Employment Insurance (EI) Changes

Employment Insurance (EI) Changes: Extending Sickness Benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.

November 29, 2022

For business owners, plan sponsors and administrators

Further to our release in July 2022, the federal government confirmed their commitment to improving EI Sickness Benefits in this recent announcement.

What did the government announce?

On December 18th, 2022 EI Sickness Benefits increases from 15 to 26 weeks of coverage.

Further announcement details:

  • Employee can receive 55% of their earnings to a maximum of $638 per week (annual maximum insurable earnings of $61,500)
  • Employees with claims that begin/began before December 18th, 2022 will have up to 15 weeks of coverage
  • Existing plans approved for the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) continue as is. No changes are required to continue to qualify for the PRP, with potential enhancements in the future

What do Sponsors need to know?

  • Plan design changes are not automatic – Advisors and Sponsors need to make informed decisions before adjusting their benefit plans.
  • Review plan designs that integrate with EI Sickness Benefits or that rely on EI for coverage during the Qualifying Period (QP).
  • Consider the experience before making changes – 26 weeks (6 months) of absence is a long time to go without:
    • Direct Case Manager support
    • Return-to-work communications
    • Access to early intervention tools and rehabilitation support
    • Reduced claim durations due to earlier return to work*

To discuss options or to learn how our disability plans can help, contact your Manulife Representative.

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