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Taking time off work: For new and expecting parents

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Maternity benefits

Only parents 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 you usually cannot continue to receive them later than 17 weeks after your baby was due or was born, whichever is later.

Usually, there is a one-week “waiting period” to get EI. You do not receive 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.

Most parents get 55% of their previous earnings up to a maximum of $638 per week.