EI compassionate care benefit - Overview

1. Overview

Compassionate care benefits are Employment Insurance (EI) benefits paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death. A maximum of 26 weeks of compassionate care benefits may be paid to eligible people.

What is "care or support"?

Care or support of a family member means:

  • providing psychological or emotional support; or
  • arranging for care by a third party; or
  • directly providing or participating in the care.

Who is considered a family member?

You can receive compassionate care benefits for a variety of family members—both yours and those of your spouse or common-law partner.

Family members
Your family members Family members of your spouse or common-law partner
Children Children
Wife, husband, common-law partner  
Father, mother Father, mother (married or common law)
Father's wife, mother's husband Father's wife, mother's husband
Common-law partner of the father or the mother Common-law partner of the father or the mother of your spouse or common-law partner
Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters
Grandparents, stepgrandparents Grandparents
Grandchildren, their spouses or common-law partners Grandchildren
Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law) Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law)
Father-in-law, mother-in-law (married or common law)  
Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law (married or common law)  
Uncles, aunts, their spouses or common-law partners Uncles, aunts
Nephews, nieces, their spouses or common-law partners Nephews, nieces
Current or former foster parents Current or former foster parents
Current or former foster children, their spouses or common-law partners  
Current or former wards Current or former wards
Current or former guardians, their spouses or common-law partners  

Note: A common-law partner is a person who has been living in a conjugal relationship with another person for at least a year.

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