Employment Insurance (EI) and social assistance

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Receiving social assistance while waiting for EI

This applies to you if you have authorized a Social Services agency to recover social assistance monies from your EI benefits through the assignment of benefits program.

If you receive financial assistance or advances from a Social Services agency while waiting for your EI benefits to start, you may have to reimburse that money to a Social Services agency out of your EI benefits.

Repayment amounts

The amount that will be recovered from your EI payment to pay back the Social Services agency is the smallest of the following:

  • gross EI benefits payable, or
  • amount paid as social assistance

The gross EI benefits equals the EI benefit payable to you after the following deductions are made, but prior to deductions made for income tax, EI overpayment and penalties:

  • deductions made for earnings (for example, salary)
  • deductions made for days during which  you are not available (for example, vacation days).

Examples of repayment calculation

Example 1: No balance to recover

You receive $250 in social assistance. For the same week, $200 is payable as gross EI benefits. EI will deduct $200 —which is less than the social assistance received— from your EI payment and repay Social Services for you.

There will be no balance to recover because the dual payment amount is the lesser of the weekly amount paid by social services or the gross amount of EI benefits paid or payable.

Note:

The entire amount of your EI payment may be recovered or the amount you owe may be recovered gradually to ensure you have enough money to live on each week. Your Social Services agency will decide how much money you need to meet your weekly living expenses.

Example 2: EI balance payable

You receive $150 in social assistance. For the same week, $200 is payable as gross EI benefits. EI will deduct $150 —which is less than your gross EI payment— from your EI payment and repay Social Services for you. The $50 balance of EI benefits will be payable ($200 - $150 = $50).

Example 3: Deduction made for earnings (repayments is less than your gross EI payment)

You receive $200 in social assistance. For the same week, your EI benefit rate is $400 and you declare earnings of $150. Before recovering any amount from your EI payment to repay Social Services, the payable gross EI benefits is calculated. In other words, $400 - $75 ($150 ÷ 2 = $75, you will be able to keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90% of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit amount. For more information, visit Working While on Claim) = $325. Then, EI will deduct $200 —which is less than your gross EI payment— from your EI payment and repay Social Services for you.

Example 4: Deduction made for earnings (repayment is less than your Social Services payment)

You receive $145 in social assistance. For the same week, your EI benefit rate is $200 and you declare earnings of $150. Before recovering any amount from your EI payment to repay Social Services, the payable gross EI benefits is calculated. In other words, $200 - $75 ($150 ÷ 2 = $75, you will be able to keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90% of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit amount. For more information, visit Working While on Claim) = $125. Then, EI will deduct $125 —which is less than your Social Services payment— from your EI payment and repay Social Services for you.

Contact us

If you have questions regarding the period of your financial assistance, please contact your Social Services agency.

For questions concerning the money deducted from your EI payment, please call the Telephone Information Service.

Telephone: 1-800-206-7218
Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

You can also contact your Service Canada Centre.

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