Introducing a new Family Caregiver benefit for children

We have made it easier to access benefits for the care of critically ill children under 18. Starting December 3, 2017, any family member or person who is considered to be like family will be eligible for this renamed and enhanced Family Caregiver benefit for children. (Before, the Parents of Critically Ill Children benefit was available only to parents.) Up to 35 weeks of EI benefits will continue to be available for the care of a critically ill child.

Medical doctors and nurse practitioners will be able to sign the certificate stating that the child is critically ill. (Before, the certificate had to be signed by a medical specialist.)

If the child's condition gets worse and a medical doctor or nurse practitioner certifies that they are at risk of dying within six months, caregivers can also apply for Compassionate Care benefits.

For more information or to apply, visit Family Caregiver Benefit for Children – Overview.

ExamplesFootnote 1

Example 1

Ten-year-old Jamal is diagnosed with a serious illness that requires lengthy treatment.

Jamal’s parents, Omar and Lydia, are both eligible for EI. They decide to share the Family Caregiver benefit for children, which provides up to 35 weeks of benefits. Lydia takes leave from her job immediately for 12 weeks. After the one-week waiting period, Lydia receives 11 weeks of the Family Caregiver benefit for children. She earns $45,000 per year, so her weekly benefit rate is $476. In total, she receives of $5,236 over 11 weeks.

Lydia returns to work and Omar takes 12 weeks of leave from his job, where he earns $35,000 per year. Omar receives the Family Caregiver benefit for children for 12 weeks at a weekly rate of $370. In total, he receives $4,440 over a 12-week period.

After 24 weeks, Jamal still requires care and his aunt Fatima offers to look after him. Fatima is eligible for EI, and takes 8 weeks of leave from her job to look after him. She earns $60,000 per year, so she receives the maximum Family Caregiver benefit for children of $543. In total, she receives $4,344 over 8 weeks.

After 32 weeks, Jamal recovers and can return to school.

Example 2

Cynthia is 17 years old and is critically injured in a car accident. Her mother Susan takes leave from her job and applies for the Family Caregiver benefit for children. Cynthia has her 18th birthday while she is recovering. Susan will continue to receive the Family Caregiver benefit for children until:

  • the end of 35 weeks; or
  • Cynthia no longer requires care or support; or
  • the 52-week period ends.

Her claim will not be converted to the Family Caregiver benefit for adults.

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