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Parents with critically ill children to be eligible for EI

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Chilliwack- Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack Fraser-Canyon announced the Government's intention to move forward with a new Employment Insurance (EI) special benefit for parents to take time off work to care for their critically ill or injured children.

"It's a recognition of both the emotional and financial burdens faced by parents in dealing with a sick child and will help them cope with one of the most difficult challenges any parent will face," said Strahl.

Parents who must take time off work to care for a child who has a life-threatening illness or injury would be able to apply for up to 35 weeks of this new EI special benefit.

The special benefit is part of the Government of Canada's continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities. Other EI measures include: expanding eligibility for compassionate care benefits; allowing self-employed workers to opt into the EI program to receive maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, as well as this new special benefit; and improving access to EI parental benefits for military and foster families.

The new EI special benefit for parents of critically ill children is expected to be available in June 2013 and will help an estimated 6 000 families per year.

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