The feds are being sued by moms denied EI benefits. Here’s some background.

By on October 9, 2017


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OTTAWA — Some facts to know about a class action lawsuit between the federal government and mothers denied sickness benefits:

The rule: Parliament decided in 2002 to allow new mothers who were diagnosed with cancer, for instance, to access 15 extra weeks of employment insurance payments in addition to a year’s worth of parental leave benefits.

The problem: Between 2002 and 2013 the government allegedly denied thousands of women the benefits they were supposed to receive. Many women received EI denial letters saying that they were ineligible for the benefits because they were not otherwise available for work.

The issue: Recently, lawyers found other women were denied benefits for because their sickness claims were filed in during the 17-weeks of maternity leave available to new mothers and not during the 35 weeks of parental leave.

The court: A hearing is set for early January where a judge will determine whether to add these women as members of the class action.