August 09, 2012
Government of Canada announces support for parents of critically ill or injured children
“Our Government is committed to supporting parents and families,” said Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright. “This new 35-week EI special benefit will provide income support to parents who leave work to care for their critically ill or injured children.”
As with other EI special benefits, applicants will need to have worked a minimum of 600 hours in the last year and take leave from their employment to be eligible – the Canada Labour Code will be amended to protect the jobs of employees under federal jurisdiction while they receive this benefit.
Self-employed workers will need to have earned income in the previous calendar year to be eligible for the benefit, and all applicants will need to submit a medical certificate signed by a Canadian-certified pediatrician or medical specialist.
The new EI special benefit will help an estimated 6,000 families per year and cost about $60 million per year. The income support measure is expected to be available in June 2013 to allow time to put proper systems in place and amend the EI Act and Regulations.
“This special benefit is part of our Government’s continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities,” said Benoit. Other measures include expanding eligibility for compassionate care benefits, allowing self-employed workers to opt into the EI program, and improving access to EI parental benefits for military and foster families.