Parenting & Family

Difference between EI maternity sickness benefits and regular maternity benefits

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  • Aug 3rd, 2022 11:29 am
[OP]
Member
Oct 18, 2012
219 posts
24 upvotes
GTA

Difference between EI maternity sickness benefits and regular maternity benefits

Hi Everyone,

My wife is on bed rest due to pregnancy but her due date is not until Oct 2022. Just wondering what benefits should we apply for EI maternity sickness benefits and regular maternity benefits ? I don't understand what is the difference between the two ?

Please advise and thanks in advance
13 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1250 posts
545 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I don't think there is maternity sickness benefit. It's just the regular sickness benefit then maternity benefits kick in when baby is born. Your wife would need to meet certain conditions for the sickness benefit like number of working hours, and I believe would need a doctor's note, also the sickness benefit is only for a certain number of weeks. Some people do that when they don't want to start their maternity leave too early. I was looking into that when I was pregnant but decided to use all my work sick leave then go on extended maternity/patental leave about 2 months before my due date.

Does your wife have an employer? She could use all her work sick leave first.
Deal Guru
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Jan 9, 2011
14261 posts
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Vancouver
EI maternity is a federal program. All Canadians are eligible.
Provincial governments may have top-up benefits of their own. If not, they are still the ones to set the rules on how much time you can take off of work for parental leave.
Your health insurance package from your employer may include additional benefits that your province and the feds don’t give you.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2015
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I never heard of EI maternity sickness benefits, if your wife is on bed rest, and working for a company, then she should go on sick leave, this has nothing to do with maternaty leave but it just so happens her sickness is related to being pregnant, thats the only thing in common is the word pregnancy, but other than that her sick leave is paid by her work or private insurance or short term disability or what ever they call it, EI has nothing to do with her sick leave.

she finishes her sick leave when she delivers her baby then goes on maternity leave which is federal program for ALL canadiEHns
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Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2412 posts
350 upvotes
There's EI Sickness benefits which she can claim prior to claiming Maternity benefits. She can clam up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits , then 15 weeks of maternity benefit followed by 35 weeks of parental benefits.

There's a huge EI thread in the career section you can post more questions.
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Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2015
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umm, I hope you know maternity leave is one year or 18 months , if u take the longer one, they give u the same money but spread it out over longer period of time
Say NO to the WAR!
PEACE is the answer!
Deal Addict
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Mar 9, 2012
3892 posts
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Kitchener
windywalks wrote: Hi Everyone,

My wife is on bed rest due to pregnancy but her due date is not until Oct 2022. Just wondering what benefits should we apply for EI maternity sickness benefits and regular maternity benefits ? I don't understand what is the difference between the two ?

Please advise and thanks in advance
The wife was there with our second child: she goes on EI Sickness benefit (with a letter from her doctor) then she'd transition into EI Maternity once the child is born.
Why can't we all just get along?
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2412 posts
350 upvotes
GoodFellaz wrote: umm, I hope you know maternity leave is one year or 18 months , if u take the longer one, they give u the same money but spread it out over longer period of time
I would recommend most ppl to do standard parental benefits vs extended parental in most cases.
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Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
21918 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Wilmega wrote: I would recommend most ppl to do standard parental benefits vs extended parental in most cases.
And I would recommend … :rolleyes:

People are capable of making up their own minds on what works best for their family situation

Every family is different
As far as careers go, savings, commitments, and even the kids themselves and what they need

There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG HERE

So people need to stop shaming families (in particular women) who make a different choice than the one YOU might choose
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2412 posts
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PointsHubby wrote: And I would recommend … :rolleyes:

People are capable of making up their own minds on what works best for their family situation

Every family is different
As far as careers go, savings, commitments, and even the kids themselves and what they need

There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG HERE

So people need to stop shaming families (in particular women) who make a different choice than the one YOU might choose
Yeah definitely no right or wrong and no shaming needed. I just said recommended in most cases cause I worked for the EI call centre for several years and my customer service mindset kicks in.

My preference is too see clients get the most out of EI when they are collecting benefits. I spoke to one of my former colleagues and they get a lot of clients who choose the extended parental benefits but then elect to go back to work early and lose out $$$ from EI as a result.
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Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
38 posts
25 upvotes
Waterloo
Our family and several others we know went with the standard parental benefits but opted for the 18-month leave. It's worked out well. Allows a gradual transition to work when the time is right without worrying about EI clawbacks.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2004
1223 posts
151 upvotes
I think if your wife OB tells her need bed rest due to position of placenta etc. That is just regular short term disability. You need documentation to submit to your employer for disability etc. Not maternity leave unless your baby is due in the next 2-3 weeks then one can argue that is the beginning of maternity leave.
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2009
594 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto/Mississauga
Wilmega wrote: Yeah definitely no right or wrong and no shaming needed. I just said recommended in most cases cause I worked for the EI call centre for several years and my customer service mindset kicks in.

My preference is too see clients get the most out of EI when they are collecting benefits. I spoke to one of my former colleagues and they get a lot of clients who choose the extended parental benefits but then elect to go back to work early and lose out $$$ from EI as a result.
My wife did this exact thing. We decided to have her take 18 months off, but signed up for maternity leave EI for 12 months so we could get the full amount in the case she decided to go back to work earlier. I pretty much had her save all her EI money while I covered all our expenses along with her employer supplement which they supplemented for 12 months. When the employer supplement was done, then we used her EI money to cover the remaining 6 months.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2338 posts
2168 upvotes
Ottawa
DRGN89 wrote: My wife did this exact thing. We decided to have her take 18 months off, but signed up for maternity leave EI for 12 months so we could get the full amount in the case she decided to go back to work earlier. I pretty much had her save all her EI money while I covered all our expenses along with her employer supplement which they supplemented for 12 months. When the employer supplement was done, then we used her EI money to cover the remaining 6 months.
For our first kid, my wife took 18 months off and Standard 12 month EI. She wasn't sure if she'd want to be off work for a full 18 months, so we decided to front-load the EI. She ended up liking being on parental, but we're glad she went with Standard because she returned to work at 16 months after receiving a job offer she didn't want to pass on. Had she been on Extended, she'd have lost a couple of months of benefits.

For our second kid, she's currently on month 11 of 18. We took Standard again, because I received a 93% top-up only if we took Standard (55.8% had we been on Extended). I took 13 weeks of topped-up Standard EI when our second was born. She just finished her EI (15 weeks Maternity followed by 27 weeks Standard Parental), and the remaining 36 weeks of her leave will be completely unpaid. Standard put another almost $10k after tax in our pocket because of the top-up.

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