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Help me make sense of my EI entitlements
October 17, 2012 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Can someone explain the EI benefits period to me?

I'm finally caving and applying for EI sickness benefits after my latest chemo regimen kicked my ass and landed me in the hospital for two weeks. I'm not doing too badly now and we've stopped the drug that led to the hospitalization, but my energy is still pretty compromised and I may have to change to a different chemo protocol in a month if this trial isn't working to stabilize my progression.

I have a good top-up program through work (95%) so I'm not concerned about a significant income reduction. But I don't quite understand the benefits period. I'm allowed to take a maximum of 15 weeks in a 52-week period. Say I start sickness benefits on November 1, 2012 and take eight weeks of leave. This means I can take another seven weeks of leave at any point between February 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013, right?

Assuming that understanding is correct, how does it work if I want to take another leave in the following 52 weeks? Am I entitled to do that as long as I've worked 600 hours in the previous 52-week period? Could I take the remaining seven weeks of my EI sickness benefits from September 7, 2013 until October 31, 2013 and then roll into another 15 weeks of benefits beginning November 1st, 2013? (Essentially taking 22 consecutive weeks of EI benefits.)

Basically, I'm not sure what my options are if I am splitting up my 15 weeks throughout a 52-week period rather than taking them all at once. The government website doesn't provide a lot of clarity on this matter.

Relevant info - I'm in Toronto, ON, employed full-time with the same company for three years.
posted by Felicity Rilke to Work & Money (3 answers total)
 
Your claim should be good for one year. After you take your 8 weeks of benefits, and go back to work, just keep filling out your two week reports and report your income. This keeps your claim active. Even if you don't fill out the reports, you'll be able to reactivate your claim anytime in the year, but I think they will make you do another two-week waiting period, like when you first start EI.

(should say, this is all true as far as I know, unless its different for sickness benefits which I've never done before. also the rules are changing in the new year)

Could I take the remaining seven weeks of my EI sickness benefits from September 7, 2013 until October 31, 2013 and then roll into another 15 weeks of benefits beginning November 1st, 2013? (Essentially taking 22 consecutive weeks of EI benefits.)

Theoretically, yes this should work, as long as you've worked the minimum hours.
posted by mannequito at 1:30 PM on October 17, 2012


This is a question that one of the Service Canada folks can probably help with: 1-800-206-7218
posted by girlpublisher at 1:35 PM on October 17, 2012


Yeah, I'm seconding girlpublisher. This stuff is damn tricky at the best of times, but the Service Canada people are top notch in helping you sort it out. Definitely prep a list of questions to ask them first though. It's easy to get lost in the details.

Good luck with everything!
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2012


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