EI regular benefits: Overview
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 Employment Insurance (EI) program to help you access EI regular benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 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
- if your region’s unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, we’ll use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits
- you only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll get a one-time credit of 300 insured hours to help you meet the required 420 insured hours of work
- you’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, but you could receive more
- you’ll be eligible for up to 50 weeks of regular benefits
- if you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.
Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can't find a job.
Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.
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