bc govt logoOn Oct. 1, 2016, the Province will make Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits and EI benefits for parents caring for critically ill children fully exempt for people on income and disability assistance.

These changes will benefit about 200 parents on income and disability assistance each year and provide additional financial support while they are caring for a new-born, newly adopted, or critically ill child.

B.C. is only the second province after Quebec to exempt EI maternity and parental benefits from monthly provincial assistance. This builds on a number of significant changes the Province has made over the last 18 months to further support families with children on assistance, including:

  • Becoming the first province in Canada to fully exempt child support payments for families on income and disability assistance;
  • Doubling the monthly income exemption for families with children on income assistance from $200 to $400 a month and increasing it from $300 to $500 for families who have a child with a disability;
  • Providing continued access to health supplements for up to one year to families with children who leave income or disability assistance for employment;
  • Exempting Canada Pension Plan orphan’s benefits and WorkSafeBC child benefits from income, disability or hardship assistance; and
  • Establishing the Single Parent Employment Initiative which helps single parents on income and disability assistance get the supports they need to overcome barriers to employment and build a better future for their families. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 3,400 single parents are involved in the program.

The Province is committed to providing the supports needed to help improve the well-being and financial outcomes for vulnerable B.C. parents and children.