Maternity/Parental

Doctors Manitoba has negotiated Manitoba Health funding for a Maternity/Parental Benefits Program for eligible Manitoba physicians.  This Program is intended, in part, to help to retain physicians in the province.    The Program provides partial income replacement for a physician parent who wants to take a temporary leave (of not more than 365 days) from Manitoba practice or residency program for the birth/adoption of a child.  This Program is intended to financially assist physicians who suffer a loss of income because they provide little or no physician services during the period of leave.  The Program covers Manitoba physicians regardless their income modality (fee-for-service or alternate payment mechanisms).  Physicians not returning to work in Manitoba within 365 days of the start of their maternity/parental benefits will be required to repay the benefits to Doctors Manitoba.

Am I eligible to claim?

If you have practiced medicine or been a Resident in Manitoba immediately prior to taking a leave of absence to care for a newborn or adopted child aged 5 or under, you are eligible to file a claim for benefits. These benefits are available to physicians who earned income directly or indirectly from Manitoba Health immediately prior to their leave for providing medical services, teaching, research and/or administrative duties. If a physician is eligible to claim maternity or parental benefits under the terms of another contract negotiated by Doctors Manitoba, he or she is not eligible to claim a benefit under this program.

Applicants must have held a full registration with the CPSM prior to the leave, and are required to continue to pay dues to Doctors Manitoba. This benefit program is not available to physicians who, prior to the start of the parental leave, held a short-term license, or whose license status was NR or OR, or who were on the supplementary or educational register. However, parental leave benefits from this program are available to those Physician Residents who are covered by the PARIM collective agreement. PARIM members who are non-physicians are not eligible for parental benefits from Doctors Manitoba.

What benefits are available?

In general, you are eligible for up to 17 consecutive weeks of benefits as long as you have earned qualifying income for at least 17 weeks in the 12 months prior to your leave. If you have earned qualifying income for less than 17 weeks in the year prior to your leave, your maximum benefit period will be equal to the number of weeks you actually worked. You must take a minimum two weeks leave. In the event of a stillbirth, or death soon after birth, in cases of 19 weeks or more gestation, a compassionate benefit of up to one month is available to qualifying physicians. Where both parents are physicians and/or residents and become parents of twins (or other higher order births), each parent is eligible for a parental benefit of up to 17 weeks.

Your parental leave claim period can begin as early as four weeks prior to the expected birth/adoption, but no later than six weeks after the baby’s discharge from hospital or date of placement of your adopted child. Claimants must file an application for benefits within twelve months of the birth or adoption of a child. Thereafter, claims will not be accepted.

The amount of your weekly benefit is based on your qualifying income over the past year. It will be calculated as 60% of your average gross weekly earnings over the best six months of the 12 months (or portion thereof) immediately prior to your leave. However, the maximum gross benefit is $1,200 per week, regardless of your qualifying income. If you have worked less than six months in the past year, your qualifying income will be calculated on all weeks worked prior to the leave. Benefits will not be adjusted in the case of retroactive pay increases.

Can I earn other income while on leave?

While benefits are being paid, you may also receive up to $1,000 gross income per week from all other sources. Your weekly benefit will be reduced, dollar for dollar, if you receive more than $1,000 income from other sources during that one week claim period. Other sources of income include Employment Insurance, salary top-ups, vacation pay, fee-for-service remittance income, disability insurance benefits, etc. However, any income you receive while on leave for services you provided prior to the start of your parental leave should NOT be reported. It does not affect your benefit under this program. Only income earned and received while on leave should be reported.

Can I share the leave with my spouse?

If both parents are physicians, they can sequentially share the 17 consecutive week benefit period if both take a leave of absence from their practice. The amount of benefit paid in any week will be based on the qualifying income of whichever parent is on leave at that time.

What else should I know?

Benefits are only payable to physicians who are resident in Manitoba during the benefit period. Relocation from the province will automatically terminate benefits.

Maternity/Parental benefits are taxable and Doctors Manitoba is required to submit income taxes on your behalf. We automatically will submit taxes at the maximum rate. A T4A slip will be issued to you for income tax purposes.

How do I apply?

Contact Barry Hallman, Benefit Programs Coordinator at Doctors Manitoba by calling 985-5865 or 985-5888 or for rural members 1-888-322-4242. He will send you an Application for Benefits form. You must complete and return the Application form to establish your eligibility for benefit (the maximum weekly benefit you are eligible for and the maximum number of consecutive weeks that you may claim).

Thereafter, he will send you a series of simple biweekly Claim forms. To be eligible to receive a benefit for each biweekly period, you must submit a Claim form to detail income you have earned and received from all other sources during the claim period. He will calculate and deposit your benefit directly to your bank account two weeks following the end of each claim period. (Note: we are unable to make direct deposits to “line of credit” accounts).

What information does Doctors Manitoba require?

You must begin your claim within 6 weeks of the adoption/discharge. To initiate your claim we need the following information, which you will be asked to provide on the Application for Benefits form:

  • Identifying information about yourself
  • Key dates affecting your maternity/parental leave
  • Information on your qualifying income for each month during the 12 months prior to your leave
  • A void cheque for direct deposit of benefit payments to your bank account. (Note we are unable to make direct deposits to “line of credit” accounts)
  • Applications must be received within twelve months of the birth or adoption of a child (however, the actual leave must have begun no later than 6 weeks after the date of the birth or adoption).

Determination of Qualifying Income & Benefit Amount

Your benefit level is affected by your past gross income. You must report your monthly gross income on the application form so we can calculate your qualifying income. It will be calculated as 60% of your average gross weekly earnings. For licensed physicians your average weekly earnings will be calculated using the best 6 of the 12 months (or portion thereof) immediately prior to your leave. For residents (or physicians paid bi-weekly) your average weekly earnings will be calculated using the best six 4-week periods.

The maximum benefit available to all claimants is $1,200 per week regardless of prior income.

Example

  • Salaried physician who earned $12,000 gross income per month for all 12 months prior to the start of actual leave period.
  • Gross income on best 6 months is 6 x $12,000 = $72,000.
  • Qualifying income per week is $72,000 ÷ 26 weeks = $2,769
  • 60% of qualifying income is .6 x $2,769 = 1,661.
  • Benefit is maximized at $1,200 per week.

Example

  • A fee-for-service physician worked only 8 months prior to start of actual leave. We use the gross income from the best 6 months: $10,000, $11,000, $12,200, $10,900, $9,200, $10,500.
  • Total gross over best 6 months = $63,800.
  • Qualifying income per week = $63,800 ÷ 26 weeks = $2,454
  • 60% of qualifying income is .6 x $2,454 = $1,472
  • Benefit is maximized at $1,200 per week.

Factors Which Can Change Your Benefit Amount

You may earn and receive a maximum of $1,000 of income per week in addition to your maternity leave benefit. If you earn and receive more than that, the extra earnings are deducted dollar for dollar from your benefit.

Example

  • Salaried physician is entitled to $1,200 per week from the Maternity/Parental Benefit Program.
  • Physician also receives $417 a week for E.I. benefits.
  • There is no reduction to the leave benefit.

Example

  • Physician is entitled to $1,200 per week from the Maternity/Parental Benefits Program.
  • Physician receives a substantial payout for delayed claims while on leave.
  • There is no reduction to the leave benefit because the payout was for services provided before the parental leave period began. There is no need to report income for such services.

Example

  • Physician is entitled to $1,200 per week from the Maternity/Parental Benefits Program.
  • Physician decides to provide services during leave and subsequently earns and receives a $1,500 remittance for those services while still on leave. Physician will receive only a $1,900 benefit for the biweekly leave period because she/he exceeded the $1,000 bi-weekly maximum income from other sources by $500 ($1,500-$1,000 = $500).

Further Questions

If you have any other questions or concerns about this Program please contact Barry Hallman, Doctors Manitoba Benefit Programs Coordinator, by phone: 985-5865 or 985-5888 or 1-888-322-4242, fax: 985-5844, or e-mail bhallman@docsmb.org.