View Full Version : Maternity leave question

5 Little Monkeys
10-22-2013, 12:22 PM
I signed up for EI in June of this year so I'm not eligible until June 2014 for any of the benefits. We are wanting to start our own family soon and I am wondering if anyone has had any issue going on mat leave? Do they just take your last year's income and give you a percentage of that?

For anyone that has done this, did you end up having to go back to work early because of money? We are trying to figure out what would be better...myself or my fiance taking time off work.

10-22-2013, 02:50 PM
This lays it all out:

http://www.servicecanada.gc .ca/eng/ei/types/maternity_parental.s html#eligible

I was able to live off my maternity benefits, while still paying the bills and my student loans. Though we made a budget and some lifestyle changes (like only having 1 car instead of 2 and my husband takes the bus to work). You just need to figure out how much you will be getting and how you can live within that. I have some friends that went into debt while on maternity leave, but we were actually able to regularly put money into savings while on my maternity leaves.

But also remember that you will be getting the Canada Child Care benefit of $100 a month per child, and possibly the National Child Benefit Supplement (if you qualify).

But I know several ladies on here kept their daycare open with the newborn and had their husbands take paternity leave. It is very limiting on how much money you can make while on maternity EI benefits, so you pretty much have to choose one or the other (EI or continuing to work).

10-22-2013, 02:55 PM
I posted about this a few months ago! I also signed up in June this year so am eligible in June 2014. I will try to find my thread and link it here! I actually called and had a supervisor call me back to clarify some of the questions I had.
She said that the benefits are calculated based on your NET income for 2013 (keep this in mind when doing your taxes). The benefit rate is 55% of your income. According to the person I spoke with, your income in the months leading up to your leave does not matter (this was interesting to me because it is in contrast to how they calculate your benefits if you are an employee). I asked what would happen if I became sick and had to stop working earlier than when my benefits start and she said that there would be no penalty and that I would still qualify for benefits in June 2014. It would be interesting to see what answers you get if you call their office. We could compare notes!

10-22-2013, 02:57 PM

5 Little Monkeys
10-22-2013, 03:43 PM
Thanks!! Nap time is almost over so I will have to read those links tonight :)

10-22-2013, 03:52 PM
For myself I only took 8 months and then took in 1 child on a part-time basis. At that point I could make an additional $75 a week in additional income before it affected my EI. I have heard though that they changed that and you aren't allowed now to make additional income. I could be wrong. I was working though previously and didn't have a daycare beforehand. My husband was going to take a few months leave as well but we decided not to as we couldn't really afford to go through the waiting period all over again (approx. 4-6 weeks before you start getting paid). It took a few months for the family allowance and child care benefit to kick in as well.

From what I understood when I signed up for EI for self employed is that they take your net from last year's income tax and calculate your payments from that.

10-22-2013, 04:44 PM
So if I am understanding this right if you made $30,000 and your net after expenses was $15,000 and they give you 55% of that so $8,250 in payments for the full year you are off, how much do you have to pay into EI to get that amount. Also I have heard that once you start you have to continue. Can you stop paying in once your child bearing years are done or you stop daycare.

My daughter was looking into it as well but so far has decided against contributing figuring until she is married there is no sense wasting payments.

10-22-2013, 04:57 PM
Playfelt - I think that is how it works. Like I said I worked on a job previously though before my mat leave. I have been paying into self employed EI benefits though for 2 years now. I think I roughly pay $300 a year at income tax time (calculated on your net income as well). You have to pay into it for a full year before you can apply for it.

It isn't just for maternity leave it is also for sick benefits. I don't plan on anymore children and still pay into it. I think the $300 a year is far worth the investment in the event you become ill and cannot work for a long period of time. I think the max a person would have to pay is $750 a year but you would have to net a big chunk of money to owe that much.

5 Little Monkeys
10-22-2013, 05:34 PM
From what I understand, I think Mickyc is right. I won't know until tax time how much I owe but to benefit from all that EI covers I do think it is worth it.

I would think you can cancel at anytime but I am not sure.

10-22-2013, 05:34 PM
The rate is $1.88 for every $100 you earn up to a maximum of $800 (ish) per year. Once you register you have something like 60 days to cancel your registration but after that you have to pay for the year. You can cancel your registration at any time if you haven't made a claim. Once you make a claim you cannot cancel your enrollment.

5 Little Monkeys
10-22-2013, 05:39 PM
That makes sense gravy_train! At $1.88 for every $100 in $15000, that equals $282 which is close to what mickyc said, $300

03-25-2014, 09:56 AM
Just reviving this thread to see if there is anyone on here who has used the EI special benefits yet? I am hoping to use mine in June and just looking for any experiences! Thanks!

07-02-2014, 04:00 PM
Just wanted to post a link to my update! I registered for this program and everything worked out really well! Here's my update: