EI Sickness Benefits: Waiting Period Begins for Illness and Injury Claims in January 2024

EI Sickness Benefits: Waiting Period Begins for Illness and Injury Claims in January 2024

January 10, 2024

Attention Canadian workers: A significant change is coming to the Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits, as the waiting period for claims related to illness or injury is set to commence in January 2024. For those facing health challenges after December 31st, 2023, a waiting period must be endured before the benefits are disbursed.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

  1. One-Week Waiting Period: The waiting period is established at one week. During this initial week off work due to illness or injury, individuals won’t receive EI sickness benefits.
  2. Applies to New Claims: Importantly, the waiting period is applicable to new claims only. If you’re already receiving EI sickness benefits and face a recurrence of illness or injury, the waiting period won’t be enforced.
  3. Exemption for Quarantine Claims: It’s crucial to note that the waiting period doesn’t impact quarantine claims. If you are required to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 or another infectious disease, the waiting period for EI sickness benefits doesn’t apply.

Why the Change?

The reintroduction of the one-week waiting period for illness and injury claims is a strategic move by the government. This adjustment is part of ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the EI program, aiming to ensure its long-term sustainability while still providing essential support to Canadians facing work interruptions due to illness or injury.

Additional Information for Your Awareness:

  • Maximum Duration: EI sickness benefits can be availed for a maximum duration of 26 weeks.
  • Weekly Benefit Amount: As of January 2024, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $668.
  • Alternative Financial Support: Employers may offer paid sick leave or short-term disability plans, providing financial support before EI benefits kick in. Workers are encouraged to check with their employers about available support options.

Need Assistance?

For questions about the waiting period or eligibility for EI sickness benefits, individuals can visit the Service Canada website or call 1-866-506-7067. Local Service Canada offices are also available for assistance.

Spread the Word!

Readers are encouraged to share this vital information with friends, family, and colleagues who may be affected by the waiting period. By staying informed, individuals can navigate these changes and access the support they need during challenging times.

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