apply for covid ei

How to apply for EI online at Service Canada if you've been affected by COVID-19

How to apply for EI in Canada is what you need to know if you're been one of the many affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, over 500,000 Canadians applied for Employment Insurance (EI) in a single week. And that number is only going to go up.

Here's what you need to know to apply for EI in Canada.

Check to see if you qualify for EI

Canada offers two types of Employment Insurance: regular benefits and sickness benefits.

If you've lost your job through no fault of your own, you'll qualify for Canada's regular EI system, so long as you've worked enough hours — 420 to 700 hours depending on the unemployment rate.

You will qualify for sickness EI if you're ill, injured or being quarantined. You'll need to prove that your earnings have decreased by more than 40 per cent, and that you worked for at least 600 insurable hours.

If you don't qualify for EI, check to see if you qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Gather supporting documents

If you're applying for EI, you'll need records of employment (ROEs); however, you can send those in later.

You'll also have to submit your Social Insurance Number, banking information, the names and addresses of your former employers and details of how you lost your job.

Normally you would also require a medical certificate to apply for EI sickness benefits, but Canada will now waive that requirement if you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate.

Fill out the online application

You don't need to go to a brick-and-mortar Service Canada location. Just go to the Service Canada website and complete the application online.

The process should only take about an hour, although your information is saved for 72 hours after you begin the application. After that time, it will be deleted from the system.

Check your email

Service Canada will send you a four-digit access code once your application is complete.

You can use this code and your SIN to inquire about your application in the future.

Up to 15 weeks of sickness EI benefits are available, and you can claim up to $537 per week. The amount you receive depends on your insurable earnings before taxes.

Lead photo by

Andrew Neil


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