EI fishing benefits - Overview

COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

Please read our latest notice affecting EI fishing benefits:

Changes to support you during COVID-19

Temporary changes have been made to the EI program to help you access EI fishing benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 25, 2021, and could apply to you:

  • the waiting period may be waived
  • a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada
  • you only need $2,500 in earnings to qualify for regular fishing or special benefits
  • we'll establish your claim using the highest earnings from either your current claim or the earnings from 1 of your last 2 fishing claims for the same season, even if you didn't fish this year
  • you'll receive at least $500 per week before taxes but you could receive more

If you were notified that you don't have enough earnings to receive benefits, contact us to request a review of your claim considering these temporary changes.

Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.

1. Overview

Employment Insurance (EI) provides fishing benefits to qualifying, self-employed fishersFootnote 1 who are actively seeking work. Unlike regular EI benefits, eligibility for EI fishing benefits is based on earnings, not insurable hours of employment.

Fishers may be eligible to receive regular fishing benefits as well as sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care and/or family caregiver benefits.

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