EI Sickness Benefits to be Extended

Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B.



The Canada Employment Insurance Commission intends to amend the Employment Insurance Regulations to extend EI sickness benefits for up to six weeks without requiring a medical certificate to eligible workers whose immediate family members have died as a direct result of a crime. This amendment is also being considered for eligible workers who are immediate family members of military personnel who die as a direct result of a service-related injury in a special duty area as designated by the Minister of National Defence.

The commission would like to receive feedback from interested stakeholders on the potential amendments.

The EI sickness benefit is currently available to eligible employees who are unable to work because of an illness, injury or quarantine. The benefit is provided for 15 weeks and must be justified with a medical certificate.

“Crime” would be defined as an offence under the Criminal Code. These amendments would apply as long as the circumstances indicate that the death probably occurred during or as a direct result of a crime, or that the service-related death occurred in a special duty area as designated by the Minister of National Defence.

The definition of “immediate family” under the Regulations would also have to be amended.

This new definition would specify which individuals are to be considered members of the claimant’s immediate family and will therefore have facilitated access to EI sickness benefits. Consideration is being given to providing easier access to:

  •  The father and mother of the deceased
  •  The deceased’s spouse or common-law partner 
  •  A child of the deceased

If it is probable from the circumstances that the claimant or the person who died was party to the crime, these individuals would not be entitled to the extended benefits.

You can find additional information and provide comments online


Originally published in HRinfodesk–Canadian Payroll and Employment Law News and Developments May 2010.

Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is managing editor at HRinfodesk.com–Canadian Payroll and Employment Law News.


HRinfodesk is an information and news service that is published by First Reference, which includes employment law news for every jurisdiction in Canada, a Library of Articles, FAQs, a Calendar of Events, Important Dates and an HR Internet Directory for expanded research. Our search tools will help you to quickly find results by jurisdiction, topic, date, keyword and article number. Visit hrinfodesk.com for more information. 


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