Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today highlighted increased financial support proposed for individuals taking care of family members facing a significant risk of death.
Compassionate care benefits, which are provided through the Employment Insurance (EI) program, are available to individuals temporarily away from work to care for a sick family member with a significant risk of death. Effective January 3, 2016, the proposed enhanced benefit will allow claimants to collect up to 26 weeks of benefits, up from the current 6 weeks. The benefits can also be taken within an expanded period of 52 weeks (up from 26 weeks) and can be shared between family members.
The enhancements being made to compassionate care benefits through Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2015 reaffirm the Government’s commitment to helping families receive the support they need as they care for loved ones at end-of-life across Canada and in Sault Ste. Marie.
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian families. The changes we are making through Economic Action Plan 2015 will ensure that families are able to care for their loved ones. I am pleased that families in Sault Ste. Marie and across the country will be able to access these enhanced benefits when needed.” said Bryan Hayes, MP
Today’s announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. To help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.
· EAP 2015 proposes to invest up to an additional $37 million annually to extend the duration of compassionate care benefits from the current six weeks to six months, as of January 2016. Through this enhancement, the Government is ensuring that the EI program continues to help Canadians when they need it most.
· Since March 24, 2013, the Helping Families in Need Act has allowed parents to suspend the payment of their EI parental benefits if they become ill or are injured, and collect EI sickness benefits. They may resume collecting the balance of their parental benefits thereafter, if needed.
· Under EAP 2014, the Government allowed additional flexibility to claimants in receipt of EI compassionate care benefits or EI benefits for parents of critically ill children (PCIC) to convert to EI sickness benefits if they become ill or are injured, and to resume collecting the balance of their parental benefits thereafter, if needed.
· The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase from $100 to $160 per month (totalling up to $1,920 per year) for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a new benefit of $60 per month (up to $720 per year) for each child aged 6 through 17.