Checklist: Employment Insurance regular benefits application

Use this checklist to help guide you through the application process for Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits.


Do not leave personal information where others can see it. Safeguard your documents to avoid fraud and identity theft. Also, make sure to log out when leaving the computer. If you are not sure how to do this, a Service Canada representative can help you.

Information you need to apply

Make sure your information is accurate before submitting it. A common mistake, like misspelling your parent's last name at birth, can delay the processing of your claim.

Do not enter your parent's first name, married name, or date of birth.

To complete the online EI application, you will need the following information:

  • your social insurance number (SIN)
    • if your SIN begins with a “9,” you will need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit
  • the last name at birth of 1 of your parents
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including postal codes
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including:
    • the name of your financial institution
    • your bank branch number
    • your account number
  • the names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter of these 2 periods
    • this information will be used, along with your record(s) of employment, to calculate your weekly EI benefit rate

1. When to apply

Apply as soon as you stop working. You can apply online at home, at any Service Canada Centre using one of the many Internet kiosks available, or at a public Internet access site, such as a public library. The website takes you step by step through the application process.

Records of employment

Missing records of employment (ROEs) can delay the processing of your claim.

  • If your employer issues ROEs in paper format, you must request copies of all ROEs issued to you during the last 52 weeks and provide them to Service Canada as soon as possible after you submit your EI application. You must either drop off your paper ROEs in person at any Service Canada Centre or mail them to us—we cannot finalize your application until we receive them
  • If your employer submits ROEs electronically to Service Canada, you do not need to request copies of your ROEs from your employers, and you do not have to provide copies to Service Canada

2. After you apply

You will receive a confirmation number electronically as proof that we received your application. Make note of this number and of the date you submitted your application for future reference.

Note: If you do not receive a confirmation number, call 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Do not complete another online application.

3. Receiving your EI benefits

The benefit statement is mailed to you shortly after you apply for benefits. The statement includes your access code (4 digit number), which is printed in the shaded area at the top of the benefit statement. Your access code is needed to submit your required bi-weekly reports and to get information about your claim. You are required to complete bi-weekly reports to prove your eligibility and to receive any payment you may be entitled to. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits. Access the instructions on when and how to complete your reports with our Internet Reporting Service or our Telephone Reporting Service.


  • If you had an EI claim within the last month, you will not receive a new access code in the mail. You can use the same access code that you previously used to complete your bi-weekly reports and access your EI claim information
  • Keep in mind that receiving the EI benefit statement does not mean that your application has been approved

Get information about your EI claim through My Service Canada Account

Register for My Service Canada Account to access your EI information online. My Service Canada Account is a fast and convenient way to securely:

  • view any decision made about your EI application
  • sign up for direct deposit
  • see details on your payments and deductions
  • view and update your personal information, including changing your address
  • view and print copies of your T4E tax slip
  • view records of employment that your employers have submitted electronically in the last 2 years
  • access sites that can help you find a job

Register for My Service Canada Account using the step-by-step instructions.

Tips for job seekers

Looking for a job but don't know where to start?

Check out the information at Service Canada to help you choose a career, get training and upgrade your skills, look for a job, or start a business.

For labour market information in regions all across Canada, visit the Job Bank. This website provides information on job descriptions, job and skills requirements, training availability, potential employers, and more.

To continue receiving EI benefits, you must be looking for work. You must also report any time that you are not capable of working or not available for work through your bi-weekly reports. Since Service Canada may ask you which employers you have contacted, it is important to keep a record of your job-search activities. You should keep a log of the names of all employers you visited or contacted, their addresses and phone numbers, and the dates you visited or contacted them. You should also keep a record of all the employers where you have applied or plan to apply for employment. Before you submit your EI application online, you will be given a complete list of your rights and responsibilities while you are receiving EI benefits.

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