Melissa Benoit

Employment Insurance

You may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) or Sickness benefits (SB). Talk to your CF social worker to help make the right decision for you!

Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial assistance for unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills, as well as Canadians who are sick, pregnant or need to care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death.  Regular benefits can be paid if you lose your job through no fault of your own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and you are available for and able to work but you can't find a job.

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.  Please note that If you filed a claim for benefits within the last 52 weeks, you may be able to reactivate this claim.  In most cases you must have worked a minimum of 420 to 700 insurable hours to be eligible to collect EI.  However, it depends on where you live in Canada and the unemployment rate in your economic region at the time of filing your claim.

Sickness benefits (SB) are paid to those who are unable to work due to sickness or injury. You may be eligible if you have an illness or injury that is preventing you from working.  You will need a medical certificate from your doctor to qualify. Sick benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 15 weeks. To apply for either EI or SB you can submit an application online (see below) or in person, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed.  You will have to provide proof of your employment (such as: pay stubs, cancelled pay cheques, T4 slip, work schedules). If possible, EI will use the proof to calculate your claim. If you are applying for maternity, parental, compassionate care, or sickness benefits, you should apply as soon as you stop working.  Delay in filing your claim for benefits beyond 4 weeks after your last day of work may cause loss of benefits.

Documents required for claiming EI include:

- Social insurance number (SIN)

- Record of employment (ROE), personal identification

- Complete bank information.

- A medical certificate

- Detailed facts and information about your most recent employment and medical facts as to why you have been dismissed from your job.

For more information please ask to speak to your social worker or call Service Canada directly at 1-800-206-7218.