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Parental Benefits Claim Delayed

THE CASE
What Happened: A migrant worker from Mexico worked seasonally on an Ontario farm. Employment insurance deductions were collected from his pay. Nine months after the birth of his child, he submitted a claim for parental benefits, saying his claim was delayed because he didn’t know he was entitled to those benefits. His claim was denied but a Board of Referees reversed, finding good cause for the delay because the worker couldn’t read or write English, his employer didn’t issue ROEs unless requested, and his work schedule precluded his inquiry about benefit entitlements. An umpire disagreed and reinstated the denial stating the worker never tried to inform himself of his rights and responsibilities.

What the Court Decided: A federal  court of appeal reversed the umpire, finding the facts reasonably demonstrated good cause for delay.

How the Court Justified the Decision: The court said case law permitted, in exceptional circumstances, finding good cause for delay despite a work...

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