Change EI eligibility requirements to help parents of critically ill children who are diagnosed very young.

Petition Closed

Change EI eligibility requirements to help parents of critically ill children who are diagnosed very young.

This petition had 67,216 supporters

Samantha Rudolph started this petition to Service Canada and

My son Lawrence is the sweetest, bravest almost-2-year-old you'll ever meet. In January, Lawrence was diagnosed with leukemia. He knows something's wrong but he's not quite old enough to understand what's happening to him or why we have to go to Sick Kids hospital all the time. He trusts me and his dad completely to protect him and make sure he gets better.

We're doing our best, but because of an unfair loophole in the program that provides EI benefits to parents of critically ill children we're having a much harder time coping with the full time care our son still needs. In theory, EI benefits for parents of critically ill children are great, BUT you can only receive them if you worked 600 hours since you were last on EI.  The problem is, when Lawrence was born I took maternity leave and was therefore on EI. I started up at my job with the YMCA in September, but Lawrence was diagnosed in January after I had worked only 425 hours.

I've paid into EI for a decade prior to taking maternity leave, but because I only worked 425 hours since coming back from leave my application for EI as a parent of a critically ill child was rejected.  If Lawrence had been diagnosed a month later we would not have had this problem.

As soon as he was diagnosed our lives turned upside down and our costs skyrocketed.  We basically lived in Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto for a month and now we have to travel back and forth from Barrie to Toronto for chemo all the time. When Lawrence is scared I need to be there with him. It's been impossible to work. We have a certificate from Lawrence's doctor as well stating that he needs full time parental care for at least 35 weeks.

When you've paid into EI for years you expect it to be there when you need it. I'm asking Employment Minister Jason Kenney to fix this loophole so that parents of children who are diagnosed with a critical illness or who have a serious accident at a very young age can receive EI benefits even if they recently took parental leave.

This isn't just about my family. Since experiencing this I've met other parents at Sick Kids Hospital who are in the same terrible position. Please sign my petition & if you or someone you know is going through this too please let me know by leaving a comment with your story.

Thank you!

Samantha Rudolph

Petition Closed

This petition had 67,216 supporters