If you are caring for a sick or elderly family member or someone close to you, you may be eligible for caregiver benefits. These benefits provide time off of work and other types of support, allowing the person giving the care to be fully present and available when they are needed. You do not have to be a relative of the person you are caring for to be eligible for caregiving benefits.
In Canada, there are three types of caregiver benefits:
– The family caregiver benefit for children can pay out for up to 35 weeks. This is intended for those who are caring for a critically ill or injured person under the age of 18.
– The family caregiver benefit for adults can pay out benefits for up to 15 weeks. This type of benefit is intended for those caring for a critically ill or injured person over the age of 18.
– The compassionate care benefit can last up to 26 weeks maximum. This type of benefit is set up for those caring for a person of any age who requires end-of-life care.
Only a Service Canada representative can determine eligibility for these benefit programs. The following are some general guidelines to help you determine if you may be eligible for caregiver benefits.
You may have to establish that you are a family member of the person receiving care. If you are not family by blood, you will have to show that you are considered to be like family to the person receiving care. This can be done by having the person receiving care, or one of their representatives, fill out a form. In the case of caring for a child, you will need their parent or guardian to fill out the appropriate forms.
In the past 52 weeks, you should have worked the specified number of insured hours to qualify for caregiving benefits. This number may be subject to change and can be found at the Government of Canada website. Finally, the person that is receiving care has been certified by a medical doctor or practitioner to be critically ill, injured, or in need of end-of-life care.
Only a Service Canada representative can verify eligibility for caregiving benefits. You can apply via their website. If you need more information on the correct documents, that can also be found via their website.