Post # 1
Hi Canadian Bee’s!
I have a question regarding EI / Mat leave benefits in Canada. I have spoken to Service Canada twice and shocking It took me 2 months to get through and got 2 COMPLETELY different answers. Here is my debacle….
My company downsized in February and I was laid off, but was lucky enough to receive a really excellent severance package. I applied for EI in February just to be safe but was not going to be receiving any benefits until June 1 due to severance pay. I started a full time ( and better paying..woo!) job at the end of May. Because of this I was able to close my EI claim as inactive and never had to draw money.
Now, my husband I are TTC so of course I had some questions with regards to EI. The first time I called I was told that since I have a claim currently in the system, I would have to wait until May 18th ( the day it expires), and then work my 600 insurance hours before I would be eligible for my 52 weeks paid mat leave. This didnt make sense to me, since this would mean I would be working the next year accumulating thousands of hours but wouldnt be covered.
Phone call number 2, I was told a completely different story haha! She said that since my account is inactive and I never drew money so I am currently accumulating hours and only about 200 hours away from the magic number of 600 hours. Therefore once I got 600 I can go on mat leave. If I went before May 18th, I would draw from that account, then it would be closed and a new one ( thanks to my 600 hours) would be opened for the remainder.
I am of course quite hesitant since we want a baby ASAP but dont want to screw ourselves and end up not being ablt to get my 1 year paid leave.
Has anyone else been in this situation?
Post # 3
I don’t see how switching jobs would effect it since you closed your claim before taking money. Maybe if you can go to a service Canada office and talk to someone in person, I find this is always easier.
Post # 4
I’m in a similar situation. My contract ended in February and I’ve been collecting EI since then. It will run out in December (I think). I will not receive anything when I give birth in January. UNLESS I get a job and work 600 hours before then.
The good news is if you work at a 40 hour/week job, you only have to work 15 weeks to get the 600 hours. Right now though it looks like I’m just going to take the EI and then when baby gets here we’ll be down to 1 salary.
Bottom line is (and it sucks), if you’re currrently collecting EI you have to build the 600 hours back up.
Post # 5
I’m not sure if I’m understanding properly but this is what I got from your post: You got laid off with severance and started a claim which was to take effect once your severance pay ran out but you got a job before this happened and thus canelled your EI claim?
If you didn’t draw from that EI claim at all then you should be fine to qualify for your 52 weeks (or 50 weeks rather) now. Just because you started the paper work procress won’t do anything I don’t think, they would actually need to start paying out for it to change the situation. Pop in to a location to double check if you want to be 100% sure though, they are incredibly helpful (I know, I recently went in to sort some things out before my EI took effect).
Sorry to hear that you might not get to draw from EI for your mat leave 🙁
Post # 6
That’s ok, at least I get EI right up until. Plus DH has a great job and he promises we’ll be fine with 1 salary.