Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Government Assistance For Maternity Leave

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Earnings Received From Services Provided

Act to benefit unemployed people and mothers on maternity leave

Self-employed translator

Sickness benefits

On August 18, 2021, Marc becomes sick and is unable to keep up with his work. He applies for EI sickness benefits. Based on the information on the medical certificate provided by his doctor, Marc is entitled to 15 weeks of benefits, which is the maximum number of weeks available. His benefit rate is established at $595 weekly, which is the maximum amount payable in 2021. This amount is based on his 2020 net self-employed earnings of $55,000, as calculated under the Income Tax Act.

On August 29, 2021, Marc receives the final payment of $1,200 for his last contract, which he had completed before he became ill. He reports this amount on his biweekly report card. Because the self-employed earnings arose from services performed, they are allocated to the weeks in which Marc performed the services. In this case, the services were provided over a period of 8 weeks , which means the work was performed before Marc’s EI claim began. For this reason, his EI benefit amount is not affected by the $1,200 payment. If Marc does not have further self-employment or other income, the total EI benefit amount available to him will be $8,925 .

Self-employed campground owners

Parental benefits

Anne and her son Louis are co-owners of a campground. According to their partnership agreement, the yearly business income is split evenly between them. In 2020, the business’ income was $80,000, therefore Louis’ self-employed earnings were $40,000 .

Changes To Support You During Covid

Temporary changes have been made to Employment Insurance benefits for self-employed people. The following changes are in effect until September 2021, and could apply to you:

  • effective January 3, 2021, you need to have made at least $5,000 in net earnings in 2020 to be eligible for benefits under the self-employed program in 2021
  • youll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits, but you could receive more

Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.

EI has a program designed for self-employed people. If you run your own business or control more than 40% of your corporations voting shares, this program can provide you with access to special benefits as early as 12 months after registering. When you need to take time away from your business to care for yourself, your children or other family members, you could receive financial support of up to 55% of your earnings, up to a maximum amount. In 2021, the maximum amount is $595 per week.

Please note that regular benefits arent available through this program.

If youre a fisher, barber or hairdresser, or if you drive a taxi or other passenger vehicle, you dont need to register for the self-employed program. People in these professions should apply for EI benefits as an employee.

Where To Get Help And Support

You should get advice on benefits as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Benefits have to be claimed on different forms, from different offices, depending on what you’re claiming.

There are lots of voluntary organisations that are happy to help. Ask them for advice or get an opinion.

  • Some local authorities have welfare rights officers phone your social services department and ask.
  • Some voluntary organisations give information and advice on benefits and rights at work try Gingerbread and Working Families.
  • For advice on your rights at work, call ACAS on 0300 123 1100.
  • If you’re 19 or under, you can get advice on work from the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

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You Can Still Register For The Program If Youre Self

In this case, your insurable earnings* from both employment and self-employment could be combined to increase your benefit rate. The maximum benefit rate and the number of weeks of benefits you can get stays the same. Temporary COVID-19 relief

*Insurable earnings include most of the different types of compensation from employment, such as wages, tips, bonuses and commissions. The CRA determines what types of earnings are insurable.

Maternity And Parental Leave In The United States

Adoption Leave Benefits

In the United States, the picture for families-to-be is very different. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act signed into law in 1993 requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for several medical conditions, as well as the birth of a baby.

To be eligible for unpaid maternity or parental leave, you must:

  • Have worked for their employer for at least 12 months
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
  • Work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles

If the parent has pre-birth complications, she may be able to take part of the leave under the medical component. Before the law was enacted, the U.S. had no laws requiring that employers provide any leave. There are still gaping holes in the FMLA, however.

For example, the act exempts small employers defined as those having fewer than 50 employees from having to offer unpaid leave. Though it’s worth noting that a few states, including California and New Jersey, include pregnancy benefits as part of the state’s disability insurance plan, which provides at least a partial offset of lost income.

California, for instance, offers up to four weeks of paid leave for normal pregnancies and up to eight weeks for mothers who undergo a cesarean section. Though that’s helpful, it still falls far short of the benefits afforded to Canadian parents.

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How Long Is Maternity Leave

The US does not have a standard maternity leave length. The amount of time off for which an employee may be eligible depends on federal or state-mandated law, your employer, and/or personal choice. Here are general guidelines.

  • Federal FMLA can help protect your job while youre away on family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks.
  • The length of each states paid family and medical leave varies. In New York, for example, you can take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and you will receive up to 67 percent of your average weekly wage .1 California provides up to eight weeks of partial pay to employees for paid family leave. 2 Verify with your state.

Although the United States does not guarantee paid maternity leave, employers may provide paid leave if they choose. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that in the U.S., over half of employers now offer maternity leave, 45 percent offer paid paternity leave, and 35 percent provide paid extended family care leave3.

Family And Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee
  • For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or
  • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

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Before Your Maternity Leave Begins

  • If you do not want to continue your benefits coverage, you must cancel it for the duration of your leave. There’s no option to cancel Employee Basic Life Insurance and long-term disability coverage. Ensure you review Benefits, pension, vacation accrual and payroll deductions
  • To be entitled to maternity leave allowance, you are agreeing that you will return to work immediately after your leave ends and remain in the employer’s employ for at least 6 months or the length of the leave you take, whichever is longer. If you do not, you will have to pay back the allowance and benefits you received

  • If you’re unsure if you’ll return after your leave, you may want to defer, or not take, the maternity leave allowance. Refer to Maternity leave allowance: information for BC Public Service employees

  • If you want additional taxes deducted from your maternity leave allowance, submit a TD1 form through an AskMyHR service request using the categories: Myself > Submit a Form or Document > Direct Deposit/Tax Forms

How To Apply For Public Assistance During My Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave FAQs for Government employees

Most women who are on maternity leave from their jobs do not get paid while they are away. For this period of time, the family may suffer financially. Public assistance for such women is often available in the form of either emergency cash or food help. Every state is different in its requirements, so, if possible, look into the type of help that is available to you before you begin your maternity leave.

Fill out an application for food stamps and emergency cash benefits. Getting food stamps, if you qualify, will enable to use what cash you do have for such things as paying bills and buying diapers.

Gather the birth certificates, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses of everyone in your household. The state identification will only be needed for those over 18.

Locate your tax returns as well as the last two paycheck stubs for everyone who is currently employed in your home. You will also need to find household bills such as your electric bill, rental agreement or mortgage payment, water bill, car payment and any other monthly bills you have. You will need to show your income and expenses. It will be important to show the amount of income you are losing during your maternity leave.

Find your last bank statements. The agency you apply with will want to know how much you have in savings and checking as well as any investments you might have.

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At Least 4 Weeks Before Your Expected Date Of Birth


You will submit the following documents to your supervisor:

You should submit your documents as early as possible. The latest date by which you can submit is 4 weeks before your expected date of birth.

Your supervisor

Your supervisor will submit the documents through an AskMyHR service request using the categories: My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Maternity, Parental, Adoption.

If you or your supervisor have any questions, contact AskMyHR by submitting a service request using the categories: Myself My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Maternity, Parental, Adoption

At Least 10 Weeks Before Your Expected Date Of Birth


  • Notify your supervisor in writing of the expected date of birth in anticipation of your upcoming maternity leave
  • If you’re electing to start your maternity leave 13 weeks prior to your expected date of birth, you must still notify your supervisor in writing at least 4 weeks prior to the start of your leave

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Pay Slips For Parental Leave Pay

Employees who get PLP have to get a pay slip for each payment. The pay slip has to specify that the payments are PLP under the Australian Government PLP Scheme. See our Pay slips page for more information.

Only certain deductions can be made from PLP under the Australian Government PLP scheme. Visit Services Australia for more information.

Maintaining A Healthy Pregnancy

U.S. Fails on Paid Parental Leave [infographic]

The Public Health Agency of Canada has developed the Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, which includes useful tools and advice for pregnant women. Good nutrition and health, before and during the pregnancy, influence the health of the developing baby.

The week-by-week pregnancy calendar allows you to follow your babys development.

The Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program is designed for pregnant women and new mothers facing challenging life circumstances, such as recent arrival to Canada lone or teenage parenthood poverty and social or geographic isolation. Services offered by the program vary by location, but often include: nutrition counselling food preparation training food, food coupon or prenatal vitamin supplementation breastfeeding education and support prenatal health and maternal lifestyle counselling education and support on infant care and child development and referrals to other agencies and services as required.

Programs to help women maintain a healthy pregnancy may also be offered by your provincial or territorial government.

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Where Can I Get More Information About My Ei Claim

To get more information about your EI claim, you can visit our website or call us.


To get information about your claim online, you first need to register with My Service Canada Account on our website.

You can also get information about your benefit claim by using the EI Telephone Information Service. Call 1-800-206-7218 and choose option “1.” Be sure to have your social insurance number and your EI access code on hand when you call.

How Much Money Will I Pay

As with any insurance program, you will need to pay premiums. In 2021, for every $100 you earn, you will need to contribute $1.58 in EI premiums up to a defined maximumthe same amount that employees pay. This means the most you will pay in EI premiums for 2021 is $889.54.

Since Quebec has its own parental insurance program that offers maternity, paternity, and parental benefits, the Government of Canada has adjusted the premiums accordingly for that province. In 2021, self-employed people in Quebec who register for the EI program will pay $1.18 for every $100 of earnings, up to a total of $664.34 for the year.

EI premiums are calculated based on your income tax return. For example, if you sign up for the program in 2021, your premiums will be based on your 2020 tax return.

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Can I Receive Ei Maternity Or Parental Benefits And Other Types Of Ei Benefits In The Same Benefit Period

Yes, you can receive up to 50 weeks of benefits in a 52-week benefit period. However, when maternity or parental benefits are combined with other types of special benefits , the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid may increase to 102 weeks. Please note that you must meet the eligibility criteria specific to each type of benefits you claim.

If you receive EI regular benefits combined with EI special benefits, the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid is normally 50 weeks during a benefit period of 52 weeks. The only exception is when EI regular benefits and extended parental benefits are paid during the 52-week period. As extended parental benefits are paid at a benefit rate of 33% of your average weekly insurable earnings, once 50 weeks of benefits have been paid, the weeks of extended parental benefits will be converted to an equivalent number of weeks that would have been paid at the 55% benefit rate. This conversion will determine how many more weeks of regular benefits and special benefits can be paid to reach the equivalent of 50 weeks paid at the 55% benefits rate. Any weeks where you return to work during this period will be considered weeks paid for the purposes of calculating the equivalent of 50 weeks paid at the 55% benefit rate. Once the number of additional weeks that can be paid is determined, the 52-week benefit period will be extended to allow for the additional weeks to be paid.

Period When Leave May Be Taken

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Death of a child

This leave starts on the day the child is found deceased and ends 104 weeks after that day . If a child is found to have died as a result of a probable crime more than 104 weeks after the childs disappearance , you are entitled to the 104 weeks leave relating to the death of a child.

However, if the childs body is found after they already establish the death and you have taken a leave related to the death of a child, you are not entitled to a new leave.

Disappearance of child

If a child who disappeared is found, then the leave of absence ends 14 days after the day on which the child is found. However, if the child is found during the 104-week period, the leave must end no later than the end of the 104-week period.

To obtain this leave, you must advise your employer in writing as soon as possible of the reason for the leave. You must also notify your employer of the planned length of the leave. You must notify your employer in writing of any changes in the length of the leave as soon as possible.

If the length of the leave is longer than 4 weeks, you must give your employer at least 4 weeks notice of any change in length of leave, unless there is a valid reason why this is not possible. If the leave is for a disappeared child who is then found dead, you can change the type of leave by notifying your employer in writing as soon as possible.

If requested by your employer, you must provide a proof of entitlement to the leave, such as a police report.

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