What are maternity and parental benefits?

Maternity and parental benefits are types of Employment Insurance benefits.

You can apply for these benefits if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • A mother or father caring for a newborn baby or an adopted child

Am I eligible for maternity and parental benefits?

To be eligible for maternity or parental benefits you must show:

  • 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
  • When you expect your baby to be born, the date your baby was born, or when your adopted child was placed with you.

Only mothers can be eligible for maternity benefits. Both mothers and fathers can be eligible for parental benefits.

Find detailed information about who is eligible for maternity and parental benefits.

How much are maternity and parental benefits?

Usually, maternity and parental benefits are 55% of your average insured income, up to $537 per week.

Maternity and parental benefit payments are taxable, which means that the government will take taxes from your payment. Find detailed information about how the government calculates your EI payments.

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 maternity and parental benefits?

You can get maternity benefits for a maximum of 15 weeks. You can get parental benefits for a maximum of 35 weeks. You can combine these for a total of 50 weeks.

You may also be able to combine maternity or parental benefits with sickness benefits. There are some restrictions about when the period can start and end.

Find detailed information about the period that you can get maternity and parental benefits.

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Last updated: April 12, 2017 4001638