Archived - Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 10 - Section 5

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10.5.0 Offered earnings and type of work

The extent to which a claimant must expand their willingness to seek and accept less remunerative and less favourable types of employment will vary according to which "category" the claimant is in, and the number of weeks that have elapsed in the benefit period.

10.5.1 Three categories of claimant

For this purpose there are three categories of claimants: long tenured workers, frequent claimants and occasional claimants.

A long tenured worker is a claimant who:

  1. was paid less than 36 weeks of regular benefits in the 260 weeks before the beginning of their benefit period; and,
  2. according to their income tax returns for which notices of assessment have been sent by the Canada Revenue Agency, paid at least 30% of the maximum annual employee's premium in at least 7 of the 10 years immediately preceding their benefit period or, if their income tax return for the year immediately preceding their benefit period has not yet been filed, or a notice of assessment for that year has not yet been sent by the Agency, in 7 of the 10 years before that year Footnote 1 .

A frequent claimant is a claimant who was paid more than 60 weeks of regular benefits in at least three benefit periods in the 260 weeks before the beginning of their benefit period Footnote 2 .

An occasional claimant is a claimant who is neither a long tenured worker nor a frequent claimant Footnote 3 .

For the purposes of determining whether the claimant is a long tenured worker or a frequent claimant the weeks that are considered to have been "paid" include any week where:

  • at least $1.00 in regular benefits was paid or payable to the claimant Footnote 4 ,
  • a week in which benefits were used to either recover an overpayment or a monetary penalty, or to reimburse a provincial or municipal government or any other prescribed authority, for an advance, assistance or welfare payment; or,
  • a week in which the claimant served a week of definite disqualification Footnote 5 .

The following would not be included for this purpose:

  • a week in which a week of the waiting period was served;
  • a week in which work sharing benefits were paid;
  • a week of benefits paid to a claimant while attending a course or program of instruction or training to which the Commission, or an authority designated by the Commission, has referred the claimant;
  • a week of special benefits (sick, maternity, parental, Compassionate care, or Family Caregiver benefits);
  • a week in which the conditions of entitlement were not met; or,
  • a week where an allocation of earnings prevented any payment of benefits.

Once an initial claim is established, the claimant will be identified as a long tenured worker, a frequent or occasional claimant, based on the above criteria. Once the category of claimant is identified it will apply for the entire ensuing benefit period. For example, if a claimant establishes an initial claim and, based on the above criteria, is identified as a frequent claimant and then returns to work and subsequently renews their claim, that claimant would still be considered a frequent claimant for the duration of that benefit period.

10.5.2 Elapsed weeks

The extent to which a claimant must expand their willingness to seek and accept less remunerative and less favourable types of employment is also affected by the number of weeks that have elapsed in the benefit period. For this purpose elapsed weeks include:

  • a week in which a week of the waiting period was served;
  • a week in which at least $1.00 in regular benefits was paid or payable to the claimant;
  • a week in which benefits were used to recover either an overpayment or a monetary penalty, or to reimburse a provincial or municipal government or any other prescribed authority, for an advance, assistance or welfare payment; or,
  • a week in which the claimant served a week of definite disqualification Footnote 6 .

The following would not be included for this purpose:

  • a week of special benefits (sick, maternity, parental, Compassionate care, or Family Caregiver benefits);
  • a week of work sharing benefits paid;
  • a week of benefits paid to a claimant while attending a course or program of instruction or training to which the Commission, or an authority designated by the Commission, has referred the claimant;
  • a week in which the conditions of entitlement were not met; or,
  • a week where an allocation of earnings prevented any payment of benefits.

[ January 2014 ]

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