What is EI?

If you have lost your job you will probably need money while you look for another job, or upgrade your skills. Employment Insurance (EI) is short-term monetary help that you can get. While you are getting EI, you are expected to be looking for a job, or getting training. If you have lost your job because of something that was not your fault, you may be eligible to collect EI.

Can I get EI?

If you’ve lost your job because of no fault of your own, like from work shortages or seasonal lay-offs for example, you can probably collect EI. If you have been fired because of something that was your fault, you can't get EI.

Depending on where you live, you will need to have worked between 420 and 700 insurable hours. If it is your first job, you may need to have worked up to 910 hours. Find out the requirements for your region - have your postal code ready!

To be able to get regular EI benefits, you must also have:

  • paid EI payments while you were working
  • not been working and not been paid for at least one week

You can also get special EI benefits.

How long can I get EI benefits for?

You can get regular EI benefits/payments for around 19-50 weeks.

How do I apply for EI?

You can submit an application for EI online or in person at your closest Service Canada Centre.

It’s a good idea to apply as soon as you stop working because it takes a few weeks for you to start getting EI payments if you have been approved.

What happens if I get approved?

You will begin to get regular EI cheques. You have the responsibility to:

  • look for a new job
  • go to your EI appointments
  • report all the extra money you make while you are on EI
  • report any work you do while you are on EI (even if you haven't been paid yet)
  • report if you will be out of the country or city
Teaser: 

<p>If you have lost your job you will probably need money while you look for another job, or upgrade your skills. <strong>Employment Insurance (EI) is short-term monetary help</strong> that you can get. </p>