I am a compassionate caregiver. That means I’m always available to help my family and friends when they need assistance. But what about the family and friends that I don’t know? Should I help them? Do I have to?

As the healthcare industry finds itself facing a massive crisis in one of its core functions, it is imperative that we consider both the root causes of this issue and the solutions we can implement to address it.

For individuals with pre-existing conditions, the cost of healthcare can be a real barrier to care. That’s why Cigna Life Insurance offers a Compassionate Care benefit that can help you pay your medicine costs if you have to go to the hospital or doctor. This benefit covers up to $1,000 per time you go to the emergency room or 25% of your prescription costs.

word-image-1984 At some point in their lives, people may need care or assistance after a serious illness or injury. If you have a family member or friend who needs help caring for them, you may decide to become a carer for a period of time. But it takes a lot of time and it can take up your entire work day. In this case, you may need to take time off work to care for a sick family member, which will affect your finances. If you have no income, you may need to look for some form of financial assistance to make up for your absence as a caregiver. Fortunately, there are government programs known as care benefits that are specifically designed to provide financial assistance to people who care for a family member or friend in need while they are not working.

What are the benefits of a healthcare facility?

Compassionate care benefits are available to eligible applicants through the Employment Insurance (EI) system. You do not have to be a family member of the person in need of care to receive these benefits, nor do you have to live with the person. But you must consider this person a member of the family.

3 Types of care

You can get benefits for a period of 52 weeks from the date a doctor or paramedic declared someone seriously ill or injured. The weekly allowance may be received in one lump sum or in installments and may be distributed to eligible caregivers. There are 3 types of care

  • Family Care Allowance – covers up to 35 weeks of care for a seriously ill or injured person under 18.
  • Adult Family Care Grant – covers up to 15 weeks of care for a seriously ill or injured person 18 years of age or older.
  • Compassionate Care Benefit – covers up to 26 weeks of care for a person of any age who needs end of life care.

How much can you get from Compassionate Care Allowance?

Eligible applicants may receive up to 55% of their average wage, or $595 per week.

Attractive payment terms

If you are eligible for Compassionate Care Allowance and have submitted all the required documents, the first payment will be made approximately 28 days after your application. There is a period of one week where you do not receive a payment before you start receiving benefits, this is called the waiting period. If the benefit is paid jointly with another person caring for the same sick or injured person, only one of them meets the waiting period. Payments cease when one of the following events occurs

  • The person to be cared for no longer needs care.
  • You have received benefits for the maximum allowable duration of the benefit.
  • You have received the maximum number of weeks of benefits.
  • You have completed 52 weeks since it was determined that the person needed care or support
  • You have reached the end of the application period

Who is entitled to the Compassionate Care Benefit?

To qualify for the Compassionate Care Benefit, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You are a family member or considered a quasi-family member of a person in need of care.
  • If you are not a family member, the person needing care or their legal representative must complete a certification form to confirm that you are considered a family member.
  • Your weekly earnings fell by more than 40% for at least one week because you were exempt from work to care for a sick person.
  • You have completed 600 hours of coverage in the 52 weeks prior to the start of your claim or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter.
  • A health care professional has confirmed that the person you are caring for is seriously ill, injured or in need of end-of-life care.

If you are unemployed, you must meet additional criteria:

  • You must wait 12 months from the date of confirmation of your registration.
  • You earned the minimum wage in the calendar year before the year of application. For 2021, this amount must be at least $7,555 in 2020.

How do I apply for carer’s allowance?

There are six steps to applying for respite care benefits:

1. Start of document collection

You must submit certain documents to the Canadian authorities. It is important that you gather these documents before you begin your online application so that you have everything on hand at the time of application. The required documents are as follows:

  • Your consent to have a medical certificate issued by a doctor.
  • A medical certificate showing that the person is seriously ill or injured and needs care or assistance from a caregiver.
  • a Record of Employment (ROE), which contains information about your employment history and helps you qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • Certification form if you are not a family member of the person needing care or assistance.

2. Collection of your personal data

In order to apply for a healthcare benefit, certain personal details are required. Make sure all this information is available when you apply online. This information includes the following:

  • Names and addresses of all employers in the last 52 weeks
  • The dates you worked for each employer
  • Why do you no longer work for your employer(s)?
  • Why did you stop working or get fired in the last 52 weeks?
  • Your home address and your postal address, if different
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Last name at birth of one of your parents
  • Information about the person in need of care, including: full name, date of birth and home address.
  • Your bank details, including : Name of your bank, branch number (transit) and account number

3. Complete the application online

Once you stop working, it is important to apply for long-term care benefits immediately. If enrollment is delayed more than 4 weeks after the end of employment, all benefits are lost. The online application is very short, but if you are unable to complete it in one sitting, you can keep your information for up to 72 hours after you start the application. You can then return within 72 hours and use a temporary password to access your incomplete application. If your application is not completed within 72 hours, it will be deleted and you will have to start over.

4. Provision of supporting documents

Once your online application is complete, you can submit your documents by mail or in person at your local Canada Service Centre.

5. Wait for proof of service and access code to arrive by post

After you complete the application, Service Canada will send you a benefit certificate. The application includes a 4-digit access code that you will need along with your SIN to check the status of your application.

6. Check the status of your application

You can check the status of your application by contacting a Service Canada representative or by logging into your My Service Canada Account (MSCA). If you are not already registered with CMEA, you will need to create an account once you receive your paycheck and access code.

Allowances for long-term care needs

Can I receive compassionate care benefits if the person I care for lives outside of Canada?

Yes. In that case, you must file an application and provide the proper documentation as if the person in need of care lived in Canada. The doctor of the country of residence must confirm the existence of the illness or injury.

How do I get care services?

You can receive your payment by mail or by automatic deposit.

What is the maximum amount of childcare benefit I can receive?

You can get up to $595 per week if you qualify for care.

Final thoughts

If you need to take time off from work to care for someone who is sick, injured or dying, you do not have to give up all of your income. The Compassionate Care Benefit allows you to receive financial compensation while working as a caregiver.Compassionate Care Benefits is a non-profit organization that provides quality care to patients who are uninsured and/or underinsured. Our mission is to provide uncompromised quality of health care for clients by conducting, planning and implementing research.. Read more about caregiver benefit application and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the caregiver benefit?

Caregivers play an essential role in the lives of those they care for. They are the ones who provide food, shelter, and clothing, and fill the day with activities to keep their loved ones engaged and happy. This is a vital role, and it is one that is extremely rewarding. Many facilities provide benefits to its employees, but what about benefits for the caregivers? Many nursing homes don’t provide any benefits for their caregivers, but the benefits they do offer can range from free medical plans to free prescription medication.

Can I get EI for compassionate leave?

I’m a spouse, I’m also a caregiver for a loved one, I’ve got a kid going to college soon, and I’m planning for a big move. I have a lot of the basics down: new job, new place, new car. Where I’m lacking is EI benefits to cover all of these moving expenses (and maybe childcare). I’m hoping that we can do some research and get some clarity on whether this is possible and what the process will be like. Employers often want to provide employees with paid leave for a variety of reasons. But should they? Two recent studies shed some light on the cost and benefits of paid time off. The first study followed about 3,000 randomly selected, full-time employees across the U.S. The study found that workers who got paid vacation time earned higher wages and were less likely to be laid off than their counterparts who didn’t receive paid vacation. Individuals who took paid vacation were also better able to secure new jobs following a career interruption, according to researchers.

What is compassionate care leave?

Layoffs are an all too common occurrence these days.  But when they happen, many companies do not have a comprehensive benefits plan for employees.  Not only that, but if you are not employed by a big company, you may not have access to any benefits at all.  In order to make sure you are taken care of when you need it most, consider working with a benefits company that can help you secure the benefits you need. You’re working hard to earn a paycheck, but it doesn’t matter how much you earn, if your family doesn’t have the money to pay for the necessities of life.

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