Government of Canada Announces Support for Parents of Critically Ill Children

Ottawa, ON-The Government of Canada announced on August 7, 2012, a proposed new Employment Insurance (EI) special benefit for parents who take time off work to care for their critically ill or injured children.

“Our Government is committed to supporting parents and families,” said MP MacKenzie. “This new EI special benefit will ease the financial pressure on parents who take time off work to care for their critically ill or injured children when they need it the most.”

Parents who must take time off work to care for a child who has a life-threatening illness or injury will be able to apply for up to 35 weeks of this new EI special benefit.

The special benefit is part of the Government of Canada’s continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities. Other EI measures include: expanding eligibility for compassionate care benefits; allowing self-employed workers to opt into the EI program to receive maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, as well as this new special benefit; and improving access to EI parental benefits for military and foster families.

The new EI special benefit for parents of critically ill children is expected to be available in June 2013 and will help an estimated 6 000 families per year.


More information is available online at

 For more information (media only), contact:

Marian NgoOffice of Minister Finley819-994-2482  Media Relations OfficeHuman Resources and Skills Development Canada819-994-5559Follow us on Twitter