Beginning this month (January 2011), the Canadian government rolled out the extension of special employment insurance benefits for self-employed individuals. As is the case with most government documents, applications and forms, the Service Canada site includes a great deal of information regarding eligibility, financial information, special case scenarios and examples and multiple combinations of all of the above. The best thing about this new government initiative is that self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs are no longer being excluded from the group of special EI recipients. Now self-employed individuals can breathe a little easier should they take time off work to be with their new families, nurse an illness, or care for a terminally sick family member.
For people who are starting a family, being a new parent is like a little business of its own, where the expenditures almost always greatly outweigh the income. (As much as you may love being pregnant and as much as you love your new baby, that love doesn’t buy food or diapers.) As stated on the Service Canada site, the payable EI amounts vary, but the maximum you can receive from the new EI initiative runs around $468/week (roughly 55% of your previous weekly earnings). To put that into perspective, a new parent will spend roughly $17/week on diapers and $30/week on baby food (which includes the average price of formula). With all these dollar signs floating around, you can rest easy that one thing is for sure: spending time with your family is priceless.