EI fishing benefits – Eligibility
Do you qualify
Your eligibility depends on how much you earned from self-employment in fishing during your qualifying period.
The qualifying period for summer fishing benefits can't start earlier than the week of March 1. For winter fishing benefits, it can't start earlier than the week of September 1. The qualifying period also can't start more than 31 weeks immediately before the start of a benefit period.
If you applied for benefits earlier and your application was approved in the last 31 weeks, the qualifying period is from the start of the previous benefit period to the start of your new benefit period.
To qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) fishing benefits, the amount you need to earn during your qualifying period varies depending on the unemployment rate in the region where you live. As Table 1 shows, you need to earn a minimum of between $2,500 and $4,200 during your qualifying period.
To qualify for EI special benefits (sickness, maternity, parental and caregiving), you must earn $3,760 or more from self-employment in fishing during the qualifying period.
|Regional rate of unemployment||Required earnings|
|6% or less||$4,200|
|6.1% to 7%||$4,000|
|7.1% to 8%||$3,800|
|8.1% to 9%||$3,600|
|9.1% to 10%||$3,400|
|10.1% to 11%||$3,200|
|11.1% to 12%||$2,900|
|12.1% to 13%||$2,700|
|13.1% or more||$2,500|
If you've been paid EI benefits in the past and received a written notice for making a false statement or misrepresentation, you may need to earn more from fishing to claim fishing benefits.
If you're sick, you may qualify for sickness benefits. The number of weeks of benefits you could receive depends on the date your claim begins:
- before December 18, 2022: up to 15 weeks
- on or after December 18, 2022: up to 26 weeks New
Sickness benefits are available if you're ill, injured or in quarantine. You must obtain a medical certificate signed by a physician stating how long your incapacity due to illness, injury or quarantine is expected to last.
If you’re away from work because you’re pregnant or recently gave birth, you may be able to receive up to 15 weeks of maternity benefits.
If you’re a parent who is away from work to care for your newborn or newly adopted child, you may be able to receive parental benefits.
There are 2 options available for receiving parental benefits: standard or extended.
- Up to 40 weeks of standard parental benefits can be paid to parents sharing benefits, but 1 parent can't receive more than 35 weeks. If parents share benefits, they must choose the same option.
- Up to 69 weeks of extended parental benefits can be paid to parents sharing benefits, but 1 parent can't receive more than 61 weeks. If parents share benefits, they must choose the same option.
Compassionate care benefits
Compassionate care benefits can be paid for up to 26 weeks to fishers who have to be away from work to provide care or support to a person who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (6 months). Unemployed fishers receiving fishing benefits can also ask for this type of benefit. You must be able to provide medical proof that your family member has a serious medical condition with a risk of dying within 26 weeks and requires you to provide care and support to your family member who is seriously ill.
Family caregiver benefits
Family caregiver benefits for children can be paid for up to 35 weeks to family members who must be away from work to provide care or supportFootnote 1 to a critically ill or injured child who is under the age of 18.
Family caregiver benefits for adults can be paid for up to 15 weeks to family members who must be away from work to provide care or supportFootnote 1 to a critically ill or injured family member who is over the age of 18.
You must provide medical proof that the family member is critically ill or injured and requires you to provide care and support.
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