EI compassionate care benefit - Overview

Starting December 3, access to EI caregiving benefits will be improved by allowing medical doctors and nurse practitioners to sign medical certificates for Compassionate Care benefits claims.

1. Overview

Compassionate care benefits are Employment Insurance (EI) benefits paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death. A maximum of 26 weeks of compassionate care benefits may be paid to eligible people.

What is "care or support"?

Care or support of a family member means:

  • providing psychological or emotional support; or
  • arranging for care by a third party; or
  • directly providing or participating in the care.

Who is considered a family member?

You can receive compassionate care benefits for a variety of family members—both yours and those of your spouse or common-law partner.

Family members
Your family members Family members of your spouse or common-law partner
Children Children
Wife, husband, common-law partner
Father, mother Father, mother (married or common law)
Father's wife, mother's husband Father's wife, mother's husband
Common-law partner of the father or the mother Common-law partner of the father or the mother of your spouse or common-law partner
Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters
Grandparents, stepgrandparents Grandparents
Grandchildren, their spouses or common-law partners Grandchildren
Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law) Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law)
Father-in-law, mother-in-law (married or common law)
Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law (married or common law)
Uncles, aunts, their spouses or common-law partners Uncles, aunts
Nephews, nieces, their spouses or common-law partners Nephews, nieces
Current or former foster parents Current or former foster parents
Current or former foster children, their spouses or common-law partners
Current or former wards Current or former wards
Current or former guardians, their spouses or common-law partners

Note: A common-law partner is a person who has been living in a conjugal relationship with another person for at least a year.

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