EI maternity and parental benefits: What these benefits offer

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Important notice: If your child was born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019, and you share Employment Insurance parental benefits with another parent, you may be eligible for:

  • 5 extra weeks of standard parental benefits, or
  • 8 extra weeks of extended parental benefits

Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits provide financial assistance to:

  • people who are away from work because they're pregnant or have recently given birth
  • parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child

You could receive up to 55% of your earnings, to a maximum of $562 a week.

Residents of Quebec

The Province of Quebec is responsible for providing maternity, paternity, parental and adoption benefits to its residents. Visit the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan for more information.

Maternity benefits

Maternity benefits are only available to the person who is away from work because they're pregnant or have recently given birth. They cannot be shared between parents.

The person receiving maternity benefits may also be entitled to parental benefits.

Parental benefits

Parental benefits are available to the parents of a newborn or newly adopted child.

You must choose between 2 options:

  1. Standard parental benefits
  2. Extended parental benefits

Your choice determines the number of weeks and the weekly amount you'll receive.

If sharing, each parent must choose the same option and submit their own application. Parents can receive their weeks of benefits at the same time or one after another.

Once you start receiving parental benefits, you cannot change options.

Benefit overview

Benefit name Maximum weeks Benefit rate Weekly max
Maternity (for the person giving birth) up to 15 weeks 55% up to $562

Maternity benefits can be followed by parental benefits. You can apply for both at once.

Benefit name Maximum weeks Benefit rate Weekly max
Standard parental up to 40 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits 55% up to $562
Extended parental up to 69 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits 33% up to $337

Examples

Maternity plus standard parental benefits

Natalie is taking time off work to recover from childbirth. She is sharing parental benefits with her partner to care for their newborn. She takes the maximum:

15 weeks of maternity

+35 weeks of standard parental

=50 weeks total for Natalie

Her partner can apply for up to 5 weeks of standard parental benefits to care for the baby.

If Natalie chooses to take fewer weeks of parental benefits, her partner can apply for more.

Maternity plus extended parental benefits

Kelsey is taking time off work to recover from childbirth. She is sharing extended parental benefits with her partner to care for their newborn. She takes the maximum:

15 weeks of maternity

+61 weeks of extended parental

=76 weeks total for Kelsey

Her partner can apply for up to 8 weeks of extended parental benefits to care for the baby.

If Kelsey chooses to take fewer weeks of parental benefits, her partner can apply for more.

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