Canada Employment Insurance and Financial Support Programs

Get to know about the government’s provision for support to individuals and business in Canada.

If you give it some thought, you will discover Canada is indeed one of the best countries to reside in the world. Asides from the beautiful environment, optimal population and friendly residents, the Canadian Government is one of the most supportive to its citizens and residents. Evidence of such governmental support is the Canada Employment Insurance and other financial support programs.

The government designed these programs to give long-term residents of Canada comfortable lives despite the challenges they may face. Take your time to read through this page and discover what Canada Employment Insurance is and how you can benefit from it.

What is Canada Employment Insurance?

In 1996, the Canadian Government created the Employment Insurance Act. The act covers and regulates all kinds of employment insurance in Canada.

An Employment Insurance (EI) offers you short-term financial support as an unemployed Canadian resident. At the same time, you can search for a new job or improve your skills. The Employment Insurance programs also provide benefits for workers who need to take time off work due to special conditions.

Note that Employment Insurance is unique to Canada, which is why we readily recommend Canada for immigrants. Programs like this and other financial programs can aid you in settling down very quickly.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) is responsible for overseeing the EI program. The commission determines the annual EI premium rate and of course specifies the eligibility requirements for participation.

Who is Canada Employment Insurance Available for?

EI is available for Canadian residents who are currently unemployed but were once workers at some point or the other in the country.

Although the Canada Employment Insurance was designed for unemployed residents, you can also benefit from EI if:

  • You are sick, wounded, or placed in quarantine for health reasons
  • You are pregnant or nursing a newborn child. This also applies when you are nursing adopted children.
  • You are caring for a family member that has a life-threatening health condition.
  • Lastly, you are caring for any other critically ill or injured person.

Because of the different types of eligible persons, EI services are further divided into Employment Insurance:

  • Regular benefits
  • Benefits for self-employed persons
  • Sickness benefits
  • For teachers
  • Caregiving benefits and leave
  • For farmers
  • Maternity and parental benefits
  • Extended parental benefit period for military families
  • For workers and residents outside of Canada, and so on.

How to Benefit from Canada Employment Insurance?

To benefit from Canada Employment Insurance, it is important that you pay a premium for the program while you still have a job. The program works just like most other insurance programs, and of course, they all require paying certain kinds of premiums.

Usually, the EI payments will be deducted from your paycheque by your employer. However, if you are self-employed, you can make sure to participate in the Employment Insurance program or not. Suppose you decide to participate, there are certain criteria you must meet as a self-employed resident or business owner in Canada.

Since there are different Employment Insurance services for different kinds of workers under different circumstances, each has varying eligibility criteria. The Government of Canada provides eligibility information for each of these programs.

Meanwhile, note that there is a maximum number of weeks of EI you can benefit from, after which you will no longer be eligible for the insurance.

Other Financial Support Programs in Canada asides from Canada Employment Insurance

Remember our focus in this article is the Canada Employment Insurance and other financial support programs.

The Canada Employment Insurance is only one of those financial support programs you can benefit from in Canada, as there are several others like it. Some provide support for individuals, some for businesses, some for communities, some, on the other hand, are for specific sectors or industries.

#1. Family Financial Support

The Family Financial Support is an umbrella scheme for a couple of programs. These programs are created to support the family members of workers in Canada. For example, The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a monthly tax-free payment given to eligible families in order to assist them with the financial implications of raising children.

The Canada Child Benefit is only eligible for workers whose children are under 18 of age. The benefit may cover child disability benefits and related provincial and territorial programs.

Other family financial support programs asides from CCB are:

Maternity and Parental Benefits

This is a financial support program for pregnant women, those who have recently given birth, adopted a child, or are caring for a newborn.

Canadian Benefit for Parents of Young Victims of Crime

This is an income support for parents dealing with the death or disappearance of a child due to a criminal offence and having to leave work during that moment.

Goods and Services Tax Credit

This is also known as Harmonized Sales Tax (HST/GST) Credit. It is a tax-free quarterly payment made to individuals and families with low or modest income rates. The essence of the pay is to offset the effects of paying GST/HST.

Note that each family financial support program has eligibility criteria that you must meet to benefit.

#2. Pension Programs

Pension programs are typical schemes that help workers prepare for life after retirement. Hence, investing in a pension plan is investing in your future. Some of the pension plans in Canada are:

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

This is a program designed for workers and their families. It serves as a provider of basic financial protection should there be a case of income loss due to retirement, disability, or death.

Generally, all workers in Canada are eligible for this program. It is replaced with the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) in Quebec.

Old Age Security (OAS) Pension

This is a monthly payment program that later allows you to earn those savings when you are 65 years old or older.

Guaranteed Income Supplement

This is a monthly benefit paid to seniors who qualify based on specific criteria. Benefitting seniors may also be beneficiaries of the OAS pension.

#3. Rent and Property Expenses Support

As a business owner and resident of Canada, you could be eligible for some amount of subsidy to pay part of your commercial rent or some other property expenses related to the business. This program was particularly created to support business owners to counter the effects of COVID-19.

There are three distinct Rent and Property Expenses support programs. Your eligibility for any of them depends on the duration of the subsidy you are applying for.

They are:

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THPR)
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)

Suppose you have a business in the tourism or hospitality industry? In that case, you can apply for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program.

#4. Canada Small Business Financing Program

The Canada Small Business Financing Program is the government’s official program for supporting small business owners in Canada. The program helps business owners to obtain loans from Canadian financial institutions by sharing the lending risks with the lenders.

You can use a loan from the Canada Small Business Financing Program to:

  • Purchase a new land or building used for business purposes or improve on an already existing one.
  • You can also use the loan to obtain or improve new or used equipment
  • Lastly, you can use the loan to purchase a new leasehold or improve previous leaseholds for commercial purposes.

#5. Provincial and Territorial Support

These are financial support programs made available at provincial and territorial levels. All provinces and territories in Canada have programs or schemes to support the finances of their residents. For example, there is the Quebec Pension Plan and Emergency Assistance for SMEs in Quebec. In British Columbia, there is wage and rent support and several other loans and grants.

Generally, as an employee in Canada, you can enjoy several workplace benefits. Canada has healthy work policies. Consider yourself really lucky if you get to immigrate to Canada successfully.

Financial Support Programs for Individuals in Canada

  • Employment Insurance Program
  • Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
  • Provincial and territorial support
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and so on.

Family Financial Support Programs in Canada

  • Canada Child Benefit
  • Maternity and Parental Benefit
  • Canada Pension Plan Children’s Benefit
  • Canadian Benefit for Parents of Young Victims of Crime
  • Child Disability Benefit, and so on.

Financial Support Programs for Businesses in Canada

  • Wage and Hiring Support such as the Canada Recovery Hiring program or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
  • The Jobs and Growth Fund
  • The Work-Sharing Program
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), and so on.

Financial Support Programs for Self-Employed Persons

  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
  • Worker Lockdown Benefit, and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Can I Get as Canada Employment Insurance or Financial Support Benefit in Canada?

Generally, the basic rate for determining EI benefit is 55% of the average insurable weekly earnings. Therefore, the EI benefit you can receive will depend on the average income you earn as a worker in Canada.

Can I Benefit from EI as a Self-Employed or Business Owner?

Yes. Self-employed workers and business owners can benefit from Canada Employment Insurance when they meet the eligibility criteria.

Asides from Canada Employment Insurance, What other Financial Support Programs Available for Me in Canada?

  • The Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
  • Old Age Security (OAS) Pension
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
  • Jobs and Growth Fund
  • Canada Employment Insurance, and so on.


With programs like Employment Insurance and other financial support programs, you can be sure of sustainable help when you need to stay off work. Not only are the programs supportive during job loss, but some of them also provide sustainable financial support for the period when you’ll need to stay off work permanently due to advanced age or sickness.