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Taking time off work: For new and expecting parents

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Parental benefits

EI rules have changed because of COVID-19. As of September 26, 2021, there is a new minimum EI payment of $300 per week for standard benefits. The maximum of $595 per week still applies.

If you choose to take extended benefits, then the minimum amount will be $180 per week.

This change applies to claims started between September 26 and November 20, 2021.

EI parental benefits are for all new parents, not just birth mothers.

You can choose to get standard benefits or extended benefits.

Standard benefits: You can get parental benefits for up to 35 weeks. You will get 55% of your previous earnings, up to a maximum of $595 per week.

You cannot receive these benefits later than 52 weeks after your child is born or placed with you for adoption, unless your child was hospitalized during that time.

If both parents have worked enough hours to receive EI parental benefits, they can share these benefits. If you share, you can get an extra 5 weeks of benefits. You can share the 40 weeks any way you like, as long as no one parent gets more than 35 weeks. For example, one parent could claim 25 weeks and the other could claim 15 weeks.

Extended benefits: If you choose extended benefits, you can get parental benefits for up to 61 weeks. You will get 33% of your previous earnings, up to a maximum of $357 per week.

You cannot receive these benefits later than 78 weeks (about 18 months) after your child is born or placed with you for adoption, unless your child was hospitalized during that time.

If both parents have worked enough hours to receive EI parental benefits, they can share up to 69 weeks of benefits. You can share them any way you like, as long as no one parent gets more than 61 weeks. For example, one parent could claim 38 weeks and the other could claim 31 weeks.