EI sickness benefits: What these benefits offer

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

Changes to support you during COVID-19

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI sickness benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year and could apply to you:

  • You only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you'll get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help you meet the required 600 insured hours of work
  • You'll receive at least $500 per week before taxes but you could receive more
  • If you received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week.

You must get a medical certificate to show that you’re unable to work for medical reasons. Medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine or any medical condition that prevents you from working.

Find out if you have employer-paid sick leave

Some employers provide their own paid sick leave or short-term disability plan. Before you apply for EI sickness benefits, check with your employer to find out if they have a plan in place.

If you have a long-term or permanent disability

If your medical condition is expected to be long-term or permanent, you may be eligible for other benefits such as:

If you get sick or require bed rest during pregnancy

If you have health complications during pregnancy, you could be eligible for sickness benefits or maternity benefits. You must meet the conditions for each benefit.

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