Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period

What’s changing?

The waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits will be reduced from 14 days to seven days, starting Jan. 1, 2017 – a change introduced with the 2016 federal budget.

Please note, the 15 weeks of paid EI benefit is not changing.

How will this change impact disability plan coverage?

If your disability plan is registered with the Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Reduction Program (PRP), you will have to reduce the waiting period for wage loss replacement benefits from 14 days to seven days, to preserve any EI premium reduction you are receiving.

When are amendments required?

Service Canada has announced a four-year transitional period for programs with 14-day waiting periods to amend their plans and meet the new seven-day waiting period. See the full overview and explanation of the changes in the Canada Gazette.

Plan sponsors who are currently establishing new wage loss reduction programs should build in a waiting period of seven days or less.

If you have any questions, contact your Group Benefits Advisor.

Watch for more updates in future issues of Connection.