Maternity benefits

Only people who give birth can get EI maternity benefits. Maternity benefits are sometimes called pregnancy benefits.

You cannot start your maternity benefits earlier than 12 weeks before your due date. And usually you cannot continue to get them later than 17 weeks after your baby was due or was born, whichever is later.

Most people must wait one week before they get EI. This means that you do not get EI benefits for the first week you are off work.

You can get maternity benefits for up to 15 weeks. Because of the one-week waiting period, you must take at least 16 weeks off work to get the full 15 weeks of maternity benefits. Your pregnancy leave through the Employment Standards Act can be up to 17 weeks. This means that if you take all of the leave you are allowed to take, there will be 2 weeks when you do not get EI benefits. Read more about pregnancy leave here.

Most parents get 55% of what they were earning before they started getting EI. The most they can get is $650 a week.

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