Employment Insurance Parental Leave Benefits
What are Employment Insurance (EI) Parental Leave Benefits?
Parental benefits are payable either to parents who are caring for a newborn or newly adopted child or children, up to a maximum of 35 weeks.
What is the eligibility criteria for EI Parental Leave Benefits?
To be entitled to maternity or parental 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, if it started in the last 52 weeks. This period is called the qualifying period.
What information do I need to apply for EI Parental Leave Benefits?
You must submit an application online at www.canada.ca.
You will need the following information when applying:
- your social insurance number;
- your mother’s maiden name;
- your mailing and residential addresses including your postal code;
- your banking information for direct deposit ;
- the expected or actual date of your child’s birth;
- names, addresses, dates of employment and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks;
- Your detailed version of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any employer in the last 52 weeks;
- The dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last claim whichever is the shorter period.
How long can I receive EI Parental Leave Benefits?
When applying for EI parental benefits you will have to select under which option you choose to claim EI parental benefits: standard or extended.
- 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. The weekly benefit rate is 55% of the claimant’s average weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum amount. The two parents can share these 35 weeks of standard parental benefits.
- 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. The benefit rate is 33% of the claimant’s average weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum amount. The two parents can share these 61 weeks of extended parental benefits.
- You can choose to claim extended parental benefits only if your child was born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after December 3, 2017.
What if my child is hospitalized after birth?
If your newborn or newly adopted child is hospitalized, you can choose to claim parental benefits immediately following the child's birth/placement or when he/she comes home from the hospital. In either case, you could receive 35 weeks of parental benefits. Each week your child is hospitalized extends the period in which you can claim parental benefits, up to a maximum of 104 weeks. You must provide a proof of the child's hospitalization.
When will I start receiving my EI Parental Leave Benefits?
Parental benefits for parents and their partners are payable from the child's birth date and for adoptive parents and their partners from the date the child is placed with you. Parental benefits are only available within the 52 weeks following the child's birth, or from the date of placement in the case of adoption. If you have filed all of the necessary documentation, you will likely begin receiving EI Parental Leave Benefits approximately 28 days after filing your claim.
Do I need to serve a waiting period to receive EI Parental Leave Benefits?
Yes you must serve a waiting period in order to receive benefits. Prior to 2017 the waiting period was 2 weeks. Effective January 1, 2017 the waiting period is one week.
The waiting period can be waived, if you were in receipt of sickness or maternity benefits, or if the other parent has served the waiting period.
How long can I receive EI Parental Leave Benefits if my spouse is receiving EI Maternity Benefits?
Both parents can apply for EI parental benefits, but they have to share them. Furthermore, both parents are required to choose the same parental benefit option, either standard or extended. The option chosen by the first claimant who completes the EI application will be considered as the option chosen by the second claimant. The choice is final once parental benefits have been paid on a claim. This means that you cannot change between standard and extended once parental benefits have been paid
For additional information regarding Employment Insurance Parental Leave Benefits contact Service Canada at 1-800-622-6232 or online at www.servicecanada.ca.
If you wish to contact the Pensions and Benefits unit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This publication contains general information and is intended as a reference only. It is not intended as a substitute for independent legal advice regarding your particular situation.