Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. Although the current EI sickness benefit program applies to people who are unable to work due to illness, it has been challenged as being inaccessible for those living with MS or other episodic disabilities.
This briefing provides an analysis of the costs of expanding the EI sickness benefit program and making the disability tax credit refundable, as well as the boost to production from these changes in income supports. The EI sickness program would increase federal expenses by up to approximately $1.3 billion annually and making the disability tax credit refundable would cost $1.2 billion. However, the economic benefit of increased labour force participation was estimated at $1.1 billion.