Know your Benefits – Planning a Family?


Planning a family can be a busy and exciting time. Knowing your maternity and parental benefits helps you prepare for your child’s birth or adoption.

“Welcoming our daughter, Alexandra, to our family was the most rewarding thing we’ve done,” said Captain Kim Lemaire, who recently returned from parental leave. “Louis and I felt really blessed that we could share the time off with her.”

“Our benefits are pretty fantastic when you compare them to other jobs,” said Capt Lemaire, who noted how both she and her husband each received 93 percent of their pay.

Capt Lemaire is a public affairs officer with the Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) and Major Louis Lemaire is a signals officer with the Director General Space in Ottawa. They received the Maternity and Parental Allowance (MATA/PATA) that supplemented their Employment Insurance (EI) while they were on Maternity or Parental Leave. Their process included completing a CF-100 Leave Request and DND 2268 Application Form for Maternity/Parental Benefits, applying to EI using a Record of Employment, and having Alexandra added as their dependent for health and dental care.

“Our MATA/PATA clerk was amazing,” Capt Lemaire said. “She told us everything we needed to know to make the transition smooth and the system easy to navigate. With her help, we set up our benefits easily and developed a routine at home with our new baby that allowed us to thrive. It let us focus on what mattered.”

About Maternity and Parental Benefits

  1. Rights. Your maternity or parental leave requests cannot be refused, and only parental leave can be deferred by an imperative military requirement. Your commanding officer is the approving authority.
  2. Time. You, in combination with your partner, can receive MATA/PATA payments for a maximum of 364 days. Parents can share parental leave, but only biological mothers can take both:
    • Maternity leave can be taken for up to 18 weeks by biological mothers, including surrogates.
    • Parental leave can be taken for up to 37 weeks by biological, adoptive or legally recognized parents. You may only take parental leave in a single, continuous period, unless there are imperative military requirements or your child is hospitalized during your leave.
  3. Top-up. You can “top-up” your EI or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefit payments with MATA/PATA. While on leave, you can receive 93 percent of your weekly rate of pay and eligible allowances. This is followed by returning to work to serve a period equal to your receipt of MATA/PATA.
  4. Reserves. Your eligibility for benefits relates to your service. Class A members must apply for Exemption from Duty and Training, while Class B and C members require leave. MATA/PATA eligibility requires 600 insurable hours based solely on CAF service.
  5. Pension. Your maternity and/or parental leave is pensionable time when you “buy-back” your contributions.
  6. Residence. Where you live can impact how your maternity and/or parental leave is calculated and whether you get EI or QPIP benefits.
  7. Taxes. If you receive MATA/PATA, be aware that your income tax return may require adjustments related to EI or QPIP benefit payments.
  8. Process. Contact your orderly room or supporting base to book an appointment to learn more about the application process for maternity and parental benefits. You can also contact your financial advisor about adding your child as a beneficiary in your will, investments, and SISIP Insurance.

Resources at your fingertips

For more information, please visit:

  • and look under About Us, Polices and Standards to find:
    • CBI 205.461, Maternity and Parental Allowances
    • DAOD 5001-2, Maternity and Parental Benefits
    • Queen’s Regulations and Orders on Maternity Leave (16.26); Parental Leave (16.27); Reserve Service, Exemption From Duty and Training Maternity Purposes (9.09) and Parental Purposes (9.10)
  • and look under CAF Community, Compensation & Benefits to find Health and Dental Care
  • The Defence Forms Catalogue, available on the intranet, at for:
    • CF-100 Leave Request
    • DND 2268 Application Form for Maternity/Parental Benefits
  • to learn about Employment Insurance (EI)
  • The Benefits Table found at to learn about the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan
  • for SISIP Insurance
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