Troubled Times in Job? Need Employment Insurance in Canada?
In tough circumstances when you lose your job without your own mistake, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance in Canada. Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial support for a certain period of time so you can look for another job or upgrade your skills.
This special program is run by the Government of Canada to give its citizens the financial support during unemployment. This program is financed by a premium that comes from employers, employees, and the federal government contributions. Other conditions in which you may avail Employment Insurance in Canada is when you are sick, and cannot work from home, or when you are caring for a newborn or adopted child. Also, it is applicable if you’re pregnant, or caring for a relative who is severely sick and in mortal danger.
This insurance benefits can be classified into the following:
- Regular Benefits
The amount you receive per week depends on your application, however, the basic rate is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. The maximum amount you may receive per week is $537. The duration for which you will receive your insurance can range from 14 weeks to 45 weeks, which depends on the unemployment rate of your region at the time of application, and the number of insurable hours you have accumulated in the past 52 weeks of employment.
If your per year net family income is below $25,921, and your children receive the Child Tax Benefit, you will also receive the family supplement. The supplement will be calculated on the yearly family income, and the number of children and their ages.
- Special Benefits
The special benefits during this employment insurance period includes Maternity and parental benefits, sickness benefits, and compassion care benefits. These are explained in brief below:
- Maternity and parental benefits
This benefit can be availed if you are pregnant or are parenting a newborn baby or adopted child.
- Sickness benefits
This can be applicable when you have undergone serious injuries, are severely ill or are under restrictive quarantine.
- Compassion care benefits
This is applicable in circumstances when you are responsible for taking care of a sick family member.
Eligibility Criteria for Employment Insurance
There are conditions in which you can apply for the Employment Insurance program, and conditions in which you can’t. Let’s take a look at both of them:
You can apply for the Employment Insurance program:
- If you have worked the required number of hours in the previous year. This number depends on the unemployment rate in your area
- If you have paid into the Employment Insurance program
- If you have been without pay for at least a week.
You are not eligible for the Employment Insurance program:
- If you quit your job without a good reason
- If you were fired for a good reason
- If you haven’t worked for a particular period of time
- If you haven’t invested in the Employment Insurance program while you were employed
Process of Application for Employment Insurance
There are two ways of filing and application for Employment Insurance, one of them is to apply online, and the second is to visit the nearest Service Canada Centre. You are expected to apply for the EI within 4 weeks, post your last working day. There are two different sets of documents required, one for the regular benefit program and the other for the special benefits program. Even if you cannot produce one of the documents, you can still apply and procure the necessary certification at a later time. An interview with the EI agent will be conducted to complete the application.
The provinces that allow Employment Insurance are listed below:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
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