- The Government of Canada recently extended the number of weeks a claimant can receive EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks.
- Individuals injured in a motor vehicle accident and unable to return to work should apply for EI sickness benefits as soon as possible.
- EI sickness benefits will be considered in calculating the no-fault loss of income accident benefits (Section B loss of income benefits) available to you following an accident.
- Contact a Fidelis Law Personal Injury Lawyer to obtain a free consultation.
EI Sick Benefits Now Available for 26 Weeks
Employment Insurance sickness benefits assist workers who must temporarily leave their job due to illness or injury by providing financial support. Eligible individuals unable to work can receive these benefits, which reduces the financial burden before returning to work. The benefits are calculated at 55% of the applicant’s average weekly insurable earnings, with a maximum of $650 per week for 2023. The maximum entitlement amount is adjusted every year.
In their 2021 budget, the Government of Canada announced a permanent increase in the number of weeks of availability for EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26, to give workers more time to recover before returning to work. This change will take effect for new claims made on or after December 18, 2022.
To qualify for EI sickness benefits, claimants must show that:
- They are unable to work due to medical reasons
- Their regular weekly earnings have decreased by over 40% for at least one week
- They have accumulated a minimum of 600 insured hours of work in the past 52 weeks, or since their last claim, whichever is shorter, and
- If not for their medical condition, they would be able to work
When applying for EI sickness benefits, claimants must also obtain a medical certificate signed by a qualified medical practitioner. The practitioner must be licensed to practice in Canada or the United States and must have expertise in the illness the claimant is suffering from. The following types of medical practitioners are authorized to complete and sign the medical certificate:
How do EI Sick Benefits Impact my Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, an ATV or snowmobile accident, or a pedestrian or cycling accident, you are entitled to Section B benefits, also referred to as no-fault accident benefits.
In addition to death benefits and medical and rehabilitation expenses and the principal unpaid housekeeper benefit, individuals injured in a motor vehicle accident may also be eligible for loss of income benefits.
The driver and passengers of a motor vehicle, as well as a cyclist or pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle are entitled to recover no-fault accident benefits (also referred to as “Section B benefits”) from the insurance policy covering the vehicle in which they were riding (driver and passengers) or that struck them (cyclists and pedestrians). To be entitled to Section B loss of income benefits, a person:
- Must have been employed or deemed employed at the time of the accident; and
- Must have been unable to perform the essential duties of their occupation or employment at least seven (7) days within the first thirty (30) days following the accident.
New Brunswick insurance policies will cover 80% of an individual’s gross weekly income, less any payments received or available from a wage or salary continuation plan (such as EI sickness benefits, short-term disability benefits), and only up to a maximum amount of $250.00 per week.
Every case is unique and therefore it’s important that you contact a Fidelis Law Accident Lawyer to assist you in determining whether you meet the above-noted criteria and to ensure that you receive the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled.