Page 1 of 1

HG related EI claims in Canada

PostPosted: Nov 30, 2007 1:42 pm
by Maria'sMommy
I had bad NVP for the first 19 weeks of my first pregnancy and have been trying to prepare for a second pregnancy that may be the same or worse. This board has been such a wealth of information for me! Having info on how HG is treated in Canada has been really helpful while I prepare.

I realized today that I've been financially counting on being able to claim the 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits if I'm not able to work. I just want to make sure I'm not making a wrong assumption. Have any of the other Canadians on this board done this? How difficult is it to get your Dr or midwife to agree to let you off work? I don't get sick time at my job and don't have any disability insurance. I think EI is my only option and want to make sure there isn't some anti-NVP/HG loophole.

Thanks so much in advance.

PostPosted: Nov 30, 2007 5:11 pm
by bibliojo
Hi Krista, I used EI sick benefits with my first pregnancy. For me it wasn't difficult to get. I had worked my 600 hours prior to getting pregnant and it became apparent early on (by 8 weeks) that I was just unable to work. I couldn't drive myself to work or take transit and even if I could the only thing I was able to do at all was lie down or puke! So my doctor signed me off quite willingly. The only downside to getting the EI sick benefits is that I didn't get my full year of mat leave benefits. I think they've designed the sick leave for mothers who have problems towards the end of their pregnancies (like bed rest, preeclampsia etc) with the assumption is that they'll go on sick leave and then go on mat leave straight after. I was one of the lucky ones who got better HG wise so I returned to work around 18 weeks and worked until I was 39 weeks. My claim lasted the maximum of a year and 15 weeks but because it began at 8 weeks when I started my sick leave and I returned to work in between, when the year and 15 weeks were up, I still hadn't had the full 52 weeks I was entitled too. They told me to reapply to get the remainder of my mat leave benefits then but at that point, I hadn't worked 600 hours in the past year with being on leave to qualify for EI. (Does that make any sense?) So, my dh took the remaining weeks as paternity leave because he had worked the 600 hours in the past year. Anyway, to make a long story short, it did work for me but with some unexpected complications. If you have a good doctor who recognizes the difficulty of working with HG and is willing to sign you off (you should maybe talk to him/her in advance and draw up a little protocol on what will happen if you get sick like the last time and discuss whether they would sign you off or not and then you'd know for sure what would happen) and you have worked your 600 hours, I don't see any problem in getting the sick leave.

I hope that all made sense! I'm trying to type with my 4 year old bugging me! If not, just ask, and I'll try and explain it better.

Oh and welcome! We have quite a few BC girls here and we're always glad to add to our numbers!! :D

PostPosted: Nov 30, 2007 5:47 pm
by Maria'sMommy
Joanna, Thanks for your answer. If I understand correctly, if you claim sick and mat benefits you're supposed to have it all completed within 65 consecutive weeks? I guess in the end it doesn't really matter since if I'm too sick to work, then I'm too sick to work. There's not really much that can be done about it.

If we end up with extra weeks that I can't use I'm sure DH would love to take them. We actually split the leave with DD. I took the first 6.5 months and he took the next 5.5 months. So I already have more than 600 work hours since my last EI claim.

I don't think I'll have a problem getting my midwives to write me out of work. I just wanted to make sure that the EI office won't give me any grief about it.

Thanks again for the advice!


PostPosted: Nov 30, 2007 6:09 pm
by bibliojo
Krista, you don't technically have to do the whole 65 weeks in one go. If you are well enough to work after taking sick leave but before mat leave, and you can work enough hours in that period to still have 600 hours worked in the past year at the point at when you have to reapply. I only worked part time in between my sick leave and mat leave so I was short a few hours. Let's see if I can give you an example to make this less confusing! Here's my claim:

July 2002 - September 2002 Was on EI sick leave
September 2002 - February 2003 Worked part time
February 2003 - November 2003 Claimed Mat Leave - how they did this was they just opened up my sick leave file and continued on from there but as mat leave benefits
November 2003 Had to reapply for mat leave benefits because the 65 weeks from the beginning of my claim was up. I had not worked 600 hours from November 2002-November 2003 so I was ineligible for EI for the rest of my mat leave.
October 2003-Febuary 2004 - My dh took my remaining maternity leave as paternity leave.

I hope that helps it make a little more sense!

Just noticed that our babies are only 6 days apart! Cool! 8)

PostPosted: Nov 30, 2007 6:38 pm
by Maria'sMommy
Joanna, That second explanation was perfect. Do you think they could make it more complicated?

My first pregnancy sounds similar to your first. If things are similar the second time around I should be able to work full time by 18 weeks. That would give me 600 hours by the time I would need mat leave.

Yes, 14 months is a fun age! We will be installing more child locks on everything that can be child locked this weekend.

Take care,


PostPosted: Dec 02, 2007 3:09 pm
by Cin
Hi, Krista! :D

Joanna is completely right with her info, so I can't add more. But I do want to let you know I am in Colwood and close enough to you to be able to help during your next pg. I'd be happy to be your HG "buddy" if you want one.

Welcome to HER, and good luck! :hugs:

PostPosted: Dec 02, 2007 11:05 pm
by Maria'sMommy
Thanks Cin! I'm really hoping I won't need an HG buddy, as in I'm hoping for a fuffy pregnancy. We live in Shawnigan and work in Victoria. It would be great to have an HG buddy so close. Last time no one around me really seemed to understand how hard it was and I don't think I even had full blown HG.

PostPosted: Jan 06, 2008 9:24 am
by Atsie
They told me when I called when I was pg that the claim remains open for a year. And to "restart" fresh I needed to get my 600 hours in. So if I took EI for the 10 weeks, then in order to get my full mat leave I needed to go back in time to work 600 hours before I had the baby.

I was too chicken to try. I was terrified that i wouldn't work enough hours so I worked. . But My Dr would have signed me off in a heartbeat. He kept mentioing her was shocked I was working. I think for the most part, being this sick while pg is a good excuse.