Employment Insurance

Having a baby is singlehandedly the most amazing experience of your life. Stressing about money while you’re taking time to bond with your child is not. That’s where Employment Insurance comes in!


To be entitled to maternity and/or parental benefits you must show that:

Self-employed people who register for the EI program may also be eligible to receive maternity and/or parental benefits.

Qualifying period

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52 week-period immediately before the start date of a claim, or
  • the period since the start of a previous EI claim if that claim had started during the 52 week-period.
How, where and when to apply

To receive maternity and/or parental benefits you must submit an EI application online or in person to your Service Canada Centre.

If you wish to have your benefits start immediately after you stop working, you should apply as soon as you stop working, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed.  We will let you know if the money you receive will affect the payment of benefits.  Delaying in filing your claim for benefits beyond 4 weeks from the time your earnings have decreased by more than 40% may cause.

At the same time you are applying for maternity benefits, you and your partner can also apply for parental benefits.

When will you receive your first payment?

If we have all the required information and if you qualify for benefits, your payment will be issued usually within 28 days from the date of filing your claim. If you do not qualify, we will notify you of the decision made on your claim.

How long can you receive maternity and parental benefits?

In most situations, a combination of maternity and parental benefits can be received up to a combined maximum of 50 weeks.  Sometimes less than 50 weeks would be payable, for example, when a person had earnings or worked during their benefit period. In order to get paid...

A payment cannot be issued to you without a completed claimant's report. If you are applying for maternity and/or parental benefits and have chosen not to complete reports, your payments will be made directly to your bank account with Direct Deposit. 

Along with your Benefit statement you will also receive instructions on how to complete your report with our Internet reporting service or our Telephone reporting service. If you cannot complete your claimant's reports by Internet or by telephone, you will need to complete and mail them to us. To find out how to complete your claimant's report by mail, just follow these step-by-step instructions.

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