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January 1, 2011

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Special EI Benefits for Self-Employed

Bill C-56, the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, received royal assent in the Senate on December 15, 2009. This legislation will allow self-employed persons to pay EI premiums on a voluntary basis, in order to qualify for EI special benefits. EI special benefits include maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits. The program will start January 1, 2010, and self-employed Canadians would be required to opt into the program at least one year prior to claiming benefits, thus claims could be made as early as January 1, 2011.

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