Supplemental EI Sickness Benefit (Benefit Tips ® - © 2014)  (Updated 2020)

Most small businesses do not provide short-term disability insurance due to the cost. Their employees rely on the Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefit which provides 55% of earning to a maximum of $573 per week from the second to sixteenth week of disability. Let’s face it, how many of us can survive a 45% pay cut for four months?

While the public program is modest, with a bit of foresight and paperwork, employers can supplement it to a level that is more meaningful. You can design your plan to meet the specific needs of your organization and staff. Some employers top-up the EI sickness benefit by 20% of earnings. Some also cover part of the 2-week waiting period.

There is no markup, fees or premiums; the cost of this benefit is simply the top-up payments made through your payroll system to disabled employees who have been approved for an EI sickness benefit.

With a bit of planning now, employees can return to work without the added stress of crippling debt.


  • Decide on the level of coverage that is important to your staff.
  • Decide on the level of coverage that is affordable to your organization.
  • Complete your application and plan design with the assistance of your benefit broker, accountant or lawyer.


Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program Guide