Employment Insurance in Canada and How You Can Apply!

Unemployment is a social decease, which can lead to numerous problems. However, the Canadian Federal Government addresses the issue efficiently through Employment Insurance (EI). EI is a temporary financial assistance service to the people who lost their job. However, not everyone is eligible for EI. So, if you are jobless and seeking a new job, you should check with the nearest Service Canada Centre to know whether you are eligible to get EI benefits or not.

Am I Eligible?

Half a million people in Canada get EI benefits every month; so, you should give it a try as well if you are feeling the unemployment heat. You should know, however, that there are some obligations before and even after you are approved. Here is the list of eligibility criteria that if you meet, you can enjoy EI benefits:

  • You must work an adequate number of hours.
  • You must be employed in insurable employment.
  • You must submit enough valid reason for quitting your last job. In this case, it entirely depends on the specific cause you left your job. EI management will take the final decision.
  • You have to keep on submitting relevant documents if in case you have decided to work as a freelancer.

You must understand one thing – EI benefits are not guaranteed. Therefore, EI authority has the full discretionary power to accept or reject your filed EI benefits request.

Read : What are the Various Unemployment Benefits that a Canadian Resident Get?

What makes me not eligible?

As mentioned before, EI benefits are not guaranteed. Therefore, the EI authority holds the final decision. However, there are some fixed ineligibility criteria that you must see as well before applying:

  • If you failed to prove the reason you left your last job.
  • If you willingly left your last job for no valid reason.
  • If you were terminated for the violation of company policies and ethics.
  • If you are already unemployed due to any labour dispute.
  • If you were convicted as a criminal or sentenced to jail previously.

Please note these are the benchmark that you must consider before applying. However, if you believe you have a valid reason in spite of falling into one or more these criteria, then you should apply for EI benefits.

What is the approximate amount that I can receive?

In theory, you are supposed to get 55% of your average insurable weekly incomes. However, there is a maximum threshold in EI benefits. You will not get more than $540 CAD in a week. That said, in most cases, there is a flat rate at which the EI benefits are calculated.

Read : How to Claim Health Insurance in Canada?

How do I apply and to whom?

The Canadian Federal Government stationed numerous Service Canada Centres all around the country. So, after you matched the eligible criteria, you must go to the nearest Service Canada Centre to apply for EI benefits. However, you must apply for EI benefits within four weeks before you left your job. Sometimes, we don’t get that opportunity; so, in that case, it would be best if you apply on the next day after you left the job. Now, to apply for EI benefits, you have to submit some necessary documents:

  • First, you need to submit the Record of Employment (ROE) of every company you have
    worked in the last 52 weeks. However, if your past employers submitted ROE electronically, then you will not need to provide them manually.
  • If you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you have to submit a proof of your immigration status as well as work permit status.
  • You have to submit necessary personal identification documents like your driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport.
  • You need to provide the bank account details which you can get on your bank statement.
    However, there is an alternative way to get your money as well – a personal cheque with
    “void” written on it. Employment Insurance authority can send money to your bank account through this way as well.
  • You need to submit proof that you have not been terminated or voluntarily left a job within a year.
  • You also need to submit every information of your last workplace. That typically includes:
    o Your basic remuneration.
    o Your last week’s gross earning.
    o The gross amount which you have received or yet to receive.
    o Any other legitimate mode of income.

Read : What is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and What are its Features and Benefits?

If you failed to submit any of these documents, you could still apply. However, the final decision is in their hands. What you should do is to keep records of your working activities; chances are always high that you will get approved for Employment Insurance benefits. So, whatever documents you have handy, it is crucial that you apply quickly to avoid delays.

The Conclusion

Apart from the generic EI benefits, the Canadian Federal Government also offer Special Employment Insurance benefits to specific individuals. It can be sickness benefits or Maternity and parental benefits. There are also Fishing benefits as well. So, you should also check whether you are eligible for Special benefits or not.

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