Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) by applying for the Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC) program. You would need to start paying into the program in advance of needing it in order to establish a base period. The DIEC program also requires you to commit to two years of quarterly premium payments (as long as you remain self-employed). Click here for more information on what it would cost for you to opt-in to this program. Note: If you had a recent job with CA State Disability Insurance (CA SDI) withholdings in the last 5-18 or so months, you may be eligible based on your former job. Learn more about this here.