When you are on regular EI, you may collect up to 4 weeks of sickness benefits without having to convert your claim from regular to sickness benefits. The sickness EI payment will be the same as the regular EI. However, you must insure you have doctor’s note to cover those weeks that you are unavailable to look for work because Service Canada may send you a letter requesting to show proof of your sickness. If your sickness is going to last longer than 4 weeks, you will then be required to officially convert your claim to sickness benefits. Your weekly benefits rate remains the same.
Converting to sickness EI
To do so, you have to either call EI call centre to speak to an agent to complete the conversion form or to go online to re-apply as sickness benefits. Then you have to submit your doctor’s note that says when (the date) you were sick and until when will you be recovered (an approximate date in the future). Once the request is initiated, you might see your payment paused up to 21 days for EI processing agent to work on your request. Maximum sickness benefits claimant can collect is 15 weeks.
The 15 weeks of sickness benefits will not be counted towards your regular benefits weeks. It is counted as an additional weeks. So, if you were qualified for 30 weeks of regular benefits, you will then get an additional 15 weeks, that makes a total of 45 weeks of EI you will receive. The amount of sickness benefits will be the same as the regular EI. Keep in mind that your EI expiry is still 52 weeks. So the total weeks (regular + sickness) can not go beyond 52 weeks.