Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 15 - Section 5
15.5.0 Determination of the benefit rate
Budget 2021 measures alert – Temporary measures are in place from September 26, 2021 to September 24, 2022 which affects the following information:
- only the last reason for separation (employment before the initial claim for benefits with the latest last day paid) or any employment within the benefit period requires adjudication if the reason for separation is contentious
- for benefit periods that begin September 26, 2021 to November 20, 2021, a fisher’s weekly insurable earnings utilized to calculate the benefit rate is the greater of the amount determined under paragraph 8.1(a) of the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations or $545
Although no official declaration is required, information regarding those participating in making a catch and the share arrangements of the participants must be provided to the buyer, the usual "deemed" employer, for taxation and insurability purposes. Records of Employment completed by the employer/buyer and income tax information must be in accord Footnote 1 .
The insurable earnings of a fisher are the fisher's share of proceeds from the sale of catches based on the share arrangements of the participants. For boat owners or lessees, shares, wages and salaries plus 25% of the gross value of the sales, are deducted. There is no minimum amount of weekly earnings Footnote 2 .
For insurable earnings to be used to qualify for benefits or for calculating the benefit rate of a fisher, they must come from catches delivered in the qualifying period Footnote 3 . If the catch is fresh, earnings are allocated equally to each day of a fishing trip and assigned to the appropriate weeks. In the case of a cured catch, the earnings are allocated to the week of delivery of the catch Footnote 4 .
If a trip starts prior to the beginning of the qualifying period and ends after the start of the qualifying period, insurable earnings are allocated equally to each of the days of the trip and only those earnings within the qualifying period are counted Footnote 5 .
To calculate the benefit rate, fishing earnings which fall in the qualifying period are added to those reported on Records of Employment from other employers and divided by a divisor ranging from 14 to 22 based on the regional rate of unemployment and found in the Table Footnote 6 .
The insurable earnings from insured employment other than fishing, which would fall in the fisher’s rate calculation period are converted to a weekly amount by applying the divisor Footnote 7 . They are added to the insurable earnings from fishing as determined above Footnote 8 .
Earnings from non-fishing employment where the claimant quit voluntarily without just cause or lost the employment for reasons of misconduct are excluded from the calculation of the benefit rate Footnote 9 .
The rate calculation period is the most recent 26 consecutive weeks of employment in the qualifying period prior to the commencement of a fishing claim Footnote 10 .
The total weekly insurable earnings from fishing and other employment are used to establish the benefit rate. The claimant's weekly benefit rate is the weekly amount multiplied by the percentage benefit rate that applies, which is currently 55% Footnote 11 . However the maximum benefit rate will not exceed 55% of the maximum yearly insurable earnings divided by 52 Footnote 12 .
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