Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 3 - Section 1

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3.1.0 What is an antedate?

The prompt filing of claims for benefit is a basic requirement for the proper administration of the Employment Insurance Act that states specifically that:

A benefit period begins on the later of

  • the Sunday of the week in which the interruption of earning occurs, and
  • the Sunday of the week in which the initial claim for benefits is made Footnote 1 .

What this means is, when an initial claim is filed in the week in which the interruption of earnings occurs, the benefit period will begin on the Sunday of that week; otherwise the benefit period begins on the Sunday of the week in which the application is filed, subject to the administrative policy Footnote 2 . This approach was designed to facilitate the administration of claims.

When the claimant files an initial claim for benefit beyond the week of the interruption of earnings but wants to have the claim begin at the earlier date, he/she makes a request to antedate the claim to that earlier date. The Act provides for the antedating of a benefit period to a date that is earlier than the actual date the claim was filed. That legislation reads as follows:

  • An initial claim for benefits made after the day when the claimant was first qualified to make the claim shall be regarded as having been made on an earlier day if the claimant shows that the claimant qualified to receive benefits on the earlier day and that there was good cause for the delay throughout the period beginning on the earlier day and ending on the day when the initial claim was made Footnote 3 .

Antedating is applicable to initial, renewal, or continuing claims and to all claim types.

  • A claim for benefits, other than an initial claim for benefits, made after the time prescribed for making the claim shall be regarded as having been made on an earlier day if the claimant shows that there was good cause for the delay throughout the period beginning on the earlier day and ending on the day when the claim was made Footnote 4 .

3.1.1 The administrative policy

Over the years the Commission's experience has been that a large number of antedate requests involved short delays only, and that the majority of those antedate requests were accepted. In response to this reality the Commission introduced the administrative policy or rule as follows:

For initial and renewal claims, the claimant is deemed to have filed in a timely manner when the application for benefit is made no later than four calendar weeks following the calendar week in which:

  1. the interruption of earnings occurs,
  2. the last day paid falls,
  3. the trip end date (fresh catch), date of purchase (cured catch) occurs, or
  4. the last week in which wage loss insurance (WLI) or worker's compensation (WC) is paid, whichever is to the claimant's advantage.

Even though renewals do not require an interruption of earnings, the principles of the interruption of earnings for initials will be used in applying the administrative rule to renewal claims.

Under the administrative policy the Commission considers any application within this four week period to have been filed in the week of the interruption of earnings or in the last week worked or the receipt of WLI or WC benefits end. The effective date of the claim or renewal week is determined accordingly. Beyond this four week period, the administrative policy does not apply. A claimant who files in the fifth week or beyond must prove good cause for the full period, i.e., for the full 5 weeks.

The administrative policy will also apply to subsequent claims. A subsequent claim filed within five weeks from the week in which the last reporting cards were issued or within four calendar weeks from the week in which the final benefit warrant or statement was issued is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. Therefore, in this case, the subsequent claim may be established effective the week following the week in which the prior claim terminated.

The intent of the administrative policy is to facilitate the handling of potential antedate requests for a short time period as claimants need not request an antedate when the application is filed within this four week period. Of course this administrative policy is applicable only when it is to the claimant's advantage.

[ October 2003 ]

3.1.2 Backdate - renewal claims only

A claim is said to be a renewal when after four or more consecutive weeks without a claim on an existing benefit period, the claimant requests benefits Footnote 5 . The effective date of a renewal is prescribed by regulation as follows:

  • Where a claimant has not made a claim for benefits for four or more consecutive weeks, the first claim for benefits after that period for a week of unemployment shall be made within one week after the week for which benefits are claimed Footnote 6 .

Under this regulation the Commission may backdate a renewal claim one week to establish the effective date of that renewal. In other words, the effective date of a renewal will be the Sunday of the week prior to the week of application, provided it is to the claimant's advantage to do so. Backdating applies to renewal claims only, the claimant does not have to request it or meet specific conditions to qualify.

Application of backdating to the renewal sets the effective date of the renewal and once set the administrative policy cannot be applied to change the renewal week. That is to say that backdating of the renewal week cannot put the claimant into a position to benefit from the administrative policy.

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