The Caring@Home blog welcomes this guest post by Soraiya Walji.
I first looked into Compassionate Care Benefits for a dear friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. As things got progressively more serious and her condition got to a point where she could no longer work, I could see that all her Mom wanted to do was to be home with her daughter. I wanted to do whatever I could to provide comfort to her family during this very difficult time while also helping to alleviate their worries about finances and job protection. Sadly, my dear friend’s condition took a turn for the worse and within three days of being notified that she had less than a month to live, she passed away. It was devastating for her family and close friends as she was only 30 years old.
She was a beautiful, vibrant individual whose unwavering faith led her to continue to hope for life up until her very last moments. To this day, her Mom speaks of her desire to have spent more time with her, especially during her final moments. In the spirit of her Mom’s giving heart, and my desire to give other people in the same circumstances the gift of time with loved ones, I wanted to share the following information.
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits
What is it?
We know how hard it is when a loved one becomes critically ill, and how important it is to maximize every single moment. Luckily, the Canadian government provides Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits. This is a six-week job protected leave (confirm with your employer in your province/territory about job protection) if your family member is at a significant risk of passing within 26 weeks.
How much are you provided?
The basic benefit rate is 55 per cent of your average insurable earnings, up to a yearly maximum insurable amount ($45,900 in 2012). This means that, in 2012, you can receive a maximum payment of $485 per week.
To be eligible for compassionate care benefits, you must be able to show that:
• Your regular weekly work earnings have decreased by more than 40 per cent; and
• You have accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the last 52 weeks, or since the start of your last claim (this time frame is called the qualifying period).
Who Does it Cover?
Compassionate care benefits extend to a variety of family members – both your own as well as those of your spouse or common-law partner. You can receive compassionate care benefits to care for or support a family member, regardless of where that family member lives. The six weeks can be shared amongst your family members, however each family must apply separately.
For more information on Compassionate Care Benefits, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/types/compassionate_care.shtml.
How to Apply?
To receive compassionate care benefits you must submit an EI application online. The recommendation is to apply as soon as you stop working. If you delay filing your claim by more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose the ability to apply for the benefit.
To start your application, go to: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml. In the right-hand column, under “Online Services and Forms,” click on “Apply for Employment Insurance Benefits.” When you’re on this new page, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Continue to Privacy Notice Statement.” Scroll to the bottom of that page, click “Start application,” and fill out the necessary information. You will also need: the “Medical Certificate for Employment Insurance for Compassionate Care Benefits,” which is a form to be filled out by your loved one’s doctor; a “Release for Medical information” form; and a Record of Employment issued by your employer.
You will find additional information and the forms available for download by following this link: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/types/compassionate_care.shtml#information.
The gift of time and compassion comes in many forms, may this information help to provide you comfort and time with those you love most.
Soraiya Walji, MBA CHRP, is a Certified Human Resources Professional and HR Business Partner with Bayshore Home Health (www.bayshore.ca). Supporting a culture that recognizes the quality of our service depends on the expertise and dedication of our people. By hiring like-minded employees who deliver optimum service based on respect, compassion and knowledge we know we’re providing quality care, every visit, every time. For more information, please contact Soraiya at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-289-3997.
This blog is dedicated to all those who are taken long before their time. Those who fought to the bitter end, their loved ones who desire to spend more time with them especially in their final moments and to all in the fight now.