EI maternity and parental benefits: After you apply

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

After you apply

When payments start

You'll receive your first payment about 28 days after you apply if you're eligible and have submitted all required information. If you're not eligible, we'll notify you of the decision made about your application.

Waiting period

Before you start receiving benefits, there is one week for which you won't be paid. We call this the waiting period. It's like the deductible that you must pay for other types of insurance.

If you apply for both maternity and parental benefits, you only need to serve the waiting period once.

If you're sharing parental benefits for the same child, only one parent will serve the waiting period.

While receiving benefits

While receiving benefits, you must continue to be eligible. Please contact Service Canada if you:

  • stop providing care for your child while receiving parental benefits
  • start working or earn money. For more information on how earnings impact your benefits, visit Working while on claim

If you don't inform Service Canada of these changes, you risk being overpaid and having to repay benefits.

If your situation changes

You may be eligible for other benefits. This could include sickness benefits if you become ill or caregiving benefits if your child becomes critically ill or injured. You must meet the conditions for each benefit.

If you travel outside of Canada

As long as you continue to meet eligibility conditions, you can still receive maternity and parental benefits while outside Canada.

We encourage you to contact Service Canada to speak with an agent who can give you advice on your specific circumstances.

Check or update your information

With My Service Canada Account, you can check the status of your Employment Insurance (EI) application. You can also:

  • view and update your personal information
  • find out when your payments start and end
  • sign up for direct deposit or change your direct deposit details

When payments end

Maternity benefits

You stop receiving benefits if:

  • you've received 15 weeks of maternity benefit payments
  • 17 weeks have passed since your due date or the date you gave birth, whichever is later
  • you've received the maximum weeks of benefits payable to you when combining EI benefit types or
  • you have reached the end of your claim period
    • when you start a claim for any type of EI benefit, your claim is open for a certain period of time. This is usually 52 weeks. In some situations, the claim period may be extended to a maximum of 2 years
Standard parental benefits

You stop receiving benefits if:

  • you've received all standard parental benefit payments you applied for, up to a maximum of 35 weeks
  • the maximum of 40 weeks has been paid to parents sharing benefits
  • 52 weeks have passed since your child was born or placed for the purpose of adoption
  • you stop providing care for your child
  • you've received the maximum weeks of benefits payable to you when combining EI benefit types or
  • you have reached the end of your claim period
    • when you start a claim for any type of EI benefit, your claim is open for a certain period of time. This is usually 52 weeks. In some situations, the claim period may be extended to a maximum of 2 years
Extended parental benefits

You stop receiving benefits if:

  • you've received all extended parental benefit payments you applied for, up to a maximum of 61 weeks
  • the maximum of 69 weeks has been paid to parents sharing benefits
  • 78 weeks have passed since your child was born or placed for the purpose of adoption
  • you stop providing care for your child
  • you've received the maximum weeks of benefits payable to you when combining EI benefit types or
  • you have reached the end of your claim period
    • when you start a claim for any type of EI benefit, your claim is open for a certain period of time. For extended parental benefits, this period is up to 78 weeks. In some situations, the claim period may be extended to a maximum of 2 years

If you disagree with the decision on your application for EI benefits

You can request a reconsideration of the decision. You must submit a request for reconsideration within 30 days after the day the decision was communicated to you. You can contact Service Canada to help you with your reconsideration request.

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