February 27, 2020

The truth about employment insurance in Canada

If you are a Canadian or a permanent resident and find yourself suddenly out of work due to no fault of your own, you are entitled to claim for Employment Insurance benefits. This program offers temporary financial assistance to get you back on your feet until you find another job. It is one of your basic legal rights, and there are some things you should be aware of while claiming the benefits.

What about eligibility?

  • You are eligible to receive the benefits of EI if:
  • Your employer has purchased EI.
  • You should have also lost the job due to no fault of your own, and must be out of work without pay for at least seven consecutive days.
  • You are capable of working and are actively seeking for a job.

You are not eligible for the benefits if you voluntarily left the job, were dismissed for any dispute or misconduct.

When can I apply for EI?

You should ideally apply for the EI benefits between 7 and 30 days of losing your employment. It is likely that your claim may be rejected if you wait longer.

I have not received my Record of Employment (ROE)

The HRSDC will take the responsibility of retrieving your ROE for you from the employer. You can apply for the EI benefits without the letter.

What if I received a severance package?

Do not wait until you exhaust your severance package. Apply for the benefits right after you lose your employment. The package will be evaluated by the HRSDC or Human Resources Skills and Development Commission, which will decide to approve your claim if you are still unemployed after your package runs out.

Will I get benefits if I go back to school?

If the HRSDC approves of any training, you may be eligible for benefits. If you are studying on your accord without their approval, then you may not be eligible for EI benefits.

Can I travel when I am out of employment?

Report your traveling plans to the HRSDC. Not doing so makes it seem like you are not interested in seeking for a job and will automatically deem you ineligible for EI benefits.