EI Maternity and Parental Benefits - How much could you receive

3. How much could you receive

We cannot tell you exactly how much you will receive before we process your application.

The basic rate for calculating EI maternity benefits is 55% of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2017, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $51,300. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $543 per week.

The basic rate for calculating EI parental benefits depends on the option you choose:

Standard parental benefits are paid at a weekly benefit rate of 55% of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount. For 2017, this means that you can receive a maximum amount of $543 per week for up to 35 weeks.

Extended parental benefits are paid at a weekly benefit rate of 33% of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount. For 2017, this means that you can receive a maximum amount of $326 per week for up to 61 weeks. (The amount of $326 can be increased if you are eligible to receive the Family Supplement).

Calculation of benefits

The amount of weekly benefits is calculated as follows:

  • We calculate your total insurable earnings for the required number of best weeks (the weeks that you earned the most money, including insurable tips and commissions) based on the information you provide and/or your Record(s) of Employment
  • We determine the divisor (required number of best weeks) that corresponds to your regional rate of unemployment
  • We divide your total insurable earnings for your best weeks by your required number of best weeks
  • We then multiply the result by 55% for maternity benefits and for standard parental benefits or by 33% for extended parental benefits to obtain the amount of your weekly benefits.

In regions of Canada with the highest rates of unemployment, we will calculate using the best 14 weeks; in regions of Canada with the lowest rates of unemployment, we will use the best 22 weeks. In other regions, the number of weeks used to calculate benefits will be somewhere between 14 and 22, depending on the unemployment rate in those regions.

Number of Variable Best Weeks calculation rates
Regional rate of unemployment Required weeks
6% or less 22
6.1% to 7% 21
7.1% to 8% 20
8.1% to 9% 19
9.1% to 10% 18
10.1% to 11% 17
11.1% to 12% 16
12.1% to 13% 15
13.1% or more 14

To find out the rate of unemployment in your region, visit EI Program Characteristics.

Family Supplement

If we determine that your net family income is $25,921 or less per year, that you have children, and that you or your spouse receives the Canada Child Benefit, you are considered a member of a low-income family. You may therefore be eligible to receive the EI Family Supplement. It would be applied automatically by Service Canada. No action is required from you.

The amount of EI Family Supplement you receive depends on:

  • your net family income (up to the $25,921 yearly maximum); and
  • the number of children in your family, and their ages.

The Family Supplement may increase your benefit rate to as high as 80% of your average insurable earnings. If you and your spouse claim EI benefits at the same time, only one of you can receive the Family Supplement. It is usually better for the spouse with the lower benefit rate to receive the Family Supplement.

If your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases. You are no longer eligible to receive the Family Supplement when your net family income is greater than $25,921.

When you receive money during the waiting period

Any amounts you receive that are allocated to the one week waiting period, including vacation pay or severance pay, will be deducted dollar for dollar from the first three weeks of benefits that you are entitled to receive.

How long you could receive maternity or parental benefits

A maximum of 15 weeks of EI maternity benefits is available. Benefits can be paid as early as 12 weeks before the expected date of birth and can end as late as 17 weeks after the actual date of birth.

EI standard parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 35 weeks and must be claimed within a 52-week period (12 months) after the week the child was born or placed for the purpose of adoption.

EI extended parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 61 weeks and must be claimed within a 78-week period (18 months) after the week the child was born or placed for the purpose of adoption.

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