The Government of Canada is working to modernize the Employment Insurance (EI) program. In the 2022 federal budget they confirmed the extension of Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
This change is anticipated to take place later this year (yes, not much time) but we are still missing many details, and until we get them we are unable to provide the proper solution for our clients.
The effective date and specific details are expected in the next month or so, but plan sponsors will probably need to realign LTD plans to the 26-week elimination period (from the current 15, 16 or 17 weeks). This will help avoid the payment of disability and EI benefits at the same time, where a member may be required to refund EI for benefits overpaid (for collecting from both at the same time).
Once the government settles on the details, we’ll be reaching out to provide options. As it stands, I am expecting that most plans will be amended to delay the start of LTD benefits to 6 months (26 weeks) and will likely see a small drop in rates (maybe 5%).
Stay tuned for updates.