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Change to the waiting period for employment insurance (EI)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What changes were made?

The 2016 federal budget tabled earlier this year included a change to plans that provide disability insurance coverage. The waiting period to receive employment insurance benefits will be reduced from two weeks to one week, effective January 1, 2017.

Note that no change was made to the number of weeks for which benefits are payable.

Employment insurance benefits are currently paid for a period of 17 weeks, including the two-week waiting period (during which no benefits are paid) and 15 weeks during which the benefits are payable.

The proposed changes amend the period during which benefits are paid, which now includes the 1-week waiting period (during which no benefits are paid), 15 weeks of benefits payments and one week with no benefits payments.

What is the impact of these changes on disability insurance coverage?

While insurers are still assessing the impacts of these changes on disability insurance coverage, we are anticipating the following:

  • Plans that include the termination of employment benefits or short-term disability benefits that are equivalent to EI (weekly benefits or short-term disability benefits) or to long-term disability insurance in the private sector will be affected.
  • Plans registered with the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) must reduce the waiting period for weekly benefits and short-term disability benefits from two weeks to one week to maintain the attributable employment insurance premium reductions.

Plans that include the termination of employment benefits or short-term disability benefits that are equivalent to EI (weekly benefits or short-term disability benefits) or to long-term disability insurance in the private sector will be affected.

We will continue to monitor and assess the impacts of these changes.

Source: The Empire Life Insurance Company