Canada is planning to introduce a new benefit for parents that will give money to adoptive and surrogate parents.
This was announced as part of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement that was released on November 21, 2023.
"We are taking action on the priorities that matter most to Canadians today — and we will continue doing everything we can to deliver for Canadians from coast to coast to coast," said Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of finance, in a statement.
That includes efforts to support a strong middle class by making life more affordable.
EI maternity and parental benefits are supports for new parents across the country but adoptive parents can currently only access EI parental benefits.
Adoptive parents don't have access to the 15 weeks of EI maternity benefits offered by the feds.
So, that means adoptive parents usually don't have enough time to meet the demands of the adoption process and welcome their child, the government shared.
With the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the federal government has proposed a new 15-week shareable EI adoption benefit.
Each year, this new federal benefit is expected to provide around 1,700 families with additional time and flexibility to welcome a new child while still getting paid.
Surrogate parents will also be eligible for the EI adoption benefit.
What is Employment Insurance?
Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits provide financial assistance to people in Canada who are:
- away from work because they're pregnant or have recently given birth
- away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child
You could receive 55% of your earnings, up to a maximum of $650 a week, with EI in Canada.
Maternity benefits are only available for the person who is away from work because they're pregnant or have recently given birth and can't be shared between parents.
The person receiving maternity benefits could also be able to receive parental benefits.
Parental benefits are available to the parents of a newborn or newly adopted child. There are two options: standard parental benefits and extended parental benefits.
If sharing EI benefits, each parent has to submit their own application and choose the same option. Benefits can be received by parents at the same time or one after another.
How much money could you get with EI maternity and parental benefits?
With EI, the number of weeks you can get maternity and paternal benefits will depend on the benefit type you choose and if you decide to share benefits with other parents.
Also, the benefit payment amount you receive will depend on your insurable earnings before taxes in the previous 52 weeks or since the start of your last claim — whichever amount of time is shorter.
EI maternity benefits are available for up to 15 weeks, with a benefit rate of 55% and a weekly maximum of up to $650.
Standard parental benefits are available for up to 35 weeks for one parent and up to 40 weeks shared between parents. The benefit rate is 55% and you could get up to $650 weekly.
Extended parental benefits are available for up to 61 weeks for one parent and up to 69 weeks shared between parents. There is a benefit rate of 33% and you could get up to $390 weekly.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.