Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits Summary
The Employment Insurance (EI) program is a Federal program administered by the Government of Canada. In general, regular employment insurance benefits are provided to employees only (meaning those who work for an employer). The Special EI benefits may be provided to both employees and self employed people who join the program voluntarily.
There are general requirements to qualify for EI. An eligible applicant must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a person who has a valid temporary work permit to work legally in Canada. An applicant must also have accumulated sufficient insurable hours. Temporary foreign workers are eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits during the duration of their work permit if they are unemployed and meet eligibility criteria, including having worked a sufficient number of hours.
There are different types of Employment Insurance benefits available, including regular insurance benefits for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively looking for work, and special insurance benefits which include sickness, maternity, parental, and compassionate care benefits. There are also instances when EI benefits may be suspended or terminated. Individuals who are denied EI or have their EI suspended may appeal these decisions to the Board of Referees.
This link will provide more information on how to qualify for EI and details on the benefits and requirements, including sample EI calculations. This brochure contains important information on the EI application process, including information regarding appeals. This brochure contains only general legal information. The law can change, and each person’s situation is different. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please consult your local community legal clinic, community agency or a lawyer.
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