Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 24 - Section 9

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24.9.0 Payment of benefits

The payment of EI benefits is not based on the personal needs or financial obligations of an individual. Equally, the fact that one has paid premiums to the EI fund does not by itself give rights to receive benefits Footnote 1 as would be the case with an insurance policy one has subscribed to, and eligibility depends on abiding by the various conditions established by the law Footnote 2 :

An individual who wishes to receive benefits must first indicate their intention by making a claim and proving that they meet the conditions necessary to establish a benefit period Footnote 3 for which benefits may be payable in that period. The filing of a claim is the first requirement to be met and it is also the means by which the claimant will officially know whether they are entitled to benefits.

There are three types of claims for benefit: the initial, the continuing and the renewal claim Footnote 4 . Only the initial claim is related to establishing a benefit period Footnote 5 . Continuing and renewal claims are claims made for weeks of unemployment during the existence of an already-established benefit period Footnote 6 .

24.9.1 Week of benefits paid defined

As previously discussed, there is a maximum number of weeks of benefit that can be paid in a benefit period Footnote 7 . Any week in respect of which benefit in the amount of one dollar or more has been paid is deducted from this maximum number Footnote 8 . Also to be deducted from this maximum are weeks for which no actual payment was made but for which benefits are deemed paid; the following is a list of such weeks:

  • benefit for a week was used to repay an overpayment Footnote 9 ;
  • benefit for a week was applied against a penalty Footnote 10 and/or;
  • benefit for a week was transferred to a government or municipal authority as a refund of assistance already provided Footnote 11 .

However, a week for which benefit has been paid or has been deemed to be paid must not be deducted from the number of weeks payable in a benefit period if, following reconsideration Footnote 12 the claimant was not entitled to any benefit for that week and an overpayment is established.

In the context of the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) implemented on January 1, 2006, a principle has been established to guarantee equity in the processing of claims for Employment Insurance benefits that are filed throughout Canada. This principle of equivalence extends to benefits paid under a provincial plan a recognition that is similar to maternity or parental benefits paid under the EI program.

According to a regulatory provision Footnote 13 made in this context, each week of provincial benefits paid to a self-employed person within a benefit period, such as QPIP benefits, is considered as a week for which benefits are paid under the EI program if the person would have been entitled to the corresponding type of benefits under EI and is taken into consideration in calculating the overall maximum number of weeks of EI maternity or parental benefits to be paid per benefit period and the maximum number of weeks of EI benefits to be paid regarding a birth or an adoption Footnote 14 .

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