Social Security in Montreal


Sécurité sociale au Québec is a set of institutions whose function is to protect individuals from social risks. Social provisions of government are called social programs (programmes sociaux). Québec has its own separate program from the rest of Canada that offers sickness, maternity, paternity, and parental benefits. It is administered by the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MESS).

Solidarité Sociale

Under Solidarité sociale services, financial assistance is granted to individuals and families incapable of meeting their needs without help. Through active partnership, Solidarité sociale also contributes to preventing and resolving problem issues for individuals or groups in order to foster their economic and social self-reliance. These services offer information and orientation to various resources, as well as support for job integration, particularly by way of public employment services.

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) provides sickness benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of sickness, injury, or quarantine. This is a federal program, with last-resort financial assistance available directly from the Québec government. Paternity benefits are available exclusively for the newborn's father.

    You may be entitled to receive EI sickness benefits if you:
  • Paid EI premiums
  • Meet the specific criteria for receiving EI sickness benefits
  • Normal weekly earnings have been reduced by more than 40%; and
  • Accumulated at least 600 hours of insurable employment during the qualifying period or, if you are a self-employed fisher, you have sufficient insurable earnings from self-employment in fishing during the qualifying period.


EI premiums are paid by employers deducting a percentage from wages or salary. EI premiums must be paid on all your earnings up to a maximum amount. There is no minimum or maximum age for paying EI premiums. Currently, for every $100 you earn, your employer will deduct $1.47, until your annual earnings reach the maximum yearly insurable amount of $45,900. The maximum amount of premiums to be paid in 2012 is therefore $674.73.

Québec Parental Insurance Plan

The Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) is an income replacement plan that pays benefits to eligible parents following the birth or adoption of a child. It provides maternity, paternity, parental, and adoption benefits to residents of Québec.


Eligibility conditions vary according to your worker status. To find out your worker status, consult the Revenu Québec website.

    Wage earner
  • Be the parent of a child born or adopted on or after January 1, 2006
  • Be a resident of Québec on the start date of your benefit period
  • Have stopped working or seen a reduction of at least 40% in your usual employment income OR Have ceased your business activities or reduced the time spent on them by at least 40% for Self-Employed Worker
  • Have at least $2,000 in insurable income (income taken into account for benefit calculation purposes) during the qualifying period, regardless of the number of hours worked.
  • Pay premiums under the QPIP.

How to Apply

To receive benefits, you must register and get an ID. This can be done online with a user code and password. This ID will give you safe access to the online services provided by all government of Québec participating agencies and departments.

    Required Documents
  • Social insurance number of the parent applicant, the other parent and the spouse, if applicable;
  • Date of birth of the parent applicant, the other parent and the spouse, if applicable
  • Expected date of birth
  • Information on the child's identity according to the birth certificate (family name, first name, date of birth, gender) if the birth has occurred
  • Arrival date of the child into the care of one of the parents for adoption
  • Information on bank account and financial institution to take advantage of the benefit direct deposit option. This information can be found on your cheques or your bank statement.
  • Remuneration end date
  • Information regarding your income.

Applications are made online. Once your application is sent to the QPIP, you will automatically receive a confirmation number confirming that your application has been recorded at the QPIP. You can check on your status online throughout the process.


The maximum insurable earnings considered when calculating benefits is $66,000 in 2012 and $67,500 in 2013. This income is indexed on January 1 of each year at the rate set by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST). Benefits can be up to 75% of average weekly income. A full table of benefits can be found at:

Canada Child Tax Benefit

This benefit is a monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The National Child Benefit Supplement offsets the difference between the amount to which families may be entitled and the amount they actually receive.

Child Assistance

The Québec government provides Child Assistance to help families. It is a refundable tax credit for child assistance is paid by the Gouvernement du Québec.

This measure has two components:
Child Assistance - The child assistance payment is a form of financial assistance paid to all eligible families with one or more dependent children under the age of 18 living with them.
Supplement for handicapped children - The purpose of the supplement for handicapped children is to provide financial assistance for families to help with the care and education of a handicapped child. The physical or mental handicap must be serious and must significantly limit the child in carrying out daily activities for a period expected to last at least 1 year. The amount of the supplement is the same for all children who meet the Régie's eligibility criteria, regardless of family income or type of handicap.

Social Insurance Number

Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) identifies you within the social security system in Canada. This nine-digit number is necessary to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. Each SIN is issued to one person only. It cannot legally be used by anyone else. You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Store your SIN card in a safe place rather than keeping it on you.

How to Apply

You should apply for a SIN as soon as you arrive in Canada. Apply at a Service Canada Centre. If your application and documents are in order, you will get a Social Insurance Number in one visit and receive your card within 10 business days. You may also apply by mail by downloading the application, or calling 1-800-206-7218 (select option "3"). Send completed application, original documents and payment, if required, to:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB E2A 4T1

If you send your application by registered mail, documents and SIN card will be returned in the same way. If your SIN application meets the requirements, you will receive your SIN card by mail within 20 business days from the date we receive the application. The card is free, but replacement may incur a $10 fee.

  • Application
  • Primary document (official document that proves your identity and status in Canada). This can be a Certificate of Birth, Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND visa counterfoil affixed to a foreign passport or a travel document, Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND foreign passport. Must be original. If the name on this document is different from the name you currently use, you will also need to provide a supporting document.

Social Security Agreements

The Gouvernement du Québec has social security agreements with 32 countries. The Régie des rentes du Québec's Bureau des ententes de sécurité sociale (BESS) is responsible for the application of these agreements.

    Québec's Social Security Agreements
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Saint Lucia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay

Update 21/05/2013


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