EI Caregiving benefits and leave: Eligibility

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

Changes to support you during COVID-19

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI caregiving benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year and could apply to you:

  • 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.

The information provided below should be used as a guideline. You are encouraged to apply for benefits and allow a Service Canada representative to determine if you are eligible.

You will need to demonstrate that:

  • You are a family member of the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care, or you are considered to be like a family member
  • Your regular weekly earnings from work have decreased by more than 40% for at least one week because you need to take time away from work to provide care or support to the person
  • You accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of your claim, or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter. For example, 600 hours is equivalent to 15 weeks of work at 40 hours per week Temporary COVID-19 relief
  • A medical doctor or nurse practitioner has certified that the person you are providing care or support to is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care

If you are not a family member

If you are not a family member, either the person needing care or support or their legal representative must complete an attestation form to confirm that they consider you to be like family. For a child, the parent or legal guardian must sign the form to confirm.

If you are self-employed

If you registered for access to EI special benefits for self-employed people and waited 12 months from the date of your confirmed registration, you may be eligible for these benefits. You must also meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are a family member of the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care, or you are considered to be like a family member
  • The amount of time you spend on your business has decreased by more than 40% for at least one week because you need to provide care or support to the person
  • You have earned a minimum amount of self-employed earnings during the calendar year before the year you submit your claim. For 2020, you need to have earned at least $7,279 in 2019
  • A medical doctor or nurse practitioner has certified that the person you are providing care or support to is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care
If the person you are caring for lives outside Canada

If you leave Canada to provide care or support to a person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care, you may still be eligible to receive these benefits. You must submit an application and supporting documents with the same type of proof that is required for someone living in Canada.

The medical certificate for the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care should be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner in the country where they are receiving care.

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