Temporary Changes to EI (Employment Insurance)

Temporary Changes to EI (Employment Insurance)

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits.

These changes will be in effect for 1 year. Go to EI benefits and leave to find the benefit type that applies to your situation. The following changes could apply to you:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020
  • If your region’s unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, Service Canada will use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits (note – Alberta’s unemployment rate as of 19 October 2020 is 11.7 %)
  • You only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll receive a one-time credit of:
  • 300 insured hours if you’re applying for regular benefits
  • 480 insured hours if you’re applying for sickness, maternity, parental or caregiving benefits
  • You’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits but you could receive more
  • If you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • A medical certificate is not required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020, or later


If you need financial assistance after your CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) ends

To receive EI benefits

You or your employer(s) must submit a record of employment (ROE) for each job you had in the 52 weeks before the beginning of your CERB. Service Canada will need your ROEs as soon as possible to determine if you qualify for EI benefits and how much you will receive.

For more information about your EI claim, including the number of weeks and the weekly amount you will receive, register for My Service Canada Account (MSCA).

If you received the CERB through Service Canada

In most cases, you do not need to apply for EI benefits. After you receive your last CERB payment, continue completing reports. Service Canada will automatically review your file and your ROE, then start a claim for EI regular benefits if you qualify. If you do not qualify, you will be notified by mail.

You will need to apply for EI after your CERB ends if:

  • you have a SIN that starts with a 9
  • you’re self-employed, or
  • you declared that you returned to work full-time on your CERB report


If you received the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency

You need to receive all your CERB payments before applying for EI benefits. You can apply after the end of your last CERB eligibility period. Visit EI benefits and leave to determine which benefit is right for your situation and to apply online.

Once Service Canada has determined that you are eligible to receive EI benefits and have completed your first biweekly report, you will receive your first payment. This should occur within 28 days of applying. If you apply for regular or sickness benefits, you will have to complete reports for as long as you receive benefits to continue being paid.


If you’re not eligible for EI benefits

You may be eligible for other benefits, including the:

Canada Recovery Benefit

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

KWB strives to keep our clients informed of news that could affect their business and their lives.  If you would like to be a valued KWB client, click here  or call us at (780) 466-6204.

Source: Government of Canada

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