More accessible and flexible Compassionate Care Benefits worthy of election discussion declare three national healthcare coalitions

Posted: 08-21-2015




News Release

TORONTO, ON, August 20, 2015 – The Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC), Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC) and Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) applaud today’s announcement that brings to light the needs of all Canadian caregivers during the federal election campaign.

This important issue was highlighted today when the Liberal Party of Canada announced its intention to expand the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit to include caregivers who support loved ones with serious illnesses and to offer more of the flexibility often needed to deal with the episodic nature of caring for seriously ill family members.

The April federal budget increased the length of the Compassionate Care Benefit from six weeks to six months coming into effect January 1, 2016, but the benefit is only accessible to caregivers who are supporting a dying family member. The leave must also be taken all at one time. These eligibility restrictions leave many caregivers without support.  

“Caregiving does not come without a cost,” says Nadine Henningsen, President of CCC and Executive Director, Canadian Home Care Association. “Employed family caregivers often face the challenge of two full-time jobs, spending 40 hours a week in their paid employment and another 30 hours a week providing unpaid care to their loved ones. The impact of this situation is often missed work days, reduced work hours, or lost job opportunities, resulting in increased financial burden for the caregiver.”   

“The proposed extended measures to the Compassionate Care Benefit would provide much needed financial support for Canadians who take on a caring role to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-threatening illness,” says Connie Côté, Executive Director, HCCC.

“Our three national healthcare coalitions have been advocating for the expansion of the Compassionate Care Benefit for years,” says Deanna Groetzinger, Manager of member relations, policy and partnerships, for NHCC. “Caregivers who support loved ones who are gravely ill, though not necessarily in palliative care, such as people living with cancer or multiple sclerosis, currently don't have access to the Compassionate Care Benefit. This is also the case for caregivers who support a dying relative but due to the nature of the disease, have difficulty getting an end-of-life diagnosis, as is often the case with Parkinson’s disease."

The Canadian Caregiver Coalition, Health Charities Coalition of Canada and Neurological Health Charities Canada, are pleased that caregivers and healthcare are emerging as important issues in the national election campaign, and they hope all parties commit to improving support to caregivers and the health of all Canadians.

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For further information, contact:

Nadine Henningsen                                                                      


Canadian Caregiver Coalition                                          

Office: 289-290-4376                                                  

Cell: 647-824-1962                                                             


Connie Côté      

Executive Director

Health Charities Coalition of Canada

Office: 613-440-4411    

Cell: 613-914-4622


Deanna Groetzinger

Manager, Policy and Partnerships

Neurological Health Charities Canada

Office: 416-227-9700, ext. 3501


About the Canadian Caregiver Coalition

Established in 2000, the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) is a virtual coalition of diverse partner organizations that work collectively, and autonomously, to identify and respond to the needs of caregivers in Canada. Through our network of partners we ensure the realities and needs of family caregivers are reflected in our advocacy activities that influence policy and programming across the country.                                                                  

CCC Members:

Alberta Caregivers Association

The Alliance of Francophone Women (AFFC)

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Bayshore Home Health

Caregivers Nova Scotia

Canadian Cancer Action Network

Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian Home Care Association (Signatory Partner)

Canadian Nurses Association

Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Virtual Hospice

Care Link Advantage


CBI Health Group/We Care Home Health Services (Signatory Partner)

Childhood Cancer Foundation                                                 


CSSS Cavendish Installation CLSC René-Cassin (Signatory Partner)

Family Caregivers Network Society

Family Caregiver News Magazine

Home Care Ontario

Home Instead Senior Care

Huntington Society of Canada

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada

One to One Home Health


Parkinson Society Canada

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada


RAANM (Regroupement des aidant(e)s naturel(el)s de Montréal)

RANQ (Regroupement des aidant(e)s naturel(el)s du Québec)

Revera Home Health

Saint Elizabeth Health Care (Signatory Partner)

Schizophrenia Society

SEIU Canada

Spectrum Health Care

The Care Tools

The Caring Voice Network

The Lighthouse, Children and Families

VON Canada

Young Carers


About Health Charities Coalition of Canada

Founded in 2000, the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC) is a member- based organization, dedicated to advocating for sound public policy on health issues and promoting the highest quality health research.  HCCC strives for excellence in health policy and seeks to ensure that the federal government and policy makers look to the Coalition and its members for timely advice and leadership on major health issues of concern to Canadians; and that they recognize the competence, commitment and contributions of health charities in improving the health and well-being of Canadians.

HCCC Members:

Alzheimer Society Canada

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of Canada (ALS Canada)

The Arthritis Society -

The Asthma Society of Canada –

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation -

Canadian Cancer Society -

The Canadian Continence Foundation –

Canadian Diabetes Association

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association –

Canadian Liver Foundation -

Canadian Lung Association –

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation -

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada -

Cystic Fibrosis Canada -

The Foundation Fighting Blindness -

Heart and Stroke Foundation -

Hope Air –

Huntington Society of Canada -

Kidney Cancer Canada -

The Kidney Foundation of Canada -

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada –

Muscular Dystrophy Canada –

Osteoporosis Canada -

Ovarian Cancer Canada -

Parkinson Society Canada -

Patients’ Association of Canada –

Prostate Cancer Canada -

Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada –


About Neurological Health Charities Canada

Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) is a coalition of 24 organizations that represent people with brain diseases, disorders and injuries in Canada. NHCC works collaboratively to increase awareness, education and research and improve diagnosis and treatment to benefit people affected by brain conditions.

NHCC Members:

ALS Society of Canada

Alzheimer Society Canada                                                                                

Alzheimer Society of Ontario

Brain Injury Canada

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada

Canadian Epilepsy Alliance

Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation

Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada

The Foundation Fighting Blindness

Headache Network Canada

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Huntington Society of Canada

March of Dimes Canada

Mood Disorders Society of Canada

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation

Ontario Rett Syndrome Association

Parkinson Society Canada

Parkinson Society Ontario

Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario

Tourette Canada 



Visit HCCC | Email Us | 613-914-4622