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Eligibility Requirements For Employment Insurance

The Eligibility Requirements For Employment Insurance (EI) is determined by your location as well as the kind of benefits you applied for. These kinds of benefits includes:

Income Benefits

This is a temporary income that provides support while you look for work or while you cannot work.

Regular Benefits

You may be eligible for regular benefits if you lose your job.

To be eligible for this kind of benefits, you must:

  • Have worked the required number of hours in your area which you must be within the last year. This number is usually 420-700 hours, but its based on the rate of unemployment in your area.
  • Have paid into the Employment Insurance program. Usually, your employer deducts an EI amount from your pay cheque. This is how you pay into the EI program.
  • Be without pay for at least 1 week (7 days).

Nkrmally, you are not eligible for EI regular benefits if you:

  • Quit your job without a good reason.
  • Are sacked for a good reason.
  • Have not worked for a certain period of time.
  • Have not paid into the EI program (for instance, consultants, contract workers etc.).

Some reasons for quitting or being fired are considered “just cause.” If you feel that you were fired or you quit with a good reason, try to explain your situation when you apply for EI benefits. You still may be eligible for the benefits in some cases.

Special Benefits

For all types of special benefits, you must show that:

  • You are losing 40% or more of your weekly income; and
  • You have worked 600 hours or more since your last claim or during the last 52 weeks.

Each type of benefit has additional requirements.

As of January 31, 2010, self-employed people can choose to pay into EI. If you are self-employed and choose to pay into EI, you may be eligible for EI special benefits.

Maternity Benefits

Maternity benefits are for women who are pregnant or have just given birth to a baby.

  • You must sign a statement that indicates the exact date your baby will be born, or the date the baby was born.

Parental Benefits

This kind of benefits are for mothers or fathers who just had a newborn baby or an adopted child.

  • You must sign a statement that says when the baby was born or when the adopted child is placed with you.

Sickness Benefits

If you are sick, hurt or quarantined, you may be eligible for sickness benefits.

  • You must get a medical certificate to confirm you are actually sick and how long you are sick or hurt.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you cannot work, but you would work if you were not hurt or sick.

Compassionate Care Benefits

You may want to take some time off work to attend to a very sick family member, you might be qualified for compassionate care benefits.

  • Your sick family member must be at risk of dying within 26 weeks.
  • Your family member must be on the list of qualifying family members.

You can also see Canada Employment Insurance and Financial Support Programs.

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