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When to apply for benefits

What you need to know:

Each parent must file an application for benefits.
You may not apply in advance. The earliest you can apply for benefits is during the calendar week (Sunday to Saturday) in which you wish to begin your benefit period.

Example:
You stopped working on Friday, June 15, 2007, and you wish to receive benefits as of the week of June 17, 2007. You may not file your application until Sunday, June 17, 2007.

You may file an application for benefits when you cease your income-generating activities.

You may file an application for benefits when you cease your business activities or as of the day you reduce the time spent on your business activities by 40% or more. If you are a person who receives remuneration as a family-type resource or an intermediate ressource This link opens in a new window., you are automatically deemed to have reduced your time spent on these activities by at least 40%.

Note that if you worked or received income during the week in which your benefit period begins, it will be taken into account and could reduce the amount of the first payment.

Barring exceptions, the income you must declare is considered for the week it was earned, not the week it was received.

Example:
If you choose the basic plan for 18 weeks of maternity benefits:

  • Last day paid: Tuesday, March 20, 2007.
  • Income for March 18, 19 and 20, 2007: $275.
  • Date of your child’s birth: Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

If you decide to begin the maternity benefit period on Sunday, March 18, 2007:

You may file your application for benefits during the week of March 18. However, your income from March 18 to 20 will be taken into account when calculating the first benefit payment.

Therefore, if your benefit is $450 a week, you will receive a $175 benefit for the week of March 18 to 24 ($450 – $275 = $175).

For the next 17 weeks, your weekly benefit will be $450 if you have no additional income during your maternity benefit period.

If you decide to begin the maternity benefit period on Sunday, March 25, 2007:

You must file your application as of the week of March 25, 2007.

Your weekly benefit for the full 18 weeks will not be reduced if you have no income during your maternity benefit period.

You risk losing weeks of benefits if you delay in filing your application after your remuneration ends.

The date you file your application is very important. You may receive benefits for a period prior to the filing date. This period, however, cannot be more than three weeks earlier than the filing date.

Example:
You stopped working on June 15, 2007, and you wish to receive benefits as of the week of June 17, 2007. The date of your application must be no later than July 14, 2007.

Maternity Benefits

If you delay in filing your application following the birth of your child, you risk losing weeks of maternity benefits because you cannot receive maternity benefits more than 18 weeks after your child is born.

The type of benefits requested determines the application date and the end date of your benefit payments.
Type of benefit The application for benefits may be filed no earlier than:

Unless the benefit period is extended, payment of benefits ends no later than:

Maternity
(exclusively for the woman who gave birth)
  • the 16th week before the expected date of delivery

  • 18 weeks after the week the child is born

Additional information about the maternity benefit period in the case of a birth (French only) Link to external site.

  • in the case of an interruption of pregnancy, the week the pregnancy was interrupted if the interruption occurs after the 19th week of pregnancy
  • 18 weeks after the week the pregnancy is interrupted.

Additional information about the maternity benefit period in the case of an interruption of pregnancy (French only) Link to external site.

Paternity
(exclusively for the father)
  • the week the child is born.
  • 52 weeks after the week the child is born.

Additional information about the paternity benefit period (French only) Link to external site.

Parental
(may be shared by the parents)
  • the week the child is born.
  • 52 weeks after the week the child is born.

Additional information about the parental benefit period (French only) Link to external site.

Adoption (may be shared by the adoptive parents)

Adoption in Québec : the week the child comes into the care of one of the parents for adoption. The child’s arrival date for adoption depends on the type of adoption.

For

  • regular adoption,
  • adoption under the Banque mixte program and
  • traditional Inuit adoption,
    the arrival date for adoption is the date the child is physically placed in the family.

For

  • adoption of a child already placed in the adoptive parents’ foster family and
  • special (intrafamily) adoption,
    the arrival date for adoption is the date the application for a placement order is filed with the court for the purposes of adoption.
  • 52 weeks after the child’s arrival .

Additional information about the adoption benefit period (French only) Link to external site.

Adoption outside Québec : two weeks before the week the child comes into the care of one of the parents for adoption.

The child’s arrival date for adoption is the date on which the child, who has been physically entrusted by the competent authority to the care of the adoptive parents, arrives in Québec, or, upon request, the date the child is entrusted by the competent authority to the adoptive parents in the child’s province or country of origin.

  • 52 weeks after the child’s arrival .

Additional information about the adoption benefit period (French only) Link to external site.

If you have had pregnancies or adoptions in quick succession, please contact the Centre de service à la clientèle for more information about your second application for benefits.

Last update: 2017-08-15

 
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