Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 22 - Section 5
22.5.0 Attending a course of instruction
Family caregiver benefits are payable to eligible claimants who are providing care or support to a critically ill care recipient.
However, an individual claiming these benefits is not expected to cease all other activity. As long as the eligible claimant is providing the necessary care or support for the critically ill care recipient, and depending on the number of hours devoted to the course of instruction, it is acceptable to attend a course of instruction on the claimant’s own initiative, while in receipt of family caregiver benefits, as availability for work is not a factor in determining entitlement to receive these benefits.
The individual can still be considered to be providing care or support to the critically ill care recipient, when doing so outside the hours of another activity. The fact that a claimant may not provide direct care while devoting time to the course of instruction, does not mean that the claimant will automatically be denied benefits. However, when the claimant's reason for not working is not, or ceases to be, to care for the critically ill care recipient, entitlement to family caregiver benefits is not proven, and the claimant may be subject to a disentitlement. The circumstances of each case must be considered individually.
There may be situations where it may be determined that a claimant is not meeting the condition of providing care or support to the critically ill care recipient. An example of this would be where the claimant, who is receiving these benefits, leaves the critically ill care recipient withanother family member in Ottawa and moves to Vancouver to attend a course, thereby not providing care or support to the critically ill care recipient, for an extended period of time. The claimant in that case would have a difficult time proving he was providing care or support to the critically ill care recipient, within the meaning of the Act. Again, each case must be determined on its own merits.
22.5.1 Approved course or other employment activity under Section 25 of the EI Act
In order to be referred to a course of instruction or employment activity under Section 25 of the EI Act, the claimant must be an “unemployed worker”. Generally it is assumed that claimants who are collecting family caregiver benefits are on a leave of absence from their employment, and would not be “unemployed workers” as they have a job to return to. Generally, referrals to an approved course or employment activity under Section 25 of the EI Act would not be made for these claimants.
See Chapter 19.2.6 of the Digest for more information on entitlement to family caregiver benefits while attending an approved course or other employment activities, to which a claimant was referred by a designated authority, under Section 25 of the EI Act.
See Chapter 19.2.7 of the Digest for more information on disqualification from benefits, where a claimant withdraws from a course or employment activity to which they were referred under Section 25 of the EI Act, to provide care and support to a critically ill care recipient.
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