When a baby comes early, it can interrupt even the best-laid plans when it comes to finances and maternity/parental leave. Hospital stays can be expensive, and immediate loss of work income can be challenging for most families.
The first step to getting financial support is to connect with your hospital’s social worker, if available. Social workers know about available resources and which ones will be appropriate for you.
There are different programs available that may make additional weeks of leave available to parents, depending on individual work situations. Some mothers may be eligible for sick leave under their workplace benefit programs, and others might be eligible for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits.
For other families the recently established Parents of Critically Ill Children Benefit may be appropriate. CPBF has worked in partnership with Service Canada to develop a Q&A document for NICU families, which is available as a PDF download.
Also, the social work team at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto has developed some information to help parents and social workers access this benefit for eligible families.
Also keep in mind that, depending on how far you live from the hospital, you may be eligible to claim certain expenses on your taxes the year following hospitalization. Check with an accountant to see if you are eligible to claim any expenses, and save all receipts associated with your hospital stay.