ARCHIVED - Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles - Appendix to chapter 12

WarningThe following information is out of date.

Archived content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

MATERNITY AND PARENTAL BENEFITS
UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (EI) PROGRAM

NEW RULES
PURSUANT TO THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE QUEBEC PARENTAL INSURANCE PLAN (QPIP)

- AS OF JANUARY 1, 2006-

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.          A CONTEXT SPECIFIC TO QUEBEC

1.1          Agreement between Canada and Quebec
1.2          Effect on the payment of EI benefits in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada
1.3          Comparison between EI and QPIP

2.          THE FIVE RULES FOR DETERMINING WHICH PROGRAM APPLIE

2.1          lst rule: the transition period between the two programs
2.2          2nd rule: one program per birth or adoption
2.2.1        A practical case
2.3          3rd rule: according to the province of residence of each parent if different
2.3.1        A practical case
2.4          4th rule: the guarantee of equivalence of the amount of benefits
2.5          5th rule: the concomitant events – More than one birth or adoption
2.5.1        A five-point approach
2.5.2        A practical case

3.          EFFECT ON ENTITLEMENT TO EI BENEFITS

3.1          EI legislative and regulatory measures
3.2          Introduction to the new regulations on entitlement
3.3           A new disentitlement to EI benefits
3.3.1        Disentitlement to EI Maternity and Parental benefits
3.3.2        Subject to the amount of benefits
3.3.3        Disentitlement to other types of EI benefits
3.4           A new principle of equivalence under EI
3.4.1        Basic principle: 5 situations
3.4.1.1     52-week NERE before the Qualifying Period
3.4.1.2     Qualifying Period and its extension
3.4.1.3     Rate Calculation Period
3.4.1.4     Extension of the benefit Period for Special benefits
3.4.1.5     Extension of the benefit Period – Hospitalized Child
3.4.2        Principle if otherwise entitled: 2 situations
3.4.2.1     208-weeks Period prior to the NERE Period
3.4.2.2     Insured Participant - Part II of the EI Act
3.4.3        Principle adapted to QPIP benefit payment plan: 2 situations
3.4.3.1      Benefit Period: maximum number of benefit weeks
3.4.3.2      A practical case
3.4.3.3      Sharing of EI and QPIP benefits between parents
3.4.3.4      Agreement between parents on the sharing of benefits
3.4.3.5      Possible options for sharing benefits between parents

1.  A CONTEXT SPECIFIC TO QUEBEC

The implementation of the new Quebec Parental Insurance Plan on January 1, 2006, has brought about many changes in the rules respecting the payment of benefits relating to the birth or adoption of a child, which were until then under the jurisdiction of the federal Employment Insurance Program throughout Canada..

This is no longer the case generally in Quebec since January 1, 2006, as a result of the agreement entered into by the governments of Canada and Quebec. Under the new Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, responsibility for the payment of benefits related to the birth or the adoption of a child in Quebec has been entrusted to the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity of Quebec (MESSQ).

The new Quebec Parental Insurance Plan applies to parents residing in Quebec in respect of any new claim for benefits relating to a birth or an adoption occurring on January 1, 2006 or later.

The Employment Insurance Program continues to apply to parents:

  • residing in Quebec in respect of any claim relating to a birth or an adoption covering a period prior to January 1, 2006 – even if the birth occurs on or after January 1, 2006 – as well as in respect of any birth or adoption that occurred before January 1, 2006; or
  • residing outside Quebec in respect of any claim relating to a birth or an adoption.

In Quebec, as in the other provinces and territories of Canada, nothing has changed with respect to the payment of other types of Employment Insurance benefits such as, regular benefits, sickness benefits, compassionate care benefits and fishers’ benefits. Eligible workers continue to have access to these benefits.

1.1  Agreement between Canada and Quebec

This specific context to Quebec arises from the Final Agreement signed on March 1, 2005, by the governments of Canada and Quebec respecting the implementation of the QPIP and containing the administrative, financial and operational provisions according to which the new Quebec plan was established.

This agreement includes a funding mechanism whereby the Government of Canada will reduce the EI contributions of Quebec workers and employers so that the Quebec government can collect contributions for its own program.

The agreement covers the issue of equivalence between the programs. In the first year of QPIP implementation, Quebec guarantees that no Quebec resident receives fewer benefits than what is provided for under the EI program.

The agreement also covers issues such as interprovincial mobility, co-operation between the two governments and effective delivery of services.

In this way, for example:

  • Interprovincial mobility is assured. Parents who are initially collecting benefits under EI or QPIP and later move to another province, territory or country will continue to receive benefits from the same program.
  • Claimants will not be able to collect benefits for the birth or adoption of a child under both programs simultaneously.
  • Both governments will exchange necessary information to ensure that each program is implemented effectively.
  • If one government plans to amend its program, it will inform the other government in advance.

The Government of Canada has agreed that Quebec will use Record of Employment data and Social Insurance Numbers to administer its Parental Insurance Plan.

The Governments of Canada and Quebec made a commitment to make the legislative and regulatory amendments necessary for the QPIP’s implementation. This has given rise to several changes, inter alia, in entitlement to maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance Program.1


  1. See Part 3 of this Appendix.

1.2  Effect on the payment of EI benefits in Quebecand elsewhere in Canada

The implementation of this new plan in Quebec does not mean, however, that maternity and parental Employment Insurance benefits will cease to be paid in Quebec or that the impact of this new plan will be limited to Quebec. This will be explained in greater detail by the existence in particular of the following characteristics:

  • Special rules apply to the transition period between the two programs, based on the date of birth or placement for adoption purposes and on the start date of the claim for benefits.1
  • The Employment Insurance Program continues to pay maternity and parental benefits to parents who reside outside Quebec or who are not considered residents of Quebec.2
  • To facilitate interprovincial mobility, the initial program will continue to pay benefits even if the parents move elsewhere during their benefit period3.
  • There is a guarantee of equivalence if the amount of QPIP benefits is not equivalent or greater than the amount of EI benefits.4
  • There is an agreed approach between the two programs for dealing with concomitant events when the period for which benefits are payable under one program relating to a birth or an adoption overlaps the period for which benefits are payable under the other program relating to another birth or adoption.5

It is important to know as well that there is an administrative agreement between the two programs that provides for the two parents’ sharing parental or adoption benefits where one parent is residing outside Quebec and the other is residing in Quebec at the beginning of the period for which the first parent – in most cases, the mother – applies to receive such benefits.6

Finally, a new principle of equivalence has been established under the Employment Insurance program to guarantee equity throughout the entire country, including Quebec, in the processing of claims for Employment Insurance benefits.

This principle7, which extends to benefits paid under a provincial plan a recognition that is similar to maternity or parental benefits paid under the EI plan, applies to any future claim for EI benefits.


  1. Refer to 2.1 for more information;
  2. Refer to 2.2 and 2.3 for more information;
  3. Refer to 2.2 and 2.3 for more information;
  4. Refer to 2.4 for more information;
  5. Refer to 2.5 for more information;
  6. Refer to 3.4.3.2 and 3.4.3.3 for more information;
  7. Refer to 3.4 for more information.

1.3  Comparison between EI and QPIP

While EI and QPIP are related and share the common goal of providing benefits with regard to the birth or adoption of a child, there are nevertheless several distinctive elements.

The EI program and QPIP are independent and each has its own rules and requirements in terms of entitlement to benefits. The fact that a benefit period is established with one of the two plans does not mean that a benefit period is consequently established with the other one.

As currently done, claimants who want to receive EI benefits will have to file a claim and meet all the rules and conditions provided by the EI legislation.

When comparing QPIP1 to EI it differs in the following respects:

  • coverage for self-employed workers;
  • lower entrance requirement;
  • higher annual maximum insurable earnings;
  • no waiting period;
  • payment of paternity benefits;
  • higher income replacement (benefit) rate;
  • choice between two plans, a basic plan and a special plan which has a different rate and duration of benefits.

See Bill 140 establishing the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan as well as Bill 108 amending it, enacted by the Quebec National Assembly

Parameters

EI

QPIP

Coverage

Employed persons and self-employed fishers

Employed persons and self-employed workers.

Self-employed fishers, who are insurable within the meaning of the EI Act, are considered employed persons if they provide a record of employment, otherwise they will be treated as self-employed workers.

Entrance requirement

Workers other than fishers: 600 hours of insurable employment

Self-employed fishers: earnings of $3, 760

This does not take into account increased entrance requirements for violations.

Insurable income of $2 000

Annual maximum insurable earnings

$39,000

$57,000 as of January 1, 2006 indexed annually

Maximum benefit rate

$413 weekly

$822.12

Waiting period

Two weeks. If parental benefits are shared between two parents, only one WP is required.

None

Benefit rate and benefit period

55% of averaged insured earnings

The benefit rate can be as high as 80% in the form of a family supplement for low-income families with children.

Varies between 55% and 75%, depending on the type of benefits and whether benefits are paid under the longer basic plan or shorter special plan.

If the net family income is less than $25, 921, the weekly benefit is, on request, increased by a lump-sum amount and cannot exceed 80% of the average weekly income.

 

Maternity benefits: 15 weeks

Maternity benefits: 18 weeks at 70% under the basic plan or 15 weeks at 75% under the special plan.

 

Paternity benefits: none

Paternity benefits: 5 weeks at 70% under the basic plan or 3 weeks at 75% under the special plan.

 

Parental benefits for a birth or adoption: 35 weeks that eligible parents can share

Parental benefits related to the birth of a child: 32 weeks, including 7 weeks at 70% and 25 weeks at 55% under the basic plan or 25 weeks at 75% under the special plan. Eligible parents can share.

Adoption benefits: 12 weeks at 70% and 25 weeks at 55% under the basic plan or 28 weeks at 75% under the special plan. Eligible parents can share.

 

No choice of rate and duration

With regard to the basic plan or special plan, the benefit payment plan that is chosen by the first parent who requests benefits applies to both parents and to all types of benefits paid for that child.

It should be noted that QPIP paternity benefits are not intended for fathers adopting a child. However, adoptive parents can receive up to 37 weeks of QPIP adoption benefits that can be shared between them or that one parent can take in their entirety.

2.  THE FIVE RULES FOR DETERMINING WHICH PROGRAM APPLIES

Parents residing in Quebec who claim benefits in relation to the birth or adoption of a child cannot receive both EI benefits and QPIP benefits.

It is therefore essential to determine which of the two programs applies. There are five rules for determining which program applies to the payment of benefits in relation to a birth or adoption.

  1. The transition period between the two programs
  2. One program per birth or adoption
  3. According to the province of residence of each parent, if different
  4. The guarantee of equivalence of the amount of benefits
  5. The concomitant events when there is more than one birth or adoption

This section summarizes various possible scenarios in relation to these five rules and provides overall guidelines for determining which of the two programs, EI or QPIP, applies to Quebec residents or, in some circumstances, to non-Quebec residents who file claims for benefits with respect to the birth or adoption of a child.

2.1  1st rule: the transition period between the two programs

A transition period was required to ensure the new sharing of responsibilities between EI and the QPIP is achieved without disruption and to guarantee respect for the principles contained in the Final Agreement between Canada and Quebec.

It has therefore been agreed that the following transitional rule applies to parents residing in Quebec as of the effective date of the QPIP implementation, January 1, 2006:

  • The new QPIP applies for any new benefit claims taking effect on or after January 1, 2006, and made in relation to a birth or adoption occurring on or after January 1, 2006.

  • The Federal Employment Insurance Program continues to apply:

    • For any maternity or parental benefit claims covering a period prior to January 1, 2006, even if the birth occurs on or after January 1, 2006;

    • For any birth or adoption occurring prior to January 1, 2006.

The table below identifies which of the two programs applies to parents residing in Quebec, according to the expected or actual date of birth or the date a child is placed with the parents for adoption and according to the effective date of the claim for benefits.

Benefit Program for Quebec residents

Claims with regard to birth

Benefit program

Date of birth

For a period starting before January 1, 2006

EI

If the expected date of birth is before February 26, 2006; or

If birth occurs before January 1, 2006

For a period starting on or after January 1, 2006 

EI

If birth occurs before January 1, 2006

QPIP

If birth occurs on or after January 1, 2006

 

Claims with regard to adoption

 

Date of child’s placement

with the  parents

For a period starting before January 1, 2006 

EI

If placement is before January 1, 2006

For a period starting on or after January 1, 2006 

EI

If placement is before January 1, 2006

QPIP

If placement is on or after January 1, 2006

Parents residing in Quebec for whom the expected date of birth of their child was until February 25, 2006 inclusively were be able to choose, if the birth occurred on or after January 1, 2006, either EI benefits beginning in 2005 or QPIP benefits beginning in 2006.

The two programs have agreed on a common position concerning the choice of either QPIP or EI made by a claimant. The program chosen becomes irrevocable once it has begun to pay the benefits claimed. Obviously, the choice must have been made in compliance with the legislation and the benefits must have been legitimately paid.

Once the payment of EI maternity or parental benefits has begun, it is not possible to switch over to QPIP benefits. A person cannot interrupt the payment of these EI benefits in order to collect the remainder of the weeks of benefits from QPIP.

In the event that EI begins payment of maternity benefits for a period prior to January 1, 2006, EI will continue payment of these benefits after January 1, 2006, as well as payment of all parental benefits related to this birth to both parents, even if the birth possibly occurs on or after January 1, 2006.

The same principle applies to the payment of parental benefits for an adoption that EI has begun to pay for a period prior to January 1, 20061.

It should also be explained that, under EI, the maternity period during which maternity benefits are payable starts on the earlier of the following:

  • eight weeks before the expected date of confinement ; or

  • the actual date of confinement week.

The situation is different under the QPIP: the earliest time at which a woman can claim maternity benefits is as of the 16th week prior to the expected date of confinement.


  1. Refer to EIR 76.23. 

2.2  2nd rule: one program per birth or adoption

The concept of residence is central to determining which program applies in relation to a birth or a placement for adoption. Quebec’s Parental Insurance Act stipulates that a person is eligible for the Quebec plan who meets the following condition, among others:

  • A person must be a resident of Quebec at the beginning of their benefit period and, in cases of a person whose insurable earnings from a business are considered, a resident of Quebec on December 31st of the year preceding the beginning of their benefit period.

Such persons meet that QPIP condition for eligibility regardless of the fact that they can be employed outside Quebec, either in another province or territory, in the United States or elsewhere in the world.

It is up to QPIP to determine whether a person meets the eligibility condition of Quebec residence at the beginning of the period for which a first parent – in most cases, the mother - files a claim for benefits for the birth or the adoption of a child. Quebec intends to accept that a person is resident of Quebec if he/she is considered to be at that time a Quebec resident for the purposes of the Taxation Act. Canada will accept Quebec’s determination in this regard.

Persons who are not a Quebec resident at the beginning of that period are not eligible for QPIP unless they were a Quebec resident at the beginning of the period for which the first parent applied to claim for these benefits1.

Workers who are American citizens and working in Quebec continue to be covered by the Agreement between Canada and the United States Respecting Unemployment Insurance.

Border workers who reside in Ontario, New Brunswick or the United States and who travel back and forth to Quebec are not eligible for QPIP benefits. The same applies to foreign workers residing in other countries with jobs in Quebec.

These claimants are not residents of Quebec and they should not apply for QPIP. They should apply to EI for maternity and/or parental benefits.

As a general rule, the program that applies first in a case of birth or adoption will govern the payment of all types of associated benefits to one or other of the parents who are residents under the same program at the beginning of the period for which the first parent to file a claim applies for benefits for the birth or the adoption of a child.

This program will continue to apply for all types of benefits for this same birth or adoption throughout the benefit period or periods of one or the other parent, even if the parents move to another province or territory or to another country during their respective benefit period2.

On occasions concomitant events can happen when the period for which benefits are payable under one program relating to a birth or an adoption overlaps the period for which benefits are payable under the other program relating to another birth or adoption3.


  1.  Refer to 2.3;
  2. This last principle applies pursuant to EIR 76.09(4) and (5);
  3. The rule agreed upon in similar situations is found in 2.5.

2.2.1 A practical case

Marie and Eric are living in Sherbrooke, Quebec, when Marie stops work in anticipation of the birth of their child. She files a claim for maternity benefits with the QPIP and a benefit period is established for her. Marie and Eric move a few weeks later outside Quebec.

Marie will continue to receive maternity benefits from QPIP even though she resides outside Quebec. If she wants to receive parental benefits after that, she must apply to the QPIP since this is the plan that applied initially when she claimed maternity benefits.

Eric will eventually take leave to take care of their child. He, too, will submit his claim for parental benefits from the QPIP even though he no longer resides in Quebec because he was living in Quebec at the beginning of the period for which Marie claimed maternity benefits.

2.3   3rd rule: according to the province of residence of each parent, if different

A first exception exists with respect to the general rule stated in the preceding section: it applies where the parents do not live together, namely, where one resides in Quebec and the other outside Quebec at the beginning of the period for which the first parent – in most cases, the mother – claims benefits in relation to the birth or adoption of a child.

The QPIP in this case will apply for the parent who resides in Quebec and the EI will apply for the parent residing outside Quebec.

The program that applies will be the one governing the respective place of residence of each parent at the time. The fact that the second parent may have changed his/her place of residence by the time that this parent later claims benefits has no effect on determining the program.

The following table outlines the various possibilities 

If the 1st parent to claim resides in 
Quebec at the beginning of the period for
which he/she claims benefits for the birth
or adoption of a child: QPIP

 

And at that time the other parent

  • Resides in Quebec : QPIP
  • Resides outside Quebec : EI

 

If the 1st parent to claim resides outside
Quebec: EI

 

And at that time the other parent

  • Resides in Quebec : QPIP
  • Resides outside Quebec: EI

 

2.3.1 A practical case

Elisabeth resides in a suburb of Montreal, Quebec. She is pregnant and has just filed a claim for maternity benefits with the QPIP. A benefit period will be established for her since she is a resident of Quebec.

Henry, the child’s father, intends to take leave from his job later to take care of the newborn for a period of time. Since he lives in Ottawa, Ontario, he wonders whether to approach the EI or the QPIP, as Elisabeth did.

The plan that applies to Henry in such cases is the one that applies where he is residing at the beginning of the period for which Elisabeth claims maternity benefits. Consequently, he must apply to the EI plan because he was residing in Ottawa at the time that Elisabeth claimed maternity benefits.

If they both plan to receive parental benefits to care for their child, Elisabeth and Henry will have to agree on the number of weeks during which one or the other wants to receive benefits from their respective plans and share the benefits between them.1


  1. See 3.4.3.2 for more information concerning the sharing of parental or adoption benefits by parents receiving payments from both plans.

2.4  4th rule: the guarantee of equivalenceof the amount of benefits

There is a second exception to the general rule stated earlier.1 The Government of Canada wanted to ensure that claimants who are entitled to receive provincial benefits will receive an amount of benefits that is at least equivalent to the benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to receive for a birth or an adoption under the EI Act.

New EI Regulations2 make it possible to pay weekly EI maternity or parental benefits in addition to the provincial benefits that the claimant has received or is entitled to receive for the same weeks so that the global amount of the benefits is at least equivalent to the amount of benefits he/she would otherwise have been entitled under the EI.

These provisions should not apply at the present time since, in the Final Agreement concluded with the government of Canada, Quebec has guaranteed that any person residing in Quebec will receive during the first year of the QPIP’s implementation a global amount of benefits that is at least equivalent to what the person would have been entitled to under EI.3

The rules that will apply for the years following the first year of implementation, however, remain to be defined by the governments of Canada and Quebec.


  1. Refer to 2.2 for more information;
  2. Refer to EIR 76.09 (2), 76.16 and 76.17; 
  3. This subject is discussed again in 3.3.2.

2.5  5th rule: the concomitant events – More than one birth or adoption

The preceding rules1 have made it possible to determine which of the two programs applies to a first event, i.e. a birth or an adoption for which benefits are then payable under the program identified.

A second event can then occur (i.e. another birth or adoption), for which benefits may be payable under one of the programs during the period for which benefits remain payable for the first event under the other program.

These so-called concomitant events generally occur when:

  1. A person files a claim for benefits relating to a birth or an adoption that were payable or are payable under EI according to the transition rules in effect for the period before QPIP came into force on January 1, 2006 and for which he/she is still entitled to EI maternity or parental benefits, when another birth or adoption occurs on or after January 1, 2006 for which, as a Quebec resident, he/she may then be entitled to QPIP benefits.

  2. A person files a claim for benefits relating to a birth or an adoption that are payable under EI or QPIP according to the rules in effect since QPIP came into force on January 1, 2006 and for which he/she is still entitled to EI maternity or parental benefits or to QPIP benefits, when another birth or adoption occurs on or after January 1, 2006 for which he/she may then be entitled to benefits under the other program.

This will occur particularly when this person changes their province of residence - moving outside or to Quebec - between the moment they filed for benefits under one program for the first event and the moment they are entitled to file a claim for benefits under the other program for the second event.

The question is then the following: Which benefit program, QPIP or EI, applies to the second event? The answer relies on the choice that the parents will make between the two following options:

Option 1: Continue receiving benefits for the first event

Parents may choose to continue receiving the benefits payable to them under the identified program for the first event until their entitlement to these benefits is exhausted.

They may later claim the benefits to which they are entitled for the second event, under the program which will then be identified as the payer.

Option 2: Stop receiving benefits for the first event

One or both parents may instead wish to immediately claim the benefits to which they are entitled under one of the programs for the second event, even if benefit weeks are still payable to them under the other program for the first event.

Canada and Quebec have agreed on a common approach2 for determining the rules that apply when such concomitant events occur.

It should be noted in the context that the delivery of more than one child as a result of a single pregnancy is considered to be a single delivery and consequently does not constitute by itself what is being designed as concomitant events. This is the same with the adoption of more than one child at the same time which is considered to be a single adoption.


  1. See 2.1 to 2.4;
  2. Refer to 2.5.1.

2.5.1 A five-point approach

The approach to determining which program applies when concomitant events occur can be summarized in the following five points:

  1. The payer for each event is determined independently;
  2. No person may receive concurrent benefits for more than one event;
  3. A person who has claimed benefits for a first event must discontinue them to claim benefits for a second event;
  4. A person whose the other parent of the child has claimed benefits for a first event and is still receiving them may claim benefits for a second event;
  5. The program that covers a person for the second event will be determined in the usual manner, based on their place of residence at the beginning of the period for which a first parent claims benefits for the second event.

This approach states, particularly, that a person must discontinue the benefits they are receiving or entitled to receive under one of the programs for a first event if they wish to receive benefits under the other program for a second event.

This option is available to both parents or even to one parent if the other wishes to continue receiving the benefits to which he/she is entitled for the first event.

Of course, the person or persons claiming benefits for a second event under one of the programs must meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

The program that applies to the second event depends on the place of residence of each parent at the beginning of the period for which files a claim the first parent to claim benefits for the second event. QPIP will then apply to parents living in Quebec, while EI will apply to parents living outside Quebec at the beginning of that period.

As it will be seen in a later section1, there is a specific EI Regulation2 that makes a person who receives or is entitled to receive provincial benefits disentitled to EI benefits.Our reading of this regulation in the present context is that it applies to only one event at a time.

Accordingly, this regulation shall not apply to a person who claims benefits for a second event and is covered by EI – even if he/she is still entitled to receive QPIP benefits for a first event.

If the person meets the other EI maternity or parental benefit entitlement requirements for the second event, he/she will be eligible in spite of this specific EI Regulation, even if he/she is still entitled to QPIP benefits for the first event.

Of course, this supposes that the person is no longer receiving QPIP benefits for the first event (i.e. that he/she has discontinued them) when he/she claims EI maternity or parental benefits for the second event.


  1. Refer to 3.3; 
  2. This is EIR 76.09.

2.5.2  A practical case

As an illustration, here is the five-point application in line with the approach described above to the following three situations:

Situation A: – Parents live outside Quebec during the first event, then move to Quebec before the second event

A person (mother) living outside Quebec claims maternity benefits for a first event, i.e. the birth of a child. EI will be the payer for this first event, both for the claimant and for the other parent who lives with her.

The couple then moves to Quebec where they experience a second event, i.e. the adoption of a child.

If we apply the five-point approach:

  • As Quebec residents, if both parents wish to receive QPIP benefits for the second event, they must discontinue their EI benefits for the first event. QPIP will then be the applicable program for the second event.

  • One parent wishes to continue receiving EI benefits for the first event, while the other, as a Quebec resident, wishes to receive QPIP benefits for the second event. This parent must discontinue his/her EI benefits for the first event. QPIP will then be the applicable program for the second event.

Situation B: The Reverse - Parents live in Quebecduring the first event, and move outside Quebecbefore the second event

A person (mother) living in Quebec claims maternity benefits for a first event, i.e. the birth of a child. QPIP will be the payer for this first event, both for the claimant and for the other parent who lives with her.

The couple then moves outside Quebec where they experience a second event, i.e. the adoption of a child.

If we apply the five-point approach:

  • As non-Quebec residents, if both parents wish to receive EI benefits for the second event, they must discontinue their QPIP benefits for the first event. EI will then be the applicable program for the second event.

  • One parent wishes to continue receiving QPIP benefits for the first event, while the other, as a non-Quebec resident, wishes to receive EI benefits for the second event. This parent must discontinue his/her QPIP benefits for the first event. EI will then be the applicable program for the second event.

Situation C: Variation – Both parents live outside Quebecduring the first event, and only one parent moves to Quebecbefore the second event

A person (mother) living outside Quebec claims maternity benefits for a first event, i.e. the birth of a child. EI will be the payer for this first event, both for the claimant and for the other parent who lives with her.

One parent then moves to Quebec, after which both parents experience a second event, i.e. the adoption of a child.

If we apply the five-point approach:

  • The parent living outside Quebec wishes to continue receiving EI benefits for the first event, while the other, as a Quebec resident, wishes to receive QPIP benefits for the second event. This parent must discontinue his/her EI benefits for the first event.

  • For the parent living in Quebec, QPIP will then be the applicable program for the second event. If the parent living outside Quebec claims benefits for the second event, EI will be the applicable program because he/she had been living outside Quebec at the beginning of the period for which the parent living in Quebec first claimed benefits for the second event.

In such cases, the payment of EI parental benefits or QPIP parental or adoption benefits between the parents covered by both programs for each event will be done in accordance with the administrative agreement concluded by Canada and Quebec in relation to the sharing of benefits between parents1.


  1. Refer to 3.4.3.2 for more information concerning the sharing of parental or adoption benefits by parents who receive payments from both regimes.

3.  EFFECT ON ENTITLEMENT TO EI BENEFITS

3.1  EI legislative and regulatory measures

By signing the Final Agreement on March 1, 2005, the Governments of Canada and Quebec made a commitment to make the legislative and regulatory amendments necessary for the QPIP’s implementation.

Authority to make the necessary amendments to EI legislation is found in the Budget Implementation Act (C-43) which received royal assent June 29, 2005. This Act introduced brand new provisions enabling

  • To reduce or eliminate parental benefits when allowances, money or other benefits are payable to the claimant under a provincial law1.

  • To make adjustments to the legislation by means of regulations facilitating implementation of provincial maternity and parental benefit plans2.

These new regulations do not deal only with the QPIP. They have been drafted to take account of the future implementation of any similar program established by a provincial legislation.

These new EI regulations which took effect on January 1, 2006, fall into three categories dealing with:

  1. 1. Regulations on the reduction of EI premium rates3
  • establishing a system to reduce EI premiums in provinces that put in place a plan to pay maternity/parental benefits;

  • concerning the conditions and standards that must be met to qualify for a premium reduction under the EI Act.

  1. 2. Regulations on entitlement and the interaction between EI and provincial plans4
  • ensuring that the provisions governing entitlement to benefits in the EI Act take into account the coexistence of provincial plans with EI;

  • ensuring that the receipt of a week of benefits from a provincial plan is recognized as a week of EI benefits under certain situations.

Another regulation5 was made to provide that the waiting period for benefits under EI can be waived if maternity or parental benefits are paid under such a provincial plan. This is consistent with provisions under EI with respect to claimants who receive sick leave pay from their employer.

  1. 3. Regulations on administrative matters related to provincial plans6
  • providing for adjustment payments of premiums to be made between the Government of Canada and the governments of provinces with such plans;

  • providing authority for crediting the EI account for adjustments from a province to the Government of Canada.


  1. Namely, subsection 23(3.5) of the EIA;
  2. Namely, section 153.2 of the EIA;
  3. This is EIR 76.01 to 76.08 inclusive based on subsections 69(2) and (3) of the EIA;
  4. This is EIR 76.09 to 76.23 inclusive;
  5. Refer to EIR 76.22; 
  6. This is EIR 76.24 to 76.28 inclusive.

3.2  Introduction to the new regulations on entitlement

The Final Agreement reached between the two governments contains several principles for implementation of QPIP.

The new EI Regulations, which took effect starting January 1, 2006, created the guidelines for processing claims for EI benefits related to a birth or adoption.

The new regulations contain several provisions dealing with entitlement to benefits, mainly:

  • the circumstances in which a person is not entitled to receive EI benefits when he/she is entitled to receive provincial benefits such as QPIP benefits;

  • the situations in which a new equivalence principle applies to ensure equal treatment for all claimants regardless of whether they had received or are receiving EI maternity or parental benefits or QPIP benefits.

3.3  A new disentitlement to EI benefits

The following is one of the basic principles of the Final Agreement between Canada and Quebec: claimants under the QPIP should not receive EI benefits for the same period and the same purpose as those provided in the Quebec plan.

Application of this principle has generated a new disentitlement to EI benefits that prevents an EI claimant who has received or is entitled to receive QPIP benefits from receiving EI benefits at the same time1.

This new disentitlement cannot be applied to a period prior to January 1, 2006. which was the effective date of the Quebec Plan and the new EI Regulations.

Entitlement to EI benefits for a period prior to January 1, 2006, or for a birth or adoption that occurred before January 1, 2006, is to be considered based on the regulations in force at that time rather than on the new regulations.


  1. This subject is discussed under sections 3.3.1 to 3.3.3 inclusive.

3.3.1  Disentitlement to EI maternity and parentalbenefits

The claimant who is entitled to receive benefits under the Quebec plan is not entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits. The specific regulation1 on this provides the following:

  • Subject to subsection (2) every claimant is disentitled to be paid maternity or parental benefits under the EI Act, if they are entitled to receive provincial benefits under a provincial plan.

This statement is true in general for any person identified under the five rules for determining which program applies2 as being governed by the QPIP. It is not necessary that this person make a claim for benefits under the QPIP for this disentitlement to apply. It is enough to show that the person is entitled to receive QPIP benefits for a birth or adoption.

The fact that the person resides in Quebec constitutes sufficient proof to impose a disentitlement starting from the week he/she claims EI benefits for a birth or adoption unless there is an indication in the file that this person belongs to one of the exceptions.

In the case of EI claimants who are on an EI continuing claim, a disentitlement cannot be imposed without previously knowing the week for which benefits are claimed for a birth or adoption and if they are entitled then to receive QPIP benefits. The disentitlement will be imposed from that week in such cases.

In the case of EI and QPIP, payment of maternity benefits can begin before the week in which the child is born, starting from the eighth and sixteenth week respectively before the expected date of delivery.

The other types of benefits related to the birth or adoption of a child cannot be paid before the week of the birth of a child or the arrival/placement of a child with the parents for the purpose of adoption. An exception is cases of adoption outside Quebec: payment of QPIP adoption benefits can begin two weeks before the child’s arrival.


  1. As worded in subsection (1) of EIR 76.09; 
  2. Refer to sections 2.1 to 2.5. 

3.3.2  Subject to the amount of benefits

The regulation1 makes the following reservation with respect to the imposition of a disentitlement considered in the preceding section:

  • Subsection (1) does not apply if, at the request of the claimant, it is determined by the Commission that the amount of provincial benefits the claimant is entitled to receive under the provincial plan is not substantially equivalent to or greater than the amount of maternity or parental benefits that they are entitled to receive under the EI Act.

This reservation, the intent of which is to guarantee the equivalence2 of the maternity or parental EI benefit amounts that would otherwise have been paid, thus makes it possible to pay a weekly maternity or parental EI benefit that will be reduced3 by an amount equal to the provincial benefits that the claimant has received or is entitled to receive in respect of the same week and by the amount of any deduction provided for.4

Such a determination by the Commission will then be done on the express request of a claimant and only after the definite amount of provincial benefits that the claimant is entitled to receive under the provincial plan is known.

Obviously, it will not apply in cases where a person is not entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits when for example, he/she has less than 600 hours of insurable employment or does not meet increased entrance requirements for violations or is self-employed.

Such a determination by the Commission should generally not be done for QPIP for the first transition year since Quebec has guaranteed in the Final Agreement and in various measures set out in its regulations that it will pay an overall amount at least equivalent to the overall amount of EI benefits that a person would have otherwise been entitled to receive.

It is the claimant’s responsibility to take the necessary steps to request the QPIP to pay an amount of benefits that is sufficient to meet that test.


  1. Under subsection (2) of EIR 76.09; 
  2. This subject is dealt with in 2.4; 
  3. Pursuant to EIR 76.16 and 76.17; 
  4. At 19, 22(5) and 23(3.5) of the EIA.

3.3.3  Disentitlement to other types of EI benefits

The regulatory text does not disentitle a claimant to only EI maternity or parental benefits if he/she is entitled to receive provincial benefits in the context described in the following subsection1:

  • Every claimant who has received, or has applied for and is entitled to receive, provincial benefits under a provincial plan in respect of a week is disentitled to be paid benefits in respect of that same week under:

    • Part I of the Act, other than EI maternity or parental benefits; or
    • The EI (Fishing) Regulations.

This specific enactment, then, makes a claimant who has received QPIP benefits or has claimed such benefits and is entitled to them during the particular weeks, ineligible to receive any EI benefits for these weeks, with the exception of maternity or parental EI benefits, which are covered by other provisions.2

For example, the fact that a person (mother) is entitled to receive maternity benefits under QPIP as of the 16th week prior to the expected date of confinement does not mean that the disentitlement provided here will automatically apply in her case.

The fact that this person is entitled to receive QPIP benefits is not sufficient by itself to impose such a disentitlement; it also requires that she has applied for QPIP benefits.

This person will then continue to receive EI regular benefits or other types of EI benefits - except maternity/parental benefits - to which she is entitled until the week for which she is requesting QPIP benefits for a birth or adoption that she is entitled to receive.


  1. Under subsection (3) of EIR 76.09;  
  2. i.e., subsections (1) and (2) of the EIR 76.09.  

3.4  A new principle of equivalence under EI

A new principle that guarantees equity in the treatment of EI claims throughout the country is applied in the new EI Regulations1 in force on January 1, 2006.

This principle of equivalence for the purposes of EI extends to benefits paid by QPIP a recognition that is similar to maternity or parental benefits paid under EI.

This global principle of equivalence applies in 9 situations grouped together under the following three principles:

  • Basic principle;2
  • Principle if otherwise entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits;3
  • Principle adapted to the QPIP benefit payment plan.4

In the case where a week of QPIP benefits has been taken into account as part of the application of the first eight situations5, no week of EI maternity or parental benefits can be taken into account twice for the same reasons.6


  1. Namely, Regulations 76.1 to 76.15 and 76.18 to 76.21 inclusive;
  2. In the five situations described in 3.4.1.1 to 3.4.1.5;
  3. In the two situations described in 3.4.2.1 and 3.4.2.2;
  4. In the two situations described in 3.4.3.1 and 3.4.3.2 
  5. Described in 3.4.1.1 to 3.4.3.1;
  6. Under EIR 76.18.

3.4.1 Basic principle: 5 situations

The basic principle of equivalence is the following: one (1) week of QPIP benefits is considered to be equivalent to one (1) week of EI maternity or parental benefits.

According to this basic principle, persons receiving QPIP benefits in the following five situations will be treated in the same way as if they have received EI maternity or parental benefits.

3.4.1.1 52-Week NERE before the Qualifying Period

A provision added1 to the regulation dealing with prescribed hours and weeks2 provides that any week for which provincial benefits - such as QPIP benefits - are paid during the NERE period will be equivalent to 35 prescribed hours that relate to employment in the labour force.

This provision makes it easier for an individual to reach the minimum threshold of 490 hours of insurable employment required during the NERE period in order not to be considered any more as a person who is entering or re-entering the labour market. That person will, where appropriate, require fewer insurable hours of employment during the qualifying period in order to establish an EI benefit period.


  1. EIR 76.12 (1); 
  2. Paragraph 7(4) (c) of the EIA and paragraph 12(1) (a) of the EIR.

3.4.1.2  Qualifying Period and its extension

According to a new regulation1, a reference to “a week during which the person was in receipt of benefits” shall be read as including a week for which the person was paid provincial benefits such as QPIP benefits.

Thus, the EI qualifying period cannot be extended for any week in which a person has received QPIP benefits, just as is the case for any week for which a person has received EI benefits.2


  1. EIR 76.13; 
  2. Pursuant to subsection 8(5) of the EIA.

3.4.1.3  Rate Calculation Period

According to a section added1 to the regulation dealing with prescribed hours and weeks,2 it follows that any week for which a claimant has no insurable earnings and has received provincial benefits – such as QPIP benefits – is considered a prescribed week relating to employment in the labour force.

Accordingly, such provincial benefit weeks will not be taken into account in the rate calculation period3 consisting of a maximum of twenty-six consecutive weeks during the qualifying period.

Thus, the period including such weeks of provincial benefits may be extended by the same number of weeks so that the required number of weeks composing the rate calculation period of at least twenty-six consecutive weeks during the qualifying period is reached without taking these provincial weeks of benefits into account.


  1. EIR 76.12(2); 
  2. Paragraph 12(2) (d) of the EIR;
  3. Paragraph 14(4) of the EIA.

3.4.1.4  Extension of the benefit period for Special benefits

Under a new regulation1 concerning the extension of the benefit period, a reference to “benefits paid in the case of a pregnancy or because the claimant is caring for one or more new-born or adopted children placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption” for a number of weeks that is less than the applicable maximum number of weeks shall be read as a reference to the provincial benefits that have been paid to the claimant for the same reasons.

It follows that QPIP benefits can be used to extend the employment insurance benefit period2 to allow the claimant to receive the maximum number of special benefits weeks under the EI – other than maternity or parental – to which he/she is entitled.


  1. EIR 76.14; 
  2. Under subsections 10(13), (13.1), (13.2) or (13.3) of the Act.

3.4.1.5  Extension of the benefit period for Special benefits – Hospitalized child

A new regulation1 on extending the benefit period enables the benefit period under the EI2 to be extended by the number of weeks of hospitalization for a person who received QPIP benefits or is entitled to receive them where his/her child is hospitalized during the period provided in the EI Act.3

In this context, a claimant who has requested the suspension of the payment of his/her benefits from the QPIP during his/her child’s period of hospitalization will be considered entitled to receive them.


  1. EIR 76.15; 
  2. Under subsection 10(12) of the EIA;
  3. In subsection 23(2) of the EIA.

3.4.2  Principle if otherwise entitled: 2 situations

This second principle of equivalence is as follows: one (1) week of QPIP benefits is considered to be equivalent to one (1) week of EI maternity or parental benefits if claimants prove they would otherwise have been entitled to EI maternity or parental benefits.

Claimants who were paid QPIP benefits in the two situations described in the following sections1 must meet this condition to have their QPIP benefits weeks considered equivalent to EI maternity or parental benefits weeks.

Obviously, a person will not meet this condition in cases for example where they would not have had, at the beginning of the QPIP benefit period, the minimum of 600 hours of insurable employment required to receive EI maternity or parental benefits or would not have met increased entrance requirements for violations or where they have their QPIP benefit period based on self-employment.


  1. See 3.4.2.1 and 3.4.2.2.

3.4.2.1  208-Week Period Prior to the NERE Period

A new regulation1 for determining the conditions required to receive benefits specifies that an insured person is considered not to be a new entrant or a re-entrant to the labour force if they:

  • have been paid one or more weeks of provincial benefits in the referred period of 208 weeks 2; and
  • would have been entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits for the same period, had they not been paid those provincial benefits.

A person is therefore not identified in similar situations as a person entering or re-entering the labour force to the extent that the person shows that he/she would otherwise have been entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits during one or more weeks for which the person received provincial benefits –such as QPIP benefits – during this 208-week period.

As a person other than an entrant or re-entrant to the labour force, he/she will then need only a lesser number of insurable hours of employment during the qualifying period to establish an EI benefit period.3

The current rules concerning calculation of percentages paid for a week will be applied in this situation4 in order to conclude that a week of QPIP benefits has been paid.


  1. EIR 76.1 (1);
  2. For the application of subsection 7(4.1) of the EIA;
  3. Pursuant to subsection 7(2) of the EIA;
  4. Under the EIR 76.1 (2).

3.4.2.2  Participant - Part II of the EI Act.

A new regulation1 for the purposes of designating a participant for the application of Part II of the EI Act - EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE allows a person to be considered an insured participant:2

  • if they would have been entitled to receive EI maternity or parental benefits and would have had a benefit period established for that purpose within the time required, had they not been paid provincial benefits.

This regulation, which applies where a person has received provincial benefits such as QPIP benefits, flows from the commitments made to this effect by Canada and Quebec in concluding the Final Agreement of March 1, 2005.


  1. EIR 76.11; 
  2. For the application of paragraph 58(1) (b) of the EIA.

3.4.3  Principle adapted to QPIP benefit payment plan: 2 situations

This third principle of equivalence that is the only one to take into account the plan under which QPIP benefits are paid is the following:

  • One (1) week of QPIP benefits when paid under:
  • the basic plan is considered to be equivalent to one (1) week of EI maternity or parental benefits;

  • the special plan is considered to be equivalent to the number of weeks of EI maternity or parental benefits obtained in converting this week of QPIP benefits into its equivalent number of weeks of EI benefits.

Parents covered by QPIP have the choice between two benefits payment plans: a basic and a special. Under the basic plan, the income replacement rate is lower than for the special plan, but the duration of benefits is longer.

It should be noted in this context that:

  • QPIP maternity benefits are considered as EI maternity benefits;

  • QPIP paternity, parental and adoption benefits are considered as EI parental benefits.

One (1) week of QPIP under the QPIP basic plan is equivalent to one (1) week of EI benefits of the same type as it is shown within the following table.

Benefit payment under QPIP Basic Plan Equivalence of QPIP to EI


QPIP


Equivalent


EI

1 week of maternity benefits

to

1 week of maternity benefits

1 week of paternity, parental or adoption benefits

to

1 week of parental benefits

This is different under the special plan where the equivalence of QPIP to EI is directly related to the different types of benefits and to the conversion factors that apply.

One (1) week of QPIP benefits under the special plan multiplied by the conversion factor appropriate to each type of benefits produces its equivalent number of weeks of the same type of EI benefits as it is shown within the following table.

Benefit payment under QPIP Special Plan Equivalence of QPIP to EI

QPIP


Equivalent


EI

1 week of maternity benefits

to

1.20 week of maternity benefits

1 week of paternity benefits

to

1.66 week of parental benefits

1 week of parental benefits

to

1.28 week of parental benefits

1 week of adoption benefits

to

1.32 week of parental benefits

The conversion factor appropriate to each type of QPIP benefits is obtained by dividing for each type of these benefits the maximum number of weeks payable under the basic plan by the maximum number of weeks payable under the special plan1. For example, for QPIP maternity benefits, the conversion factor is obtained by dividing 18 by 15 = 1.20.

The result obtained by this conversion is rounded to the next highest number, if it includes a percentage of (.5) or more, and is rounded down, if it includes a percentage of less than (.5)2. The number is rounded after all types of QPIP benefits claimed have been converted.

This principle of equivalence adapted to the QPIP payment plan applies in the two situations3 that are described in the following sections4.


  1. Refer to EIR 76.19(2) and 76.21(3); 
  2. As stipulated in EIR 76.19(3); 
  3. Described in EIR 76.19 and 76.21; 
  4. From 3.4.3.1 to 3.4.3.4 inclusive.

3.4.3.1  Benefit Period : maximum number of benefit weeks

Under a new provision1 concerning the payment of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, each week of provincial benefits such as Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits is considered as a week for which EI benefits are paid and is taken into consideration in calculating:

  • the overall maximum number of weeks of EI maternity or parental benefits to be paid per benefit period and the maximum number of weeks of EI benefits to be paid regarding a birth or an adoption.v

One (1) week of provincial benefits such as QPIP benefits paid under the basic plan during an EI benefit period and with respect to a birth or an adoption is equivalent to one (1) week of EI benefits of the same type.

One provision2 however does take into consideration situations where a provincial program offers the option of paying provincial benefits at the accelerated rate, as the QPIP special plan currently provides to its claimants. For EI purposes, this means than the number of weeks of QPIP benefits paid under the special plan during an EI benefit period and regarding a birth or an adoption is therefore converted into its equivalent number of weeks of EI benefits of the same type.

Accordingly, the number of weeks of benefits paid under the basic or special plan of QPIP is converted to an equivalent number of weeks of benefits of the same type as the EI program provides. This provision thus reduces the number of EI benefit weeks that remain to be paid during an EI benefit period and with respect to a birth or adoption.

Each week of provincial benefits such as QPIP benefits paid during an EI benefit period and regarding a birth or adoption is to be taken into account and calculated up to the equivalent maximum number of 15 and 35 weeks respective for EI maternity and parental benefits3.

  1. EIR 76.19(1); This specific principle of equivalence can also be used for the purpose of  EIR 93(5) in order to determine if an insured person qualify to receive benefits under  EIA 7;
  2. EIR 76.19(2); See 3.4.3 ;
  3. EIR 76.2. 

[July 2007]

3.4.3.2  A practical case

Maximum number of weeks of EI benefits Per benefit period and event


Week

commencing on


QPIP

Benefit Period


EI

Benefit Period

July 2, 2006

 

-

Benefit period commencement for regular benefits claim

Waiting Period

July 9, 2006

 

-

Waiting Period

July 16, 2006

to August 19, 2006

 

-

 

5 weeks of regular benefits

August 20, 2006

to October 21, 2006

QPIP start date for maternity benefits

9 weeks of maternity benefits - paid according to  the special plan

Disentitlement because of payment of QPIP benefits

October 22, 2006

 

-

1 week of regular benefits

Thus, there are 9 weeks of QPIP maternity benefits paid from August 20, 2006 to October 21, 2006, which are also part of the EI Benefit Period established from the week of July 2, 2006.

These 9 weeks of QPIP maternity benefits paid according to the special plan multiplied by the conversion factor appropriate to maternity benefits (1.20) comes to 10.8 weeks.

The result of 9 X 1.20 = 10.8 is rounded to 11, which corresponds to the number of equivalent weeks of EI maternity benefits. The number of weeks of EI benefits still to be paid for this EI Benefit Period must therefore take into account this number of 11 equivalent weeks of maternity benefits.

In this example, the EI claimant is considered to have received 11 weeks of maternity benefits and 6 weeks of regular benefits for the purposes of determining the maximum number of EI weeks payable.

3.4.3.3  Sharing of EI and QPIP benefits between parents

Sharing EI and QPIP benefits between parents occurs in situations when one parent resides outside Quebec and the other resides in Quebec at the beginning of the period for which the first parent – in most cases, the mother - files a claim for benefits for the birth or the adoption of a child1.

QPIP is responsible then for the payment of benefits to the parent residing in Quebec and EI is responsible for the parent residing outside Quebec. Both parents can individually collect maternity or paternity benefits under their respective plans.

However, this is not the case for parental benefits and adoption benefits. If each parent were to individually collect weeks of parental or adoption benefits from his or her respective plans, this could give rise to a double payment of these types of benefits for the birth or adoption of the same child.

A regulatory provision2 was made for these persons claiming benefits under different programs, as is the case in the present context.

Canada and Quebec have agreed in this context to an approach that will allow eligible parents to share the number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits payable to them under either EI or QPIP for a same birth or adoption of a child.

If the two parents plan to claim parental or adoption benefits under EI and QPIP respectively to take care of their child, they have to agree on the number of weeks of benefits to be shared between them.

For this purpose it has been agreed to use a principle of equivalence of benefits adapted to the specific benefit payments plans of the QPIP and the EI.

QPIP benefits for EI purposes

The calculation of the number of weeks of QPIP benefits for EI purposes is made on the basis of the benefit payment plan chosen by the QPIP parent3.

If the QPIP parent decides to receive parental or adoption benefits under the basic plan, one (1) week of QPIP benefits is equivalent to one (1) week of EI benefits.

If the QPIP claimant decides to receive parental or adoption benefits under the special plan, one (1) week of QPIP benefits will be converted into its equivalent number of weeks of EI benefits of the same type.

The number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits that the QPIP parent intends to take, after conversion if under the special plan, will be taken into account and will limit by the same the number of weeks of EI parental benefits payable to the other EI parent.

The sum of these two numbers will be used for the purposes of calculating the maximum number of weeks of parental benefits payable to the EI parent for the birth or adoption, i.e. 35 weeks4.

EI benefits for QPIP purposes

As there is no accelerated plan for the payment of EI benefits, one (1) week of EI parental benefits is considered equivalent to one (1) week of QPIP benefits under the basic plan.

This number of weeks of benefits to the EI parent will be retained and will limit by the same the number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits of the QPIP parent determined in accordance with the benefit payment plan chosen.

The sum of these two numbers will be used for the purposes of calculating the maximum number of weeks of parental benefits payable to the QPIP parent for the birth or adoption.

For the parent residing in Quebec and covered by QPIP, there are two ceilings that cannot be exceeded in terms of the maximum number of weeks for a birth or an adoption:

  • 32 or 25 weeks of benefits for the birth of child, depending on whether the QPIP parent chose the basic or the special plan;

  • 37 or 28 weeks of benefits for the adoption of a child, depending on whether the QPIP parent chose the basic or the special plan.

For the parent residing outside Quebec and covered by EI, there is one ceiling that cannot be exceeded, i.e., 35 weeks.

It should also be remembered that the sharing of benefits between the parents in this context is necessarily done with the parental or adoption benefits claimed in respect of the same child.5 Another birth or adoption may later occur for which the parents may want to claim benefits in respect of a period of time for which benefits are still payable for their first child. There is a specific rule for such concomitant events.6


  1. Refer to 2.3; 
  2. EIR 76.21; 
  3. Refer to 3.4.3; 
  4. EIR 76.21 (3); 
  5. EIR 76.21(1); 
  6. Refer to 2.5. 

3.4.3.4  Agreement between parents on the sharing of benefits

Situations where parental or adoption benefits are shared between parents governed in the one case by the EI and in the other by the QPIP are not very common. It is essential in this case that one parent claim and be eligible to receive EI parental or adoption benefits and that the other parent claim and be entitled to provincial benefits, in this case, QPIP parental benefits.1

It is quite possible that there will be a delay between the first parent’s claim for benefits from one plan and the other parent’s claim from the other plan. Where the two parents plan to claim benefits from the EI and the QPIP respectively in order to care for their child, it is definitely desirable that they reach an agreement on the number of weeks of benefits to be shared between them.

It is important in this regard to give each parent his/her right to freely express his/her choice based on the agreement between them. The parents must decide how the number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits will be shared between them as soon as the first parent claims these benefits. However, a change can be made at any time before the benefits are paid in full.

Efforts are accordingly made to inform the parents of possible choices for sharing2 and to verify if they have made an agreement or if there is a need for an administrative decision regarding the sharing because of the lack of an agreement between the parents.

There may also be a court order concerning the sharing of parental or adoption benefits between the parents resulting from a court judgment, in which case the sharing will be done in compliance with the order issued to that effect.

Where both parents cannot reach an agreement on the sharing of benefits between them, it will be the responsibility of the two program administrators to jointly divide up the number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits between the two parents pursuant to the provisions made under Quebec’s Parental Insurance Act and the Employment Insurance Act.3

According to the regulation4 made to this effect, the number of weeks of benefits that is to be shared between the parents is then established as follows:

  • if the number of weeks of benefits that the parent governed by the EI would otherwise be entitled to receive is an even number, the parent is entitled to half the number of weeks of benefits;

  • if this number is uneven:

    • if the parent governed by the EI claims first, he/she is entitled to one week of benefits in addition to half the remaining weeks,

    • if the parent governed by the provincial program, in this case the QPIP, claims first, the other parent, governed by the EI, is entitled to half the weeks of benefits remaining after deducting one week.

The administrators of the two plans may divide and share between the parents only the number of weeks of benefits remaining to them. If one of the parents has not used up the number of weeks of benefits to which he/she is entitled as a result of the sharing, the administrators of the two plans must obtain his/her agreement to allow the other parent to benefit from them.

In all cases, according to the regulation,the maximum number of weeks of benefits that can be paid to the parent governed by the EI may not be greater than the maximum number of 35 weeks, less the number of weeks of provincial benefits that have been paid to the parent governed by the provincial plan, taking into account, if applicable, any weeks of provincial benefits paid at the accelerated rate.

It is therefore necessary to take into account, where benefits are paid specifically under the QPIP, the converted value5 of these weeks in order to reach an equitable division between the two parents of the number of weeks of benefits payable to them by each plan.

  1. EIR 76.21(2); 
  2. Refer to 3.4.3.5; 
  3. EIR 76.21(2); 
  4. EIR 76.21(3); 
  5. Refer to 3.4.3. 

3.4.3.5  Possible options for sharing benefits between parents

Under the agreement between the administrators of the two programs, there are several options for sharing between parents - who are entitled to receive these benefits - depending on the type of benefits claimed, the benefit payment plan selected by the QPIP parent and the maximum number of weeks of parental or adoption benefits payable by EI and QPIP.

The four tables below illustrate the maximum number of weeks of benefits that parents can share between them and the maximum number of weeks of benefits that they can collect.

Parents can also choose not to collect the maximum number of weeks of benefits possible.

By definition, in order for parents to share benefits, each parent must take at least one week of parental or adoption benefits.

There is a special characteristic in some cases in that one or the other parent is granted a number of weeks of additional parental or adoption benefits in order to reach the maximum number of weeks allocated under EI and QPIP.

These additional weeks are shown in Plus column in the following four tables.


Possible sharing choices - Table no. 1

 

 

QPIP Parental benefits - Basic plan

Maximum number of 32 weeks

 

 

EI Parental benefits

Maximum number of 35 weeks

 

QPIP Parent

 

Conversion Factor

 

EI Parent

Shared week

 

 

Shared week

Plus

1

-

31

3

2

-

30

3

3

-

29

3

4

-

28

3

5

-

27

3

6

-

26

3

7

-

25

3

8

-

24

3

9

-

23

3

10

-

22

3

11

-

21

3

12

-

20

3

13

-

19

3

14

-

18

3

15

-

17

3

16

-

16

3

17

-

15

3

18

-

14

3

19

-

13

3

20

-

12

3

21

-

11

3

22

-

10

3

23

-

9

3

24

-

8

3

25

-

7

3

26

-

6

3

27

-

5

3

28

-

4

3

29

-

3

3

30

-

2

3

31

-

1

3

The combined total of the shared weeks goes up to the lesser maximum, i.e. 32 weeks of parental benefits under QPIP. As EI can pay up to 35 weeks of parental benefits, the Plus column shows the additional weeks that the EI parent can take in order to reach the maximum provided under EI.

 

Possible sharing choices - Table no. 2

 

 

QPIP Parental benefits - Special plan

Maximum number of 25 accelerated weeks

 

 

EI Parental benefits

Maximum number of 35 weeks

QPIP Parent

Conversion Factor

EI Parent

Shared week

 

Shared week

Plus

1

1.28

24

10

2

2 x 1.28 = 2.56  rounded to 3

23

9

3

3 x 1.28 = 3.84   rounded to 4

22

9

4

4 x 1.28 = 5.12  rounded to 5

21

9

5

5 x 1.28 = 6.40  rounded to 6

20

9

6

6 x 1.28 = 7.68  rounded to 8

19

8

7

7 x 1.28 = 8.96  rounded to 9

18

8

8

8 x 1.28 = 10.24  rounded to 10

17

8

9

9 x 1.28 = 11.52  rounded to 12

16

7

10

10 x 1.28 = 12.80 rounded to 13

15

7

11

11 x 1.28 = 14.08 rounded to 14

14

7

12

12 x 1.28 = 15.36 rounded to 15

13

7

13

13 x 1.28 = 16.64 rounded to 17

12

6

14

14 x 1.28 = 17.92 rounded to 18

11

6

15

15 x 1.28 = 19.20 rounded to 19

10

6

16

16 x 1.28 = 20.48 rounded to 20

9

6

17

17 x 1.28 = 21.76 rounded to 22

8

5

18

18 x 1.28 = 23.04 rounded to 23

7

5

19

19 x 1.28 = 24.32 rounded to 24

6

5

20

20 x 1.28 = 25.60 rounded to 26

5

4

21

21 x 1.28 = 26.88 rounded to 27

4

4

22

22 x 1.28 = 28.16 rounded to 28

3

4

23

23 x 1.28 = 29.44 rounded to 29

2

4

24

24 x 1.28 = 30.72 rounded to 31

1

3

The combined total of the shared weeks goes up to the lesser maximum, i.e. 25 weeks of parental benefits under QPIP. As EI can pay up to 35 weeks of parental benefits, the Plus column shows the additional weeks that the EI parent can take in order to reach the maximum provided under EI

 

 

Possible sharing choices - Table no. 3

 

 

QPIP Adoption benefits - Basic plan

Maximum number of 37 weeks

 

 

EI Parental benefits

Maximum number of 35 weeks

QPIP Parent

Conversion Factor

EI Parent

 

Plus

 

Shared Week

 

 

Shared Week

 

2

1

-

34

2

2

-

33

2

3

-

32

2

4

-

31

2

5

-

30

2

6

-

29

2

7

-

28

2

8

-

27

2

9

-

26

2

10

-

25

2

11

-

24

2

12

-

23

2

13

-

22

2

14

-

21

2

15

-

20

2

16

-

19

2

17

-

18

2

18

-

17

2

19

-

16

2

20

-

15

2

21

-

14

2

22

-

13

2

23

-

12

2

24

-

11

2

25

-

10

2

26

-

9

2

27

-

8

2

28

-

7

2

29

-

6

2

30

-

5

2

31

-

4

2

32

-

3

2

33

-

2

2

34

-

1

The combined total of the shared weeks goes up to the lesser maximum, i.e. 35 weeks of parental benefits under EI. As QPIP can pay up to 37 weeks of adoption benefits, the Plus column shows the additional weeks that the QPIP parent can take in order to reach the maximum provided under QPIP.

 

Possible sharing choices - Table no. 4

 

 

QPIP Adoption benefits – Special plan

Maximum number of 28 accelerated weeks

 

 

EI Parental benefits

Maximum number of 35 weeks

QPIP Parent

Conversion Factor

EI Parent

 

Shared Week

 

 

 

Shared Week

 

 

Plus

1

1 x 1.32 = 1.32  rounded to 1

27

7

2

2 x 1.32 = 2.64 rounded to 3

26

6

3

3 x 1.32 = 3.96  rounded to 4

25

6

4

4 x 1.32 = 5.28  rounded to 5

24

6

5

5 x 1.32 = 6.60  rounded to 7

23

5

6

6 x 1.32 = 7.92  rounded to 8

22

5

7

7 x 1.32 = 9.24  rounded to 9

21

5

8

8 x 1.32 = 10.56  rounded to 11

20

4

9

9 x 1.32 = 11.88  rounded to 12

19

4

10

10 x 1.32 = 13.20 rounded to 13

18

4

11

11 x 1.32 = 14.52 rounded to 15

17

3

12

12 x 1.32 = 15.84 rounded to 16

16

3

13

13 x 1.32 = 17.16 rounded to 17

15

3

14

14 x 1.32 = 18.48 rounded to 18

14

3

15

15 x 1.32 = 19.80 rounded to 20

13

2

16

16 x 1.32 = 21.12 rounded to 21

12

2

17

17 x 1.32 = 22.44 rounded to 22

11

2

18

18 x 1.32 = 23.76 rounded to 24

10

1

19

19 x 1.32 = 25.08 rounded to 25

9

1

20

20 x 1.32 = 26.40 rounded to 26

8

1

21

21 x 1.32 = 27.72 rounded to 28

7

-

22

22 x 1.32 = 29.04 rounded to 29

6

-

23

23 x 1.32 = 30.36 rounded to 30

5

-

24

24 x 1.32 = 31.68 rounded to 32

4

-

25

25 x 1.32 = 33.00 rounded to 33

3

-

26

26 x 1.32 = 34.32 rounded to 34

2

-

27

27 x 1.32 = 35.64 rounded to 36

1

-

The combined total of the shared weeks goes up to the lesser maximum, i.e. 28 weeks of adoption benefits under QPIP. As EI can pay up to 35 weeks of parental benefits, the Plus column shows the additional weeks that the EI parent can take in order to reach the maximum provided under EI.

Although the EI parent’s total exceeds for the 4 last combinations the maximum number of 35 weeks provided for under the EI Program, it is to both parents’ advantage and is justifiable for benefit-sharing purposes.

[September 2006]