Caregiving benefits and leave: Eligibility

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Eligibility

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
  • 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 2018, you need to have earned at least $6,947 in 2017
  • 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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