The Canadian Government has launched new Parents of Critically Ill Children (PCIC) benefit through Employment Insurance (EI) program, the country's Human Resources and Skills Development minister Diane Finley said.

An intitative of the Helping Families in Need Act, the new PCIC benefit program is a part of the Harper government’s continued effort to help families.

Temporary income support will be provided up to 35 weeks to eligible parents, who take time off work to care or support for their critically ill or injured child under the age of 18.

Finley said that the government is focusing on making common-sense changes to make sure that the Employment Insurance program helps families when they need it most.

"The new EI benefit for parents of critically ill children is another way our Government is ensuring that the EI program better responds to the needs of hard-working Canadian families," Finley added.

Expected to help up to 6 000 families per year, the new EI will also benefit parents from job protection who work in federally regulated industries if they take a leave to care for their ill child.