It's finally come through! Woohoo!
My recent employer took their sweet time to process my maternity leave, and didn't issue my Record of Employment (ROE) - which is required to get EI benefits - for five weeks! Yes, yes, legally they are required to submit it to Service Canada within 5 days - but they didn't. It's all sorted now, but I was getting super stressed out for a couple of weeks.
I've got my first EI payment and it was a titch higher than I had estimated a few months ago when I was building ur maternity leave budget. I got the max benefit which works out to $464/week after taxes.
For my non-Canadian readers, Employment Insurance is a federal benefit that all employees and employer's pay into with premiums that are deducted from your pay/managed through your employer. You can apply to receive EI benefits for a number of reasons, including maternity/parental leave. You have to have worked to be eligible to receive benefits in the program. The basic rate for calculating benefits if 55% of your average weekly earnings to a maximum of $49,500 - that means you can get a maximum of $524/week. This is taxable income, and it looks like I'm being deducted $60/week - so my net is $464.
I've now submitted my application for employer top-up benefits, and should see that on the next regular pay schedule. Employer paid top-ups are 100% at the employer's discretion. My employer tops up my EI benefit to 70% of my pre-leave salary for 15 weeks to help with the transition. To be eligible for this benefit, I first had to get approved for EI (otherwise, there is nothing to top-up).
I'm looking forward to being able to start some of our savings plans up again now that we have this bit of extra cash flow coming in.