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Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits

One of the most difficult times for anyone is when a loved one is dying or at risk of death. The demands of caring for a gravely ill family member can jeopardize both your job and the financial security of your family. The Government of Canada believes that, during such times, you should not have to choose between keeping your job and caring for your family.

Compassionate care benefits are Employment Insurance (EI) benefits paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (six months). A maximum of six weeks of compassionate care benefits may be paid to eligible people.

This publication is designed to answer questions you may have about compassionate care benefits, including who is eligible and how to apply for these benefits.


Advance Care Planning

“Most of us hope to die peacefully and able to communicate with others until the very end, but death doesn’t usually occur this way,” says Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and a member of the Advance Care Planning National Task Force.

“Advance care planning helps others make decisions on your behalf when you cannot speak for yourself.”

Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication about personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care. Your plan may include information about procedures such as CPR and mechanical ventilation, as well as other personal information, such as spiritual preferences or specific wishes for family members or friends.

One of the most important aspects of advance care planning is naming and having a conversation with a Substitute Decision Maker – someone who will speak on your behalf and make decisions for you – but only when you are not able to do so yourself.

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