GATINEAU, QC, June 9, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister
of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced today that the new
federal income support for parents of critically ill children is now
available through the Employment Insurance (EI) program. This
initiative is part of the Harper Government's continued commitment to
helping families through the Helping Families in Need Act.
The new Parents of Critically Ill Children (PCIC) benefit will provide
up to 35 weeks of temporary income support to eligible parents who take
time off work to provide care or support for their critically ill or
injured child under the age of 18.
"Our Government is making targeted, common-sense changes to ensure that
the Employment Insurance program helps families when they need it
most," said Minister Finley. "The new EI benefit for parents of
critically ill children is another way our Government is ensuring that
the EI program better responds to the needs of hard-working Canadian
This new EI benefit recognizes the emotional and financial challenges
faced by parents when a child has a life-threatening illness or injury
and the vital role parents play in a child's recovery.
It is estimated that the new EI benefit will help up to 6 000 families
Parents who work in federally regulated industries will also benefit
from job protection if they take a leave of absence to care for their
critically ill or injured child.
For more information on this new benefit, please visit servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/pcic/index.shtml.
The Government recognizes the emotional and financial challenges faced
by parents when a child has a life-threatening illness or injury and
the vital role parents play in that child's recovery. The new
Employment Insurance (EI) special benefit, Parents of Critically Ill
Children (PCIC), will provide income support for up to 35 weeks to
parents or legal guardians of children (under 18 years of age) with a
life-threatening illness or injury.
Parents away from work to provide care or support to their critically
ill or injured child may be eligible for temporary income support
through EI PCIC benefits.
As with other EI special benefits, to establish a claim for PCIC
benefits, applicants (parents or legal guardians) will need to have
worked a minimum of 600 hours in the shorter of the 52 weeks prior to
the start of their claim, or since the start of their last claim.
Self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program will need to
have earned income in the previous calendar year ($6,342 in 2012) to be
eligible for the benefit. All applicants will also need to submit a
medical certificate signed by a medical doctor licensed to practice
medicine in Canada as a specialist, as well as an authorization for
release of medical information.
Benefits may be combined with other benefits, such as maternity,
parental or compassionate care benefits. Parents will be able to share
the 35 weeks of PCIC benefits, either concurrently or separately, and
receive their benefits when most needed within a 52-week period.
Benefits will end either once the maximum of 35 weeks of benefits have
been paid, the 52-week benefit period ends or in the unfortunate event
that the child passes away.
For the purposes of this new EI benefit, a critically ill child is
defined as one whose life is at risk as a result of an illness or
injury and who requires the care or support of his/her parents because
of his/her state of health.
The PCIC benefit is available beginning June 9, 2013, to eligible
parents and is not retroactive.
Other government support for parents
This new measure is part of the Government's continued action to help
parents balance work and family responsibilities through the Helping Families in Need Act. Other measures include:
An Employment Insurance Act amendment that allows claimants who fall ill while receiving EI
parental benefits to access EI sickness benefits without needing to be
"otherwise available for work." This amendment is subject to remaining
A new federal income support for parents of murdered or missing children
that took effect on January 1, 2013. This new grant provides $350 per
week for up to 35 weeks to parents of murdered or missing children
(less than 18 years of age) whose death or disappearance is the result
of a suspected Criminal Code offence.
Part III of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) was amended to introduce new provisions allowing unpaid leave for
parents whose child dies or disappears as a result of a suspected Criminal Code offence or who need to care for a critically ill or injured child.
Workers whose employer is subject to Part III of the CLC who take
advantage of the new benefits will be able to do so without fear of
losing their employment.
SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
For further information:
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
For further information (media only):
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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