APPLYING FOR EI
Note: Benefits under Employment Insurance and other benefit programs are changing quickly as the situation with COVID-19/Coronavirus develops. This document reflects changes through March 17, 2020.
(Click here for a PDF Version of this information)
Am I eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)?
To qualify for regular benefits you must have received no work at all for a period of at least seven days.
You must have worked at least the following number of hours in the last 52 weeks to qualify for EI:
Vancouver Metro Area and Victoria-700 hours
Chilliwack/Harrison Hot Springs-630 hours
Northern BC (Prince Rupert/Kitimat/Terrace/Prince George)-525 hours
Didn’t the Federal Government waive the 7-day waiting period?
As of now, the waiting period is ONLY waived for those that are self-quarantined as a result of the Corona Virus.
For all others the waiting period is still 7 days.
How much will I receive?
EI will pay out up to 55% of your regular wages, tips, bonuses, and commissions, to a maximum of $573 per week. Only amounts you have declared on your taxes will qualify.
You are entitled to between 14 and 45 weeks of benefits, depending on how many hours you have worked during the qualifying period and where you are employed.
How do I apply and what do I need to show?
Apply online on Service Canada’s website here:
Call 1-800-206-7218 Monday-Friday 830am to 430pm PST and press 0 to speak with a representative.
You will be required to provide:
- Names and addresses of employers, employment dates, and reason you’re no longer employed for all employers in the last 52 weeks;
- Your full mailing address and home address, Social Insurance Number, and mother’s maiden name; and,
- Your banking information including direct deposit information.
If you have not received your Record of Employment from your employer check Service Canada’s online website as they may have uploaded it. If not follow up with your employer – not having a Record of Employment may delay your claim.
If you are applying for EI benefits on the basis that you have been quarantined for a two-week period you will not be required to produce a medical certificate or medical note to apply and have your claim approved. However you may be required to prove you qualified at a later date, or to extend your benefits beyond the two-week quarantine period.
What if I work another job while receiving regular benefits?
You are still allowed to apply for and collect EI, but you may receive less.
How long will I have to wait to receive my benefits?
Service Canada says that it may take up to 28 days to receive your first payment. But it could be sooner.
If you are under quarantine you should call the EI Coronavirus line after applying online to attempt to have their claim prioritized. The EI Coronavirus line can be reached at 1-833-381-2725.
Do I have to use vacation time or sick time before I apply for EI benefits?
NO! It is your choice whether you want to use your vacation or sick time first.
What if I am not diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered into quarantine by a doctor or nurse but my employer has told me to be in self-isolation?
The Federal Government has indicated that individuals in self-isolation will be eligible for EI sick benefits for a two-week period. Employees in this situation are advised to contact the EI Coronavirus line at 1-833-381-2725 for further information.
What do I have to do to remain entitled?
If you are receiving EI benefits you must to update Service Canada immediately if your situation changes and you must follow reporting requirements.
You must submit reports every two weeks by the internet or telephone while receiving EI benefits. These reports include information about any earnings you had during the period, training you received, and your availability for work.
If you are receiving regular benefits you must look for employment and keep a record of who you have contacted and where you have applied for work.
What if I’m still getting some minimum hours but haven’t been laid off?
The Union is looking in to the possibility of taking advantage of the Government of Canada’s “Work Sharing” Program, which allows for partial EI to be collected. We will update you as we learn more.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Contact Local 40: