Can I get time off work for a family sickness or other crisis?

2. Find out about taking a leave when someone is ill

If you have to care for someone with COVID-19, you may qualify for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit. It gives $500 per week for up to 38 weeks. It is expected to be available until September 2021. Read Who can get the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB)? for more information.

The following leaves are for people who need time off to care for or support someone who is ill.

Family caregiver leave

People take family caregiver leave to care for or support a family member who has a serious medical condition.

You may be able to take up to 8 weeks of family caregiver leave in a calendar year. This means between January 1 and December 31.

Family caregiver leave applies to certain family members, including a relative who depends on you for care or assistance.

What you need to show your employer

You need a medical certificate from a doctor, registered nurse, or psychologist that says that your family member has a serious medical condition.

The certificate does not have to say what the medical condition is.

Family medical leave

People take family medical leave to care for or support someone who is dying.

You may be able to take up to 28 weeks of family medical leave over a period of 52 weeks.

Family medical leave applies to certain family members, including someone who thinks of you like a family member.

What you need to show your employer

You need a medical certificate from a doctor or a nurse practitioner that says that the family member or close friend is:

  • seriously ill, and
  • at a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks.

Getting Employment Insurance benefits

Some people may be able to get compassionate care benefits from Employment Insurance (EI).

Critical illness leave

People take critical illness leave so they can care for or support a critically ill:

  • family member
  • child under 18 years of age, including a stepchild, foster child, and a child they’re the legal guardian of

To get critical illness leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 6 months in a row.

Critical illness leave applies to certain family members, including someone who thinks of you like a family member.

Length of the critical illness leave

For a child under 18, you may be able to take up to 37 weeks over a period of 52 weeks.

For an adult family member, you may be able to take up to 17 weeks over a period of 52 weeks.

What you need to show your employer

You need a medical certificate from a doctor, nurse, or psychologist that says that the person is:

  • critically ill, and
  • needs care and support from a family member for a specific period of time.

Getting Employment Insurance benefits

Some people may be able to get the Family Caregiver benefit for adults or the Family Caregiver benefit for children from Employment Insurance (EI).

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