Proactive Disclosure and Penalties

Employment Insurance

If you have knowingly made a false or misleading representation or statement, or you have completed a statement without declaring essential information, you can come forward and correct it. If you make a disclosure before any investigation has started, you may be exempt from a penalty and potential prosecution.

If you have questions or you want to make a voluntary disclosure, contact Service Canada.

Penalties may be imposed on Employment Insurance (EI) claimants, their employers, and any individuals acting on their behalf who:

  • knowingly make false or misleading representations or statements; or
  • complete a statement without declaring essential information.

There are many situations where a penalty can apply, and the amount can become very high. Depending on the circumstances, the maximum penalty can be up to three times the amount of the overpayment, three times the weekly benefit rate for each incident of misrepresentation, or three times the maximum benefit rate.

Claimants who misuse the EI program may need more insurable hours to qualify for regular benefits in the future. The required number of insurable hours to qualify rises based on the seriousness of previous incidents of misrepresentation. The amount of the penalty will also depend on the amount of the overpayment and the number of previous incidents of misrepresentation.

Violation type Value of overpayment Increase in number of hours you need to qualify for EI benefits*
Minor less than $1,000 25% more hours
Example: If you usually need 420 hours,
you will now need 525 hours.
Serious between $1,000 and $4,999 50% more hours
Example: If you usually need 420 hours,
you will now need 630 hours.
Major $5,000 or more 75% more hours
Example: If you usually need 420 hours,
you will now need 735 hours.
Subsequent More than one
violation in your file
(regardless of the value)
100% more hours
Example: If you usually need 420 hours,
you will now need 840 hours.

*These increases apply for five years from the date we record the violation on your file or to your next two claims, whichever comes first.

It does not matter if you apply for regular, sickness, maternity, parental, family caregiver compassionate care benefits, or family caregiver benefits — you will need the increased number of hours to receive any of these benefits.

Penalties for employers

Employers who commit fraud—for example, by falsifying or selling a Record of Employment—are also subject to penalties. They may have to pay up to $12,000 per Record of Employment, or a fine that would total the amount of all claimants' penalties in relation to the offences.

Individuals who act on behalf of an employer (for example, corporate directors, officers, or agents) may also be penalized separately if they make false statements.

Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Act administrative penalties, interest, and disclosure policy

Administrative penalties under the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act came into force on April 1, 2010. The penalty provision imposes financial sanctions in cases of misrepresentation. A misrepresentation is made when an applicant, beneficiary, or third party knowingly provides false or misleading information, or omits information. The interest provision imposes interest on penalties and on overpayments that are subject to a penalty.

Service Canada's disclosure policy allows individuals to come forward and correct inaccurate or incomplete information or to disclose information they did not divulge during previous dealings with Service Canada. A valid disclosure must be voluntary, complete, and accurate, and must be given before Service Canada starts an investigation. Making a disclosure may exempt an individual from penalty or from having the case referred by the Minister to the RCMP for investigation and potential prosecution.

If you would like to disclose a misrepresentation, call the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security information line at 1-800-277-9914 (TTY: 1-800-255-4786) or visit a Service Canada Centre for help to begin the process.

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