Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 1 - Section 5

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1.5.0 Extension of benefit period

There are four grounds under which an extension of the benefit period may be granted when claiming regular benefits Footnote 1 . It is the claimant's responsibility to show that one applies in a particular case. In such a case the benefit period will be extended but the maximum number of weeks of benefits which may be paid as determined at the commencement of the benefit period Footnote 2 will remain unchanged. As well the claimant must comply with the entitling conditions in each of those weeks where benefits are paid. However, the length of the benefit period including any extension must not exceed 104 weeks Footnote 3 .

The legislation provides an additional extension of the benefit period when only special benefits (sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care and/or family caregiver benefits) are paid. The benefit period may be extended by the number of weeks required to allow a claimant to receive the maximum weeks of combined special benefits provided by the legislation Footnote 4 .

In addition, the legislation provides that when parental benefits are claimed and the child or children are hospitalized, a benefit period may be extended by the number of week(s) the child or children was hospitalized Footnote 5 . However the extension of a benefit period cannot exceed 104 weeks Footnote 6 .The benefit period may also be extended for the claimant who is participating in the special developmental program. The rules governing the benefit period in these situations will be discussed in a separate chapter Footnote 7 .

In the context of the implementation of the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan on January 1, 2006, a new principle has been established to guarantee equity in the processing of claims for Employment Insurance benefits that are filed throughout Canada. This principle of equivalence Footnote 8 extends to benefits paid under a provincial plan a recognition that is similar to maternity or parental benefits paid under the EI program, applies to any future claim for EI benefits.

A regulation Footnote 9 made in the context enables the EI benefit period Footnote 10 to be extended by the number of weeks of hospitalization for a person who received QPIP benefits or is entitled to receive them where his/her child is hospitalized during the period provided in the EI Act Footnote 11 .

Under another regulatory provision Footnote 12 concerning the extension of the benefit period, a reference to “benefits paid in the case of a pregnancy or because the claimant is caring for one or more new-born or adopted children placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption” for a number of weeks that is less than the applicable maximum number of weeks shall be read as a reference to the provincial benefits that have been paid to the claimant for the same reasons.

It follows that QPIP benefits can be used to extend the employment insurance benefit period Footnote 13 to allow the claimant to receive the maximum number of special benefits weeks under the EI – other than maternity or parental – to which he/she is entitled.

[ October 2013 ]

[ September 2006 ]

1.5.1 Grounds for extension

A claimant’s benefit period is extended for the total number of weeks during the benefit period for which the claimant proves that they were not entitled to benefits because of one of the circumstances listed below. Each week must be examined to determine whether these circumstances prevented all payment of benefits in that week.
:
The circumstances are Footnote 14 :

  1. Confinement in a prison or similar institution; when a claimant provides proof they were not found guilty for the charge(s) that led to the incarceration(s)
  2. In receipt of earnings by the claimant by reason of the complete severance of the employer-employee relationship;
  3. In receipt of workers compensation payments for an illness or injury;
  4. In receipt of payments under a provincial law for the preventative withdrawal of work on the basis of having ceased work because continuing work would have resulted in a danger to the claimant, her unborn child or a child whom she was breast-feeding.
  5. Hospitalization of a child for whom maternity or parental benefits are requested
  6. Parental leave deferred due to imperative military requirement – Canadian Forces Members only.

The allocation of earnings described in (2), (3) and (4) above must prevent the payment of any benefits.

An extension of the benefit period may be granted on any of these grounds provided the ground arose while the benefit period was still in existence. The ground is not valid if it arises, for example, on the Sunday following the Saturday on which the benefit period effectively ends.

It is the claimant's responsibility to provide evidence in support of the ground and relevant dates.

1.5.2 Other reasons for disentitlement

It often happens that two reasons for disentitlement exist at the same time during a benefit period, and one constitutes a valid ground for extension whereas the other does not. In order to be granted an extension, the legislation only requires that a claimant prove that one of the four qualifying grounds for extension prevented the payment of benefits for the week in question Footnote 15 .

1.5.3 Calculation of extension

When calculating an extension any weeks that the extending condition, in and of itself, prevented payment are counted as weeks of extension. If the extending condition in and of itself would not have prevented payment then the claimant's entitlement to benefit in that week is examined in conjunction with any other disentitling condition(s). If other disentitling conditions in that week totally prevented payment of benefits, no extension can be granted; however, if moneys were payable for that week despite the other disentitling condition(s) and the extension condition prevents payment of those monies, the extension is granted.

Where the ground has the effect of postponing the waiting period to a subsequent week, this will be taken to have effectively precluded the payment of benefits; in other words, the week which would otherwise have served as the waiting period is counted for extension purposes.

Also, if the WP was not served when a claim is renewed, the 125% rule will apply for the renewal week. In situations where an extension applies for the WP week, if the allocation of earnings (ISM) would have prevented the payment of benefits, the week that normally counted for the WP week must also be counted for purposes of the extension and the earnings will be deducted, in this instance, over the first three weeks payable.

Weeks for which benefit was paid or is deemed to have been paid Footnote 16 , even for as little as one dollar Footnote 17 are not taken into account when calculating the extension. Where the ground for extension existed for only a few days during a week, the question remains: would benefits of at least one dollar have been payable for the week had this ground not arisen? If so, does the extending condition nullify payment for that week? If this is the case, then the extension for that week is granted.

The existence of two grounds for extension during the same week does not give rise to a double extension.

Once the acceptable weeks for extension purposes have been determined, the benefit period is extended by the same number of weeks, subject to the maximum duration of 104 weeks, which is applicable to any benefit period Footnote 18 .

A ground for extension may arise again before the termination of the extended benefit period. In this event, the benefit period is extended a second time Footnote 19 , subject always to the maximum duration of 104 weeks.

1.5.4 Confinement in a prison or similar institution

As with an extension of the qualifying period, confinement in a prison or similar institution is one of the grounds, which allows for extension of the benefit period Footnote 20 . Effective June 30, 2013 the claimant may be granted an extension when the claimant provides proof of a not found guilty verdict for the charge(s) that lead to the incarceration(s).

An extension of the benefit period will be granted during a period even when other reasons also existed which would not be acceptable for extension, no matter what the chronology of events Footnote 21 .

1.5.5 Workers’ compensation payments

Receiving workers' compensation payments for an illness or injury is one of the four grounds which allows for an extension Footnote 22 : weeks counted for these purposes are those where the allocation of earnings prevents the payment of benefits Footnote 23 or postpones the waiting period Footnote 24 . These workers' compensation payments are earnings Footnote 25 to be allocated Footnote 26 in accordance with the types of benefits claimed Footnote 27 .

It is possible that a person who had suffered an injury at work will find himself or herself in a situation that generates two reasons for denying benefits to the claimant Footnote 28 . This would be the case of a minor attachment claimant who has ceased work because he or she became incapable of work by reason of an injury Footnote 29 and is receiving an amount of workers' compensation payments which prevents the payment of benefits. The latter reason allows for extension but the former does not. In such a case we consider that an extension may be granted since the claimant only has to meet one of the grounds for extension regardless of what occurred before or during the existence of that reason.

In a given case where the extension was granted in spite of the claimant's obligation to reimburse the workers' compensation benefits, the Umpire refused to intervene as the workers' compensation issue was under appeal and the question had not been definitively resolved Footnote 30 .

A disability pension or permanent settlement workers' compensation payment is not earnings Footnote 31 and does not prevent entitlement to benefit and therefore do not allow for an extension. It should also be noted that payments under a wage-loss plan Footnote 32 or an employer's disability plan Footnote 33 as well as payments for a vehicular accident under the Quebec motor vehicle accident insurance Footnote 34 are not workers' compensation payments in respect of an illness or injury and do not allow for the extension of the benefit period.

Furthermore, there will be an extension of the benefit period for any week during which the claimant was not entitled by reason of being in receipt of workers compensation payments for rehabilitation, training or vocational as these payments are paid as a result of an illness or injury.

It has been held that the provision allowing for an extension to the benefit period when a claimant is in receipt of workers compensation payments is not contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Footnote 35 .

1.5.6 Payments for preventative withdrawal of work

As with the extension to the qualifying period, receipt of payments under provincial law on the basis of having ceased work for the reason that continuing to work would have entailed danger to the claimant, the claimant's unborn child or a child whom the claimant is breast-feeding is grounds for extending the benefit period Footnote 36 . Counted in these weeks are those where the allocation of earnings prevented the payment of benefit Footnote 37 or delayed the waiting period Footnote 38 . The payments are to be allocated Footnote 39 in accordance with the type of benefits claimed Footnote 40 .

When the same situation gives rise to two reasons which prevent the payment of benefit, one which allows extension and the other does not, then as discussed earlier Footnote 41 , the extension will be granted.

1.5.7 Allocation of moneys

Moneys received by reason of a complete severance of the employer-employee relationship while a claimant's benefit period is in existence constitute grounds for an extension of the benefit period Footnote 42 . The extension makes it possible to freeze the passage of time for the weeks to which the moneys received are allocated.

In a situation where the allocation of moneys, in and of itself, prevents payment of benefits for a week, an extension for that week may be allowed. However, if the allocation is for a part week only and no benefits are payable because the claimant is disentitled for the full week, no extension will be granted for that week since the allocation did not prevent, in whole or in part, payment of benefits.

On the other hand, if benefits were payable despite the disentitling condition (i.e. a 2-day disentitlement) and the extension condition prevented payment of those benefits, the extension would be granted for that week.

[ May 2003 ]

1.5.8 Grounds for extension when special benefits are claimed

In the previous sections, the grounds for extension of the benefit period when regular benefits are paid have been explained Footnote 43 . Those same grounds apply to extend the benefit period when only special benefits (sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care or family caregiver benefits) are paid.

The legislation provides that any combination of special benefits can be paid within a benefit period Footnote 44 and that each type of special benefits has a maximum number of weeks which are payable within a benefit period Footnote 45 . There may be situations where a claimant is not able to collect the maximum number of weeks for the specific types of special benefit claimed within the existing benefit period.

In these circumstances, the legislation provides an additional ground to extend the benefit period so that the claimant may be paid the maximum weeks allowed for the types of special benefits claimed. This provision extends the time period during which special benefits are payable. The types of special benefits that are payable in the extended period, are the same types of special benefits paid during the original benefit period Footnote 46 .

The maximum length of a benefit period extended to allow a claimant to receive the maximum special benefits claimed is:

  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35), 67 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61), 93 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Family Caregiver benefits for Children (35), 102 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Family Caregiver benefits for Children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 93 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 78 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 87 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children(35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Sickness (15) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver Benefits for Children (35), 78 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 78 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26), 104 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Standard Parental (35) + Family Caregiver Benefits for Children (35), 87 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Extended Parental (61) + Family Caregiver Benefits for Children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Maternity (15) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 78 weeks;
  • Standard Parental (35) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 98 weeks;
  • Extended Parental (61) + Compassionate care benefits (26) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 104 weeks;
  • Standard Parental (35) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 72 weeks;
  • Extended Parental (61) + Family Caregiver benefits for children (35), 98 weeks

This extension can only be granted to a claimant when no regular benefits are paid in the benefit period. Furthermore, the benefit period will end when, “no further benefits are payable”. However, an extension for these reasons cannot result in a benefit period of more than 104 weeks Footnote 47 .

[ October 2013 ]

[ September 2006 ]

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