May 5, 2015 5:04 pm
Updated: May 6, 2015 9:42 am

5 things to know about applying for compassionate care benefits


Above watch: After three weeks of chasing paper, Marie Felicien is still no closer to accessing the compassionate care benefits she hoped to get for caring for her dying father. Billy Shields reports.

MONTREAL — Last week, Global News spoke with a Montreal-area nurse, Marie Felicien, who took time off work to care for her dying father.

READ MORE: Is accessing compassionate leave benefit in Quebec an issue? A Montreal nurse says yes 

Yet, nearly a month after he died, she was still unable to have her claim for compassionate care benefits processed due to a problem getting a doctor’s note.

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WATCH ABOVE: Access to compassionate leave in Quebec a challenge

Many were shocked and horrified at the story, with viewers asking questions ranging from what were compassionate leave benefits to how to apply for them.

READ MORECompassionate care in Canada
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In addition to the Federal compassionate leave benefit, Quebecers may be eligible for an additional benefit under the province’s Commission des normes du travail, which allows a person 12 weeks of leave to take care of their dying parent.

Here are five top things you need to know, according to Service Canada.

1. Paperwork is important

Federal compassionate care benefits hinge on a document describing the condition of a dying family member and a waiver authorizing its release.

2. Pay stubs are also important

Applicants need to show that their earnings from work have decreased by 40 per cent, and, in the last year, that they have accumulated 600 insured hours of work.

3. Stopped working? Apply now!

People should apply for benefits as soon as they stop working, or apply within four weeks of the last day of work.

4. It takes a month to receive benefits

Payments on Compassionate Care claims usually start within 28 days of applying — it also includes a two-week waiting period.

5. Benefits last for six weeks — but will be expanded

A person can receive the benefits for a maximum of six weeks. As of January 2016, the benefits will expand to six months.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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