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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 must file your application no earlier than Sunday, June 17, 2007.

You can file an application for benefits once you stop working or as of the day your normal weekly salary is reduced 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.

You may file your application for benefits even if you do not have your Record(s) of Employment on hand.

Your eligibility is established as of your application’s filing date. If you had only one employer and your normal gross weekly pay has always been the same throughout the 26 weeks preceding the date you wish your benefits to begin, you can request provisional benefits. Upon reception of your Record(s) of Employment, we will re-examine your application and, if necessary, adjust the amount of your benefits. A pay statement or T4 slip, for example, cannot replace a Record of Employment.

Example :
You apply for 18 weeks of maternity benefits.

  • Last day paid: Tuesday, March 20, 2007
  • Date of your child’s birth: Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

You decide to wait until your employer sends you your Record of Employment before you file your application; you receive it on Tuesday, May 1, 2007.

You file your application on Sunday, May 6, 2007. You request that your 18 weeks of maternity benefits be paid effective Sunday, March 18, 2007.

We cannot accept March 18, 2007, as the date your benefits begin, because we can grant you benefits effective no earlier than three weeks earlier than the filing date of your application. Your benefit period can begin no earlier than Sunday, April 15, 2007.

The maternity benefit period ends at the latest 18 weeks after the birth of your child. Therefore, you would be receiving benefits for at most the period from April 15, 2007, to July 22, 2007, totalling 15 weeks instead of 18, because you delayed in filing your application.

If you are receiving indemnities under the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) prevention program “Pour une maternité sans danger” you may apply for benefits four weeks before the expected date of birth.

The CNESST will cease your indemnities as of that date if you are eligible for the Québec Parental Insurance Plan.

More information about the CNESST prevention program Pour une maternité sans danger (French
only)Link to external site.

You are required to agree on the date of your leave with your employer.

The Act respecting labour standards has provisions on leave for family events. For more information, contact the Service des renseignements of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) at one of the following numbers: 1 844 838-0808 (toll-free). You can also visit the CNESST websiteLink to external site. .

If you have made arrangements with your employer to take paid vacation days within the first 18 weeks following the birth of your child, please note that you could lose maternity benefit weeks under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan. As a rule, maternity benefit weeks cannot be paid later than the 18th week following the week of the birth. It is therefore preferable to make arrangements with your employer to schedule such paid vacation days for after your parental leave period.

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

Last update: 2017-08-15

 
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