The social services department helps members navigate the Employment Insurance (EI) system. Staff in the department can also answer questions about the system from members.
EI provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed Canadians who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are looking for work and/or upgrading their skills.
There are several types of EI available to Canadians:
- Regular benefits: These are available to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (Eg. due to shortage of work, seasonal layoffs or mass layoffs) and who are available for, and able to work, but can’t find a job.
- Sickness benefits: These are available to workers who are unable to work because of sickness, injury or quarantine.
- Maternity/paternity benefits: These are available to workers who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are adopting a child, or are caring for a newborn.
- Compassionate care benefits: These are available to workers who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.
- Benefits for parents of critically ill children: These are available to workers who take leave from work to provide care or support their critically ill or injured child.
To find out how the social services department can help, call Local 793’s head office at 905-469-9299, or toll-free 1-877-793-4863, or contact the department via email at email@example.com.
Click here for more information about EI.
How to Apply for EI Benefits
To apply for EI benefits, members can submit an application online by clicking here.
The form will take about 60 minutes to complete. You will need the following information to complete an application for EI benefits:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN). (Note: If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit);
- Your mother’s maiden name;
- Your mailing and residential addresses, including postal codes;
- Your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, the bank branch number and your account number;
- Names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers for the last 52 weeks and/or your Record of Employment (ROE) documents from all employers in the last 52 weeks;
- Detailed version of the facts, if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks; and
- Dates (Sunday to Saturday) and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your ROE(s), to calculate the weekly EI benefit rate.
If you are reactivating an existing claim you may also have to provide the following details:
- Gross salary amount before deductions you received for the last week you worked (from Sunday to the last day of work), and, for example, any bonuses;
- Other earnings you received or will receive (eg. vacation pay, severance pay, pay in lieu of notice, and other money).
Service Canada requires your ROE to validate the insurable employment hours and earnings you are claiming towards eligibility for benefits or the names, addresses, dates of employment and reasons for separations from all employers.
Note: If your employer issues the ROE in paper format, you can request a copy and mail or bring it in person to a Service Canada Centre.
In order to ensure all ROEs have been submitted on your behalf, you can view the ROEs in My Service Canada Account on the Service Canada website. If you are having difficulty obtaining your ROE(s) from an employer(s):
- Go to your closest Service Canada Centre; or
- Contact the Service Canada Centre at 1 800-206-7218. One of the agents will advise you how the ROE can be obtained or what is needed to calculate the claim.
You should apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working even if your employer(s) hasn’t issued a ROE. A delay in filing a claim for benefits beyond four weeks after the last day of work may cause loss of entitlement or a delay of benefits.
If you receive additional money that is not included in your regular earnings, the date on which you begin to receive benefits may be delayed (eg. if you received severance pay equal to four weeks of earnings, the payment of regular benefits will be delayed by four weeks). Note: Whether you received the four weeks of severance as a lump-sum payment or if it was paid over four weeks the effect on your benefits is the same. Either way, you should still file a benefit claim as soon as you become unemployed so that the claim can be processed as quickly as possible.
The number of hours required to qualify for regular EI benefits varies according to your place of residence and the unemployment rate in your specific region.
Similarly, the number of hours you have accumulated will determine how many weeks of benefits you will be entitled to. You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks.
For more information, visit the Service Canada Website or call 1-800-206-7218, or visit your local Service Canada Centre.
I received EI benefits in the past. Do I need to submit a new application?
If you started a new EI claim within the last 52 weeks and there are still weeks payable on that claim, Service Canada will automatically reactivate or renew your existing claim.
However, in some cases, it may be to your advantage to cancel or end an old claim earlier and start a new claim because this may increase the benefit amount or the length of the benefit period.
You must decide whether or not to cancel or renew a claim based on your own personal situation.
It is important to consider:
- If your claim is reactivated and you work after the start of that claim, you may be able to establish a new claim when the existing claim runs out.
- In order to establish a new claim you must have enough insurable hours and meet the qualifying conditions for a new claim.
- If a new claim is established instead of reactivating the existing claim, the remaining weeks payable on the existing claim will be lost.
Additionally, a one-week unpaid waiting period must be served on a new claim before you are entitled to receive payment.
When will I start to receive EI benefits?
If Service Canada has all the information it needs and you are entitled to receive EI benefits, your first payment should be issued within 28 days of the date the agency receives your application for benefits.
How much will I get?
Service Canada must process your application before it can determine exactly how much you will receive. However, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55 per cent of your average insurable weekly earnings. As of Jan. 1, 2021 the maximum insurable earnings amount is $56,300. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $595 per week.
How long will I receive EI benefits?
You may receive regular EI benefits for a period ranging from 14 to 45 weeks. The number of weeks you may receive benefits depends on the unemployment rate in your region and on the number of hours of insurable employment that you accumulate during the qualifying period, which is usually the last 52 weeks before the start date of a claim.
How will my benefits be paid?
If you use direct deposit, EI payments are deposited automatically into your bank account two business days after the EI report is processed.