When someone you love is critically ill or injured,you want to do everything in your power to care for them in their time of need. If you need to miss work to offer support, you may be eligible for Canadian Employment Insurance (EI).  


Through EI, caregivers who miss work to care for a loved one may receive financial assistance up to 55 percent of earnings to a maximum of $573 per week for up to 52 weeks. An eligible caregiver is a family member, or someone considered to be like family, who is participating in the care or support of someone who has been deemed by a medical professional to be critically ill, injured or in need of end-of-life care.  


In this case, the definition of “critically ill or injured” is reserved for someone whose “baseline state of health has changed significantly because of an illness or injury. As a result, their life is at risk and they need the care or support of at least one caregiver.” If the patient has a pre-existing chronic medical condition, caregivers are not eligible for benefits unless the person’s health significantly changes due to a “new and acute life-threatening event.”


To qualify, you will need to demonstrate that your regular weekly earnings have decreased by more than 40 percent for at least one week due to time away to provide care or support. You also will need to show you’ve accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the previous 52 weeks before the start of the claim.

Complete the application online.

It will take about an hour to complete the online application for EI caregiving benefits.  If you cannot get it done in one sitting, your information is saved for 72 hours.  


If you are a parent of a child with a disability or illness, check out our list of additional financial considerations that may be beneficial to your family.