Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance

Canadian employment insurance aims to provide temporary financial assistance if you lose your job. It enables you to search for a new job or plan to upgrade your job skills. It is suitable for individuals who may lose jobs because of the seasonality of work, retrenchment, or lay-off. Employment insurance can also provide income assistance if you have a seriously ill family member or are caring for a newborn, and so forth.

Qualifying for Employment Insurance

The regular benefits of EI aim to support individual workers who may lose their job because of a shortage of work, lay-offs, and other factors beyond the worker’s control. Workers who lose their jobs for just reasons receive financial assistance during unemployment.

The following are qualifying criteria for Employment Insurance:

  • Employment with insurable employment
  • Loss of job for no fault of your own
  • Work record of required hours in insurable employment
  • No work or pay for a minimum of seven consecutive days within the last 52 weeks
  • Proof of active job search

Individuals who voluntarily leave the job or face dismissal for misconduct may not qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.

Benefits of Employment Insurance

In addition to financial assistance, there are other benefits as follows:

  • Sickness benefits – These cover individual workers who are off duty because of an accident or illness
  • Compassionate care benefits – If an individual is attending to a terminally ill person who may pass away within six months
  • Family caregiver benefits – These benefits aim at assisting an individual who is not able to work because of a seriously ill family member or a near one
  • Parental or maternity benefits – Individuals who adopt a baby or expectant mothers of parents of a newborn may derive benefits of EI
  • Fishing benefits – These benefits are available for self-employed fishers

The period of regular Employment Insurance benefits can be between 14 and 45 weeks of unemployment. You may be eligible for 50 weeks of EI benefits in the event of sickness. The employment benefits depend upon the following factors:

  • The rates of unemployment in the province or territory
  • Number of work hours in the past 52 weeks
  • Length of the period since the last claim for employment Insurance

Individuals who receive financial assistance through Employment Insurance need not pay any taxes.

Applying for Canadian Employment Insurance

You should apply for Employment Insurance as soon as you start working in Canada. You may be eligible for EI even if there is no Record of Employment. Failure to apply for an EI within four weeks of unemployment may disqualify you for Employment Insurance. Approach the nearest Service Canada Center to apply for an EI, or you can choose an online option.

Gather the following information and documents before proceeding to apply for Employment Insurance:

  • Social Identification card
  • Photo identification
  • Record of employment (ROE)
  • Complete banking details for signing up for direct deposits
  • Employment details including names and addresses of employers and reasons for leaving the employment
  • Details of the highest pay and dates of payment during the past employment

Applying for Employment Insurance is easy if you have a Record of Employment (ROE). The ROE should include the details of work in the past 12 months. Usually, the employers submit the ROE details of employees to the government. You may apply for ROE or submit T4 slips and pay stubs as an option.


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