EI caregiving benefits and leave: What caregiving benefits offer
Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.
Changes to support you during COVID-19
Temporary changes have been made to the EI program to help you access EI caregiving benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 25, 2021, and could apply to you:
- the waiting period may be waived
- you only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you'll get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help you meet the required 600 insured hours of work
- you'll receive at least $500 per week before taxes but you could receive more
- if you received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.
Through Employment Insurance, you could receive financial assistance of up to 55% of your earnings, to a maximum of $595 a week. These benefits will help you take time away from work to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care.
As a caregiver, you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for or support, but they must consider you to be like family.
The 3 types of caregiving benefits
|Benefit name||Maximum weeks payable||Who you are providing care to|
|Family caregiver benefit for children||up to 35 weeks||A critically ill or injured person under 18|
|Family caregiver benefit for adults||up to 15 weeks||A critically ill or injured person 18 or over|
|Compassionate care benefits||up to 26 weeks||A person of any age who requires end-of-life care|
You can receive benefits during the 52 weeks following the date the person is certified by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner to be critically ill or injured or in need of end-of-life care. You can take the weeks of benefits within this timeframe either all at once or in separate periods.
The weeks of benefits can be shared by eligible caregivers, either at the same time or one after another.
A caregiver is a family member or someone who is considered to be like family providing care or support to the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care.
A family member includes immediate family as well as other relatives and individuals considered to be like family, whether or not related by marriage, common-law partnership, or any legal parent-child relationship.
Care or support
Care is defined as participating in the care of a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care.
Support is defined as providing psychological or emotional support to a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care.
Critically ill or injured person
A critically ill or injured person is someone whose baseline state of health has changed significantly because of illness or injury. As a result, their life is at risk and they need the care or support of at least one caregiver. Their condition must be certified by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
If the person is already living with a chronic medical condition, caregivers are not eligible for benefits unless the person’s health changes significantly because of a new and acute life-threatening event.
End-of-life care is defined as providing care or support to a person who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (6 months).
The person also requires the care or support of at least 1 caregiver. Their condition must be certified by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
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