When you lose your job, Employment Insurance (EI) provides a financial safety net until you find alternative employment. However, EI is not paid automatically. You need to apply to Service Canada, who will decide whether you are eligible for EI and, if so, how much you will receive each month. It is essential to submit your application as soon as possible after leaving employment. If you delay your application, you may lose out on benefits to which you are entitled. Our step-by-step guide will take you through the application process.
Your eligibility for EI will be assessed by Service Canada using your information such as your earnings in the last 52 weeks and your reason for leaving your job. To increase your chances of getting the right decision, you must gather together all the required information before applying for EI. You will need:
All EI applications are processed online. If you have access to an internet connection at home, you can apply at any time, day or night. Alternatively, you can use an internet kiosk at a Service Canada Centre or apply from a public internet site. Access to the internet is available at community locations, such as the public library.
The application process takes around 60 minutes and will ask for detailed information about you and your recent employment history. The answers you give will allow Service Canada to assess your eligibility for EI.
Once you have completed your online application for EI, you will be provided with a confirmation number. Make a careful note of this number as it will enable Service Canada to track down your application if you need to make any alterations to it.
If you are eligible for EI, the first payment will be made to your account within 28 days of your application. You will be able to check on the status of your application by logging on to your “My Service Canada Account”. If Service Canada decides that you are not eligible for EI, you will be advised by letter or telephone. You have the right to appeal the decision.
For the duration of your EI claim, you will need to submit two-weekly EI reports, either online or by telephone. In your EI reports you must state whether: