EI fishing benefits - What you need before you start

COVID-19

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

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.

4. What you need before you start

To receive fishing benefits, you must submit an EI application online. You will need the following information:

  • your Social Insurance Number. If your SIN begins with a "9," you will need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit
  • date of birth
  • your mother's maiden name
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes
  • the names and addresses of all buyers of your catch and employers
  • dates for the periods you were engaged in self-employed fishing and other periods of employment
  • reasons for separation from any employment, including self-employment in fishing, for the last 52 weeks
  • your complete banking information, including the financial institution name, the branch number, and your account number (if you want to sign up for direct deposit)
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