I lost my job for reasons beyond my control. Can I get EI?

Employment Insurance (EI) rules have changed because of COVID-19. As of September 27, 2020, if you’re applying for regular EI benefits for the first time, you only need 120 hours of insurable work. And there’s a new minimum EI payment amount of $500 a week. These changes are expected to last for one year.

Employment Insurance (EI) benefits provide some short-term financial help for people who are out of work. Most jobs in Canada take money from your paycheque to pay into the EI program. Even if your employer hasn’t paid into the program, you might still be able to get EI.

Usually, you have to wait for one week after you lose your job before applying for EI. But during COVID-19, you don’t have to do this. You can collect EI starting the day after you lose your job. This rule is temporary, and affects people applying for EI between January 31, 2021, and September 25, 2021.

If you apply more than 4 weeks after you have an , it may be harder to get approved for EI. If you are approved, you might get less money. This is because there will be a large period of time where you have no hours worked and no money earned.

There are different EI benefits that might be available for your situation. These are:

You might be able to get EI regular benefits if you:

  • were employed in
  • lost your job through no fault of your own
  • have not worked or been paid for at least 7 days
  • worked enough hours to qualify for EI, usually in the last 52 weeks

You must also be ready and able to work right away, and actively looking for work.

You might not be able to get EI regular benefits if you:

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