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Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 14:48

EI sickness benefits extended from 15 to 26 weeks


Federal government confirms December 18, 2022 as effective date for changes to EI sickness benefits

In the 2022 budget, the federal government announced it will extend paid EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks. The government has confirmed that December 18, 2022 is the effective date of this change.

The extension of EI sickness benefits does not obligate group insurance plan sponsors to amend their short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) plans to align with the new 26-week EI period. “Access to Empire Life’s expert disability management services is a key consideration for advisors and customers,” says Vanessa Lycos, Empire Life Vice-president of Group Product and Marketing. “For groups that rely on EI sickness benefits, a longer LTD elimination period may result in longer LTD claim duration because the early intervention by our expert disability management team is delayed.”

EI Premium Reduction Program is not changing

The EI Premium Reduction Program (PRP) allows employers with eligible STD plans to pay lower EI premiums. The government has announced that the eligibility criteria are not changing; therefore, all plans that currently qualify for the premium reduction will remain eligible and are not required to make a change at this time. 

The government has not specified a date for any PRP changes. 

For more information, please reach out to your Empire Life account team or check our FAQs