Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles  Chapter 23 - Section 4

23.4.0 Compassionate care benefits with respect to other provisions

The impact of other provisions of the Employment Insurance Act during the payment of compassionate care benefits are covered in the sections that follow.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.1 Fishing claims

Budget 2021 measures alert – Temporary measures are in place from September 26, 2021 to September 24, 2022 which affects the following information:

  • the terms “minor attached” and “major attached” do not apply as the amount of insurable earnings required to be eligible for fishing benefits has been adjusted to $2500
  • increased entrance requirements still apply for accumulated violations

Fishers can establish a claim for compassionate care benefits based on their insurable employment in fishing. They will be entitled to compassionate care benefits if they are major attached, meaning they have $3,760 or more, of insurable earnings as a fisher, in their qualifying periodFootnote 1. However, if a fisher has accumulated a violation, more than $3,760Footnote 2 of insurable earnings will be required.

Like other claimants, fishers are entitled to receive special benefits to a maximum of 102 weeksFootnote 3.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.2 While disqualified or disentitled

The legislation provides that any disqualification will be deferredFootnote 4 or suspendedFootnote 5 during the period that a claimant is in receipt of special benefits, including compassionate care benefits. There is also a provision stating that any disentitlement under sections 31 to 33 of the EI Act will be suspended to allow a claimant to receive any special benefits, including compassionate benefitsFootnote 6.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.3 Labour dispute

A claimant who is subject to a disentitlement because of a labour disputeFootnote 7 at his or her place of employment, may have that disentitlement suspendedFootnote 8, in order to receive compassionate care benefits subject to proving entitlement to these benefits.

Before the disentitlement can be suspended, the claimant must prove that the leave of absence to care for a gravely ill family member was approved, or arrangements to be absent from work for this purpose, had begun with the employer before the start of the work stoppageFootnote 9.

A claimant who is in receipt of compassionate care benefits when a stoppage of work occurs, will not be affected by the provisions of the Act relating to labour disputes, during the period that claimant is in receipt of compassionate care benefits. However, a disentitlement may be imposed when the compassionate care benefits end, if the claimant is unable to resume his or her previous employment, because of a stoppage of work attributable to a labour disputeFootnote 10.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.4 Teaching and non-teaching period

A claimant employed in teaching may receive compassionate care benefits during both the teaching and non-teaching periodsFootnote 11, provided all the entitlement criteria for the payment of these benefits, are met.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.5 Outside Canada

A claimant who is outside Canada temporarily or permanently is entitled to compassionate care benefits for the purpose of providing care or support to a gravely ill family member with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks, unless their social insurance number has expired. A claimant in receipt of compassionate care benefits is not required to prove availability for work, and will not be disentitled for the sole reason of being out of the countryFootnote 12.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.6 Gravely ill family member resides outside Canada

A gravely ill family member may not always reside in Canada. A claimant may be required to leave Canada to provide care or support to this gravely ill family member. It will be necessary for the claimant to submit a medical certificate providing the same information that is required when the gravely ill family member resides in CanadaFootnote 13.

[ July 2014 ]

23.4.7 Other out of Canada situations and compassionate care benefits

There are other reasons set out in Regulation 55(1) which allow payment of regular EI benefits while outside CanadaFootnote 14. When a claimant is in receipt of compassionate care benefits while outside of Canada, entitlement to those benefits is adjudicated independently from the reasons for being outside Canada, set out in Regulation 55(1).

For the purposes of compassionate care benefits, while entitlement to these benefits would cease at the end of the week in which the critically ill family member dies Footnote 15 , claimants may require additional time off to attend the funeral. The existing adjudication principles should be applied in these situations to determine if the claimant could be entitled to regular benefits if the funeral is outside Canada.

[ July 2014 ]

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