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Cathleen Wright

How do the changes to the EI waiting period affect my short-term disability plan and participation in the EI Premium Reduction program?

As of January 1, 2017, Service Canada implemented amendments to the EI waiting period. This reduces the time served before receiving EI Sickness benefits from two (2) weeks down to one (1) and ultimately provides more financial support to those needing to be off work due to illness or injury.

How Does This Impact Existing EI Premium Reduction Program Participants?

For those employers that already offer short-term disability (STD) benefits to their employees and participate in the EI Premium Reduction program, this change may impact you and you may need to make changes to your plan design in order to dovetail with EI.  Service Canada has allowed until January 2, 2021 for these changes to be made.

What Are Your Next Steps As An Employer?

If you are participating in the EI Premium Reduction program and submitted your plan design framework to Service Canada after January 1, 2017, there is likely no action needed on your end. However, if you had submitted your plan design prior to the change coming into effect, you may need to make a plan amendment and/or resubmit your plan design to Service Canada to ensure adherence to their new guidelines. We highly recommend that you reach out to your benefits consultant for advice and recommendations on next steps.

How Can I Find Out More About The Premium Reduction Program?

Companies who offer short-term disability or similar forms of income protection to their employees may be eligible to participate in the EI Premium Reduction program and receive a reduction in the employment insurance premiums that they pay to Service Canada.

For more information on the EI Premium Reduction Program and how you can benefit, visit Service Canada’s website.

Cathleen Wright

With over 30 years of experience, Cathleen possesses an ever-growing knowledge of all aspects of group employee benefits, combined with expertise in the evolving landscape of the insurance industry. She is HIAA and ADR certified, in addition to numerous other professional sales and service certifications. When not working, Cathleen can be found at home watching the Leafs or the Blue Jays, and if it’s summer, she’ll be unplugged at the cottage with a book. Year round yoga is a must to maintain serenity, and a glass of wine or a margarita doesn’t hurt!
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