Employment Insurance – Working While on Claim

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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With Working While on Claim, you can keep receiving part of your Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and all earnings from your job.

Do you qualify

You can qualify if you receive any type of EI benefits.

How working affects your claim

If you earn money while receiving EI benefits, you can keep 50 cents of your benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90% of your previous weekly earnings (roughly 4 and a half days of work). Above this cap, your EI benefits are deducted dollar-for-dollar.

You’re not eligible to receive EI benefits if you work a full week, regardless of the amount you earn. However, this won’t reduce the total number of weeks payable on your claim.

Example 1

John was laid off when the grocery store where he worked shut down. His weekly earnings were $500, so his weekly EI benefit rate is $275 (55% of $500). He has found a part-time job at a restaurant, where he works 3 days a week and earns $300 per week.

As a result, his $275 in EI benefits are reduced by $150 or 50 cents for every dollar he earns at the restaurant ($300 ÷ 2 = $150). This brings his total EI benefit to $125 ($275 – $150 = $125).

In the end, John takes home $125 per week in EI benefits plus his part-time wages of $300, for a total of $425.

Example 2

Melissa got sick, stopped working to recover from her illness and applied for EI sickness benefits. Her normal weekly earnings were $850, meaning her EI benefit rate would be $468 per week (55% of $850).

Melissa was off work for 3 weeks before her doctor wrote a note saying she could return to work part-time for 2 weeks, and work full-time after that. Melissa returned to work part-time, working a day and a half per week and earning $260 per week.

In her first week off work, Melissa served her 1-week waiting period and was not paid any benefits. During the second and third weeks that she was off work, she received $468 in EI sickness benefits.

In the fourth and fifth weeks, Melissa worked part-time and her benefits were reduced by $130 or 50 cents for every dollar earned ($260 ÷ 2 = $130). This brings her total EI sickness benefits to $338 ($468 – $130 = $338). For the weeks she worked part-time, she took home $338 in EI sickness benefits plus her part-time earnings of $260 for a total of $598.

Melissa is not paid any sickness benefits in the sixth week because she returns to work full-time.

Exception for some employees on paid short-term disability leave from work

Is your employer registered in the Premium Reduction Program? If you become ill or injured, you need to use your employer’s sick leave plan before receiving EI benefits. 

If you’re receiving wage loss indemnity or paid sick leave from an employer registered in the Premium Reduction Program, your earnings will be deducted differently.

How to get started

Since you’re already receiving EI, you don’t need to apply for Working While on Claim. You simply need to continue to declare your earnings on your reports.

To view your claim information and payment details, visit My Service Canada Account.

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