Québec Parental Insurance Plan

Benefits for a Pregnancy or a Birth for a child born before January 1, 2021

During pregnancy or after the birth of a child, the parents may be eligible for different types of benefits. Each type of benefits has its special conditions concerning the benefit period within which the weeks of benefits must be taken by the parents. The number of benefit weeks is determined according to the choice of plan. Planning of benefit weeks accounts for this specific situation.

Types of Benefits

Maternity Benefits

The purpose of maternity benefits is to allow recovery from pregnancy or childbirth. Only a person who has experienced pregnancy, childbirth or termination of pregnancy after 19 full weeks of gestation may be entitled to these benefits. In the case of interruption of pregnancy, see the Termination of Pregnancy page. The number of maternity benefit weeks is determined according to the choice of plan: basic plan or special plan. See the Choice of Plan table.  

Paternity Benefits

Paternity benefits are exclusive to the father or to the female spouse of the mother who gave birth if the spouse is registered on the act of birth. They allow the parent to be present in order to care for the child. Therefore, the parent must be able to care for the child to be entitled to paternity benefits. The number of paternity benefit weeks is determined according to the choice of plan: basic plan or special plan. See the Choice of Plan table.   

Parental Benefits

Parental benefits allow both parents to be present in order to care for their child. The two parents may share the benefit weeks between them, according to their agreement. The benefit weeks may be taken at the same time by both parents or in different weeks. The number of parental benefit weeks is determined according to the choice of plan: basic plan or special plan. See the Choice of Plan table.

Benefit Period

You may receive your benefits within a certain period, which varies according to the type of benefits.

  • Maternity benefits may begin before birth, no sooner than the 16th week before the week scheduled for childbirth. Subject to exceptions, these benefits must end no later than 18 weeks after the child is born.
  • Paternity benefits and parental benefits may begin in the week the child is born and must end, subject to exceptions, no later than 52 weeks after the child is born.

A benefit week always begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. It is impossible to split the week into days. For example, if your child is born on Wednesday and you worked Monday and Tuesday, you may: 

  • either begin your benefits in the previous Sunday and declare your earnings for Monday and Tuesday
  • or begin your benefits the following Sunday.

Go to the page Declaring income while you are receiving benefits.

Choice of Plan

When you apply for benefits, you must choose between two options: the basic plan or the special plan.

  • The basic plan grants more benefit weeks, during which lower benefits are received.
  • The special plan grants higher benefits, spread over a shorter period.

This choice therefore determines the number of parental insurance benefit weeks that may be paid and the percentage replacement of your earnings for these weeks.

Type of Benefits Basic Plan Special Plan
Maternity
Non-shareable benefits  

18 weeks

70% of earnings*

15 weeks

75% of earnings*

Paternity
Non-shareable benefits 

5 weeks

70% of earnings*

3 weeks

75% of earnings*

Parental
Shareable benefits 

32 weeks

  • First 7 weeks: 70% of earnings*
  • Next 25 weeks: 55% of earnings*

25 weeks

75% of earnings*

Basic Plan Special Plan
Maternity
Non-shareable benefits 

18 weeks

70% of earnings*

15 weeks

75% of earnings*

Paternity
Non-shareable benefits 

5 weeks

70% of earnings*

3 weeks

75% of earnings*

Parental
Shareable benefits 

32 weeks

  • First 7 weeks: 70% of earnings*
  • Next 25 weeks: 55% of earnings*

25 weeks

75% of earnings*

*The amount of the benefit is calculated according to the percentage of average weekly earnings (% of earnings) 

Both parents must choose the same plan. The choice is determined by the first of the two parents who files an application. This binds the other parent, even in the case of shared custody. Go to the Date of Application page.  

Important

Once your application is received by the QPIP, it will no longer be possible to change plans and this will apply for the duration of the benefit period.

To find out which benefits you could be entitled to claim depending on your situation, to estimate their amount or to evaluate which of the two plans is more advantageous for you, use the Benefit Calculation Simulator.

Planning of Benefit Weeks

The benefit weeks may be taken at the same time by both parents or at different times within the benefit period. It is possible to plan the allocation of benefit weeks to adapt to different realities.

Informing the Employer

You must agree with your employer on the time of your intended leave, regardless of whether you are eligible for parental insurance benefit weeks. The Act respecting labour standards contains provisions on leave for family events. To learn more, visit the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) website or call its telephone service at 1-844-838-0808.

Planning of Benefit Weeks

When you complete your application, indicate all the weeks you wish to take. If your situation changes, you may modify, add or delete benefit weeks according to your needs, by accessing your file online.

Here are some examples that take the parents’ reality into account. The basic plan was considered in each situation.

Example 1: Benefit weeks taken at the same time

Jean-Philippe and Mireille want to take care of their new baby together. They take all the weeks to which they are entitled at the same time.

Mireille will receive 29 benefit weeks:

  • 18 maternity benefit weeks
  • 11 shareable parental benefit weeks

Jean-Philippe will receive 26 benefit weeks:

  • 5 paternity benefit weeks
  • 21 shareable parental benefit weeks

Total for both parents: 55 benefit weeks

Example 2: Benefit weeks taken in different periods

Without being absent from work too long, Marguerite and Monica want their child to stay at home as long as possible. They therefore decide that after the week the child is born, Marguerite will stay alone with their child for the first part of the leave. Monica will stay alone with the child for the second part of the leave. 

Marguerite will receive 27 benefit weeks:

  • 18 maternity benefit weeks
  • 9 shareable parental benefit weeks

Monica will receive 28 benefit weeks:

  • 5 paternity benefit weeks
  • 23 shareable parental benefit weeks

Total for both parents: 55 benefit weeks

Example 3: Parental benefit weeks taken by only one of the two parents

Marie-Michèle and Frédéric want to obtain the maximum benefits from the plan. Frédéric is a student and receives low insurable earnings from his part-time job. They decide that Marie-Michèle will take all the parental benefit weeks. 

Marie-Michèle will receive 50 benefit weeks.

  • 18 maternity benefit weeks
  • 32 shareable parental benefit weeks

Frédéric will receive 5 paternity benefit weeks.

Total for both parents: 55 benefit weeks

Last update: April 14, 2021