The Federal Government has announced that they’re permanently extending the number of weeks available under EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks. These extra weeks will be available for new EI claims established on or after December 18, 2022.

Important information

  • If you have a Short-Term Disability (STD) plan that integrates with the EI sickness benefit, you may wish to align their maximum benefit period to 26/27 weeks (depending on your STD elimination period).
  • If your plan doesn’t have STD and your plan members claim EI benefits before Long-Term Disability (LTD), you may wish to align your LTD elimination period to 27 weeks (aligns with the 1-week EI wait period plus 26 weeks of payments).
  • If you qualify for the Premium Reduction Program (PRP), there won’t be any immediate impact.
  • The requirements to qualify for a premium reduction under this program will remain unchanged for the time being.

If you don’t make these changes, there’s a chance your plan members will receive EI and disability benefits at the same time. It’s the plan member’s responsibility to advise Service Canada if they’re in receipt of disability benefits. When this change is in effect, you may want to advise your plan members who receive EI sickness benefits to contact Service Canada to discuss potential impacts on their benefits.

Because this change isn’t mandatory, there’s no need to make it by a specific date. We understand you’ll need time to consider what’s right for your benefits program. This change can be made at any time.

 If you wish to adjust your STD benefit period, or LTD elimination period, you can contact your advisor or Sun Life Group Benefits Representative. You’ll be able to discuss options and pricing. We’ll assess rate changes to revised STD and LTD plans on a plan-by-plan basis.

Questions? We’re here to help.

Please contact your Sun Life Group Benefits representative.