Employment Insurance (EI) Caregiving Benefit

Complex application

Tax filing not required

Employment Insurance (EI) Caregiving Benefits provide financial support to those who have to take time away from work to provide care or support an injured or gravely ill person who is at risk of dying.

You can receive benefits during the 52 weeks following the date the person is certified by a medical doctor/nurse practitioner to be critically ill, injured, or in need of end-of-life care.

  • You can take up to 26 weeks (6 months) of paid leave within this time frame, either all at once or in separate periods.
  • The weeks of benefits can be shared by eligible caregivers, either at the same time or one after another.
  • As a caregiver, you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for or support, but they must consider you to be like family.

You may be able to get this benefit if you:

  • Are a family member/considered to be family of the person who is critically ill, injured, or needing end-of-life care.
  • Have regular weekly earnings from work which decreased by more than 40 percent for at least one week because you needed to take time away from work to provide care or support to the person.
  • Accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of your claim, or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter. For example, 600 hours is equivalent to 15 weeks of work at 40 hours per week.
  • Have certification from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner that the person you are providing care or support to is critically ill, injured, or needing end-of-life care.

Social Insurance Number

For example:

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

Apply for EI Compassionate Care

  • Apply as soon as you stop working.
    • You can apply even if you don't have all your supporting documents.
    • If you don't apply more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.
  • Submit an online application to find out if you can get EI benefits.
    • It will take 60 minutes.
    • You will need personal information like:
      • Your SIN.
      • Banking information to set up direct deposit.
      • Information about your previous employment.
  • Submit your supporting documents to Service Canada by:


  • If you are not entitled to receive EI benefits, you will be contacted by letter or by telephone to explain why.
    • If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request a reconsideration.
  • If you are entitled to receive EI regular benefits, you should receive your first payment within 28 days of the date your application and all required documents are received.
    • Before you start receiving EI benefits, there may be one week for which you will not be paid - this is the "waiting period."
  • You will stop receiving benefits if:
    • The critically ill or injured person, or person needing end-of-life care, no longer requires your care or support
    • You or other caregivers have been paid for the maximum time period the benefit allows
    • You have received the maximum weeks of benefits payable to you when the benefit is combined with other types of EI benefits
    • 52 weeks have passed since the time the person was certified critically ill or injured, or certified as needing end-of-life care
    • You have reached the end of your claim period.

Last updated: August 12, 2022