What are Compassionate Care Benefits in Canada?

Compassionate care benefits (CCB) are also known as 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 26 weeks of compassionate care benefits may be paid to eligible people.

  • The goal of the CCB is to enable employees to take a temporary secured leave from work to provide care or support to a gravely ill family member at risk of dying.
  • The CCB program adopts a broad view of those considered to be a ‘family member.’ Program recipients can care for a gravely ill: (1) family member; (2) spouse or common-law partner’s family members; or (3) person who is considered ‘like’ a family member (for instance a close friend or neighbour).
  • The CCB program views support to a family member to be: (1) providing psychological or emotional support; (2) arranging for care by a third party; and/or (3) directly providing or participating in the care.
  • The CCB can be used to care for or support a family member who is gravely ill and at risk of dying regardless of where that care recipient lives. Program recipients and dying individuals can be separated by provinces or even countries.
  • To receive the CCB, an EI application must be made to the program online or in person at a Service Canada Centre.

What is the amount of benefits for Compassionate Care Benefits in Canada?

Through Employment Insurance, you could receive financial assistance of up to 55% of your earnings, to a maximum of $595 a week. These benefits will help you take time away from work to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care. If the applicant belongs to a low-income group, then there is a possibility that he/she will qualify for more amounts.

The following points must be proved to be eligible for getting compassionate care remuneration.

  • The caregiver must be losing 40 percent or more of his/her weekly income.
  • The caregiver must have worked for 600 hours or more during the last one year ( 52 weeks) or since the previous claim was made.
  • The caregiver must submit a medical certificate which states that the diseased person is in a threat to death within 26 weeks.

 Who will not be given the benefit?

 A caregiver who is already living with a family member who has a chronic medical state, then he/she won’t be eligible for benefits. There should be a sudden significant change in the family member’s health because of some new and severe life-threatening incidents; only then can the caregiver be eligible for the payback.

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About the Author: Jyotika Thakur