What are compassionate care benefits?

Compassionate Care Benefits are a type of Employment Insurance (EI) benefit.

You can apply for these benefits if you have to take time off work to care for a very sick family member. Your sick family member must be at risk of dying within 26 weeks. Your family member must be on the list of qualifying family members.

You can get compassionate care benefits even if the severely ill member of your family lives outside Canada.

In this case, you need to meet the same conditions that would apply if that person were in Canada. You must tell Service Canada if you will leave Canada to care for the sick family member. Call 1-800-206-7218 or go to a Service Canada Centre.

Am I eligible for compassionate care benefits?

To be eligible for compassionate care benefits you must show that:

  • You are losing 40% or more of your weekly income;
  • You have worked 600 hours or more during the last 52 weeks or since your last claim; and
  • Your sick family member is at risk of dying within 26 weeks. You must submit a medical certificate to show this.

Find detailed information about who is eligible for compassionate care benefits.

How much are compassionate care benefits?

Usually, compassionate care benefits are 55% of your average insured income.

Compassionate care benefit payments are taxable, which means that the government will take taxes from your payment. Find detailed information about how the government calculates your compassionate care benefit claim.

If you are from a low-income family, you may qualify for more. Find more information about how you may get more from the family supplement.

How long can I get compassionate care benefits for?

You can get compassionate care benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks within a 52 week period. You can share these weeks with other eligible family members.

You may be able to combine some types of benefits to extend the period of time that you can collect compassionate benefits. Also, there are some restrictions about when the period can start and end. Find detailed information about the period that you can get compassionate care benefits.

For More Information

  • Compassionate Care Benefits - Official information about eligibility, how to apply, length of benefits and amount of benefits. From Service Canada.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) - Official information about EI. From Service Canada.
  • Special Benefits (Video) - This short video has information about special benefits, including maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits. From Service Canada.
  • Employment Insurance - This booklet has clear language information about Employment Insurance. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
Last updated: December 28, 2016 4001642