Wildfires in British Columbia: important notice

The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians affected by the wildfires in British Columbia.

Service Canada is making every effort to provide direct assistance to workers and communities during this difficult time.

Applying for Employment Insurance

Affected workers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits online or in person, even without a Record of Employment.

You will need:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If you do not remember your SIN, you can visit a Service Canada office with all the identification you have to get a confirmation of your SIN.
  • To provide a mailing address and a residential address to complete your EI application and for Service Canada to process it.
    • Provide a mailing address where you can receive mail (friend, family, temporary shelter, etc.). You can update this address later.
    • Provide a residential address, even if you are temporarily living somewhere else due to the wildfires.

Reference code

A reference code has been put in place to allow Service Canada to process EI claims.

In your application, you will be asked: Were you given a reference code to submit with this application? Answer YES and enter the reference code 5986012017071017.

Completing your biweekly reports

Important

To receive your EI payments, you must complete and submit reports every two weeks (biweekly).

Shortly after applying for EI, you will receive your access code by mail. It is the four-digit code printed in the shaded area of your statement.

You will need your access code to complete your biweekly reports by using:

Money received from the provincial government, the Red Cross or other relief grants

If you have received money from the provincial government, the Red Cross, an insurance company or a charitable organization, you do not have to declare this money as earnings in your biweekly reports. Money received in disaster relief circumstances is not considered earnings for EI purposes.

Direct deposit

We encourage all clients to sign up for direct deposit. Direct deposit is the most efficient and surest method of payment, and it will not be impacted by a postal disruption or natural disaster.

Receiving your payments

If you were expecting to receive a payment by cheque and you need a replacement cheque, please call:

  • 1-800-206-7218 for EI payments
  • 1-800-277-9914 (Option "1") for CPP and OAS payments

For questions about mail delivery, please contact Canada Post Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333.

Interim Records of Employment

We understand that affected employers may not be able to provide your Records of Employment (ROEs). However, if you can provide enough information, we can create temporary ROEs to help you file your claim sooner. To do that, we need specific details related to your employment.

Please complete the Request for Record of Employment form, visit a Service Canada office or call 1-800-206-7218.

Passports

If you submitted an application and were expecting your passport in the mail, please call 1-800-567-6868.

Service Canada Centres and Passport Offices

Find out if the fires affect the opening of your local Service Canada office or Passport Office. If there is a closure, a notice will appear at the very top of the page for that office.

The Williams Lake Service Canada Centre is closed until further notice. All other Service Canada Centres are maintaining their regular hours of operation.

Additional services are available to people impacted by the wildfires in British Columbia at the following locations:

Kamloops Evacuation Centre
Sandman Centre
300 Lorne Street
Kamloops, BC
Hours of service: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., 7 days per week

Kamloops Resiliency Centre
Lansdowne Village
450 Lansdowne Street, unit 211
Kamloops, BC
Hours of service: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 7 days per week

Prince George Evacuation Centre
College of New Caledonia
3330 22nd Avenue
Prince George, BC
Hours of service: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 7 days per week

For more information

Call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) or visit a Service Canada office.

Visit us online anytime at Canada.ca.

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