Who is eligible?
To be entitled to maternity, parental or sickness benefits you must show that:
- your regular weekly earnings have been decreased by more than 40%; and
- you have accumulated 600 insured hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. This period is called the qualifying period.
The qualifying period is the shorter of:
- the 52 week-period immediately before the start date of a claim, or
- the period since the start of a previous EI claim if that claim had started during the 52 week-period.
How, where and when to apply
To receive maternity, parental or sickness benefits you must submit an EI application on-line or in person to your Service Canada Centre. You should apply as soon as you stop working, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed.
You must request your Record of Employment (ROE) from your last employer. If you have your ROE from your last employer, apply immediately. If you did not receive your last ROE, submit your application along with proof of employment — for example, pay stubs. If one or more ROE covering periods prior to your last employment are missing, you must still submit your claim for benefits.
Generally, a ROE must be issued within five (5) calendar days of the interruption of earnings or the date the employer becomes aware of the interruption.
What information/documents are needed to apply?
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
- a Record of Employment (ROE) from each job held over the last 52 weeks. If you do not have your ROE after 14 days from your last day of work, you must submit proof of employment such as pay stubs;
- personal identification such as your driver’s licence, birth certificate or passport if you are applying in person;
- your complete bank information, as shown on your cheque or bank statement or a voided personalized blank cheque from your current account. This will ensure that your payment of benefits will be made directly to your bank account with Direct Deposit;
- a medical certificate indicating how long your incapacity is expected to last, if you are claiming sickness benefits;
- the expected or actual date of birth of your child, if you are claiming maternity benefits;
- your newborn’s date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, your child’s date of placement, if you are claiming parental benefits. In the case of an adoption, you also need to provide the name and full address of the agency handling the adoption;
- your detailed version of facts if you have quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks;
- details regarding your most recent employment: Your total salary before deductions, your salary before deductions for your last week of work — from Sunday to your last day worked, gross amounts received or to be received, such as: vacation pay, pension, pay in lieu of notice or lay off and other monies.
The 1-week waiting period
You must serve a 1-week unpaid waiting period before your EI benefit begins to be paid. Generally, this period is the first week of your claim. This is like a deductible for any kind of insurance. On the other hand, if you reopen a claim for benefits in which you have already served a 1-week waiting period, you do not serve another 1-week waiting period.
How long can you receive maternity and parental benefits?
A combination of maternity and parental benefits can be received up to a combined maximum of 52 or 78 weeks.
How much will you receive?
Standard parental benefits:
The basic EI benefit rate is 55% of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $51,700 (as of January 1, 2018). This means you can receive a maximum payment of $547 per week (new EI maximum benefit as of January 1, 2018) (EI formula: maximum gross annual earnings of $51,700 ÷ 52 wks x 55% = $547 per week). Your EI payment is a taxable income, meaning federal and provincial taxes will be deducted.
Extended parental benefits:
Are paid at a weekly benefit rate of 33% of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount. For 2018, this means that you can receive a maximum amount of $328 per week for up to 61 weeks. (EI formula: maximum gross annual earnings of $51,700 ÷ 52 wks x 33% = $328 per week) (The amount of $328 can be increased if you are eligible to receive the Family Supplement).