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FinancialNavigator

Income Programs

The federal and provincial governments administer different income security programs that are intended to offer short-term or long-term financial help when you become ill.  


Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit

A federal program that provides short-term financial assistance to qualifying applicants for up to 15 weeks.   It is designed to offset income loss when a person is ill and unable to work temporarily

To qualify, you had to have completed at least 600 hours of insurable employment in the past 52 weeks (or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter) and your normal weekly earnings must have been reduced by more than 40%.  If you are already receiving a short-term illness benefit payment from your employer, you should check with the employer to see at what point you should be applying for the EI Sickness Benefit.

If you do not have access to any short-term illness benefits through your employer, then apply for the EI Sickness Benefit as soon as your employment ends.  This is important.  You risk not being eligible for benefits if you delay the application longer than four weeks from your last date of employment.

The amount paid is approximately 55% of your average weekly earnings.  There is a maximum amount of benefit paid per week.    

You apply on-line.  There is information you will need to prepare ahead of time.  For more details, see our section on the EI Sickness Benefit in the Database

If you are not able to continue with your present employment but are still able willing and able to work, you may want to visit the Service Canada information on Employment Insurance Regular benefits.

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If you have additional information that would be helpful to include in this tool please email cbcn@cbcn.ca or call us at 1-800-685-8820.

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