EI and social assistance

Official title: Employment Insurance (EI) and persons receiving social assistance

If you receive 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.

How much do you need to pay back?

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

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

The gross EI benefits equals the EI benefit payable to you following deductions for earnings, for example, salary if you work, and days that you are not available, for example, vacation days, but prior to deductions for income tax, EI overpayment and penalties.

Examples of repayment calculation

Example 1

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.

The remaining balance of $50 owing to the agency will be deducted from your next EI weekly payment.

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

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.

Example 3

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, ie. $400 + $100 what you are allowed to earn - $150 earnings = $350. 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

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, i.e. $200 + $50 what you are allowed to earn - $150 earnings = $100. Then, EI will deduct $100 —which is less than the social assistance received— from your EI payment and repay Social Services for you.

Any questions?

If you have questions regarding the period of your financial assistance, please contact your Social Services agency. However, if you have questions concerning the money deducted from your EI payment, please call the Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or contact your Service Canada Centre.

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