What is EI (Employment Insurance)?
Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.
Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.
Who are Eligible?
You may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you:
- were employed in insurable employment;
- lost your job through no fault of your own;
- have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
- have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;
- are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
- are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).
How much you could receive ?
For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week.
What you need before you start
To complete the online EI application for EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
- your mother’s maiden name.
- your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
- your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
- names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
- your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
- the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings Footnote 1 in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate.
To find out if you are eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application.
The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.
When you apply for Employment Insurance benefits, you will be asked for your email address. If Service Canada needs more information about your claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number by email, asking you to call an agent.