Employment Insurance Benefits and Independent Workers and Professionals

If you are an independent worker (including a professional) who also works in insurable employment (usually under a contract of service, as an employee), you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

As an independent worker engaged in a business, you may be able to register for access to EI special benefits for self-employed people.

Eligibility information

Please read through the detailed eligibility criteria for more information about whether you are eligible for EI benefits, based on your insurable employment.

Application information

More information on applying for EI and the EI online application are available on the Application information page.

After you submit your application

Shortly after applying for EI, you will receive a benefit statement in the mail with your access code and instructions on how to complete and submit EI reports every two weeks. Receiving the benefit statement does not mean that your EI application has been approved.

Use your access code to register for a My Service Canada Account, where you can view and update your EI information.

Working while receiving EI benefits

You can work while receiving EI benefits, but you must report your earnings and hours worked. Your benefits may be reduced due to these earnings and hours.

Additional information

Service Canada will let you know in writing if you are entitled to receive EI benefits. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request a reconsideration.

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