EI – Workers and residents outside Canada – How much could you receive

3. How much could you receive

We cannot tell you exactly how much you will receive before we process your application. For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2018, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $51,700. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $547 per week.

How benefits are calculated

We will calculate the amount of your weekly benefits based on your total insurable earnings before deductions during the "best weeks" in your qualifying period. Your qualifying period is the shorter of the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your EI claim, or the period since the start of a previous claim. Your best weeks are the weeks that you earned the most money. In regions of Canada with the highest rates of unemployment, we will calculate using the best 14 weeks; in regions of Canada with the lowest rates of unemployment, we will use the best 22 weeks. In other regions, the number of weeks used to calculate benefits will be somewhere between 14 and 22, depending on the unemployment rate in those regions.

The amount of weekly benefits is calculated as follows:

  • We calculate your total earnings for the required number of best weeks based on the information you provide and/or your Record of Employment.
  • We determine the divisor (number of best weeks) that corresponds to your regional rate of unemployment.
  • We divide your total earnings for your best weeks by the corresponding divisor in Table 2 below to obtain an average.
  • We then multiply the result by 55% to obtain the amount of your weekly benefits.

Divisor used to calculate benefits based on the regional rate of unemployment

Regional rate of unemployment Divisor (number of best weeks)
6% or less 22
6.1% to 7% 21
7.1% to 8% 20
8.1% to 9% 19
9.1% to 10% 18
10.1% to 11% 17
11.1% to 12% 16
12.1% to 13% 15
13.1% or more 14

For how long will I receive EI benefits?

You may receive EI regular benefits for a period ranging from 14 to 45 weeks. The number of weeks you may receive benefits depends on the unemployment rate in your region and on the number of hours of insurable employment that you accumulated during your qualifying period, which is usually the last 52 weeks before the start date of your claim.

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