EI regular benefits: What you need before you start

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

COVID-19

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

Changes to support you during COVID-19

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI regular benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year and could apply to you:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020
    • If your region’s unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, we’ll use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits
    • This means you can receive at least 26 weeks of regular 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
  • If you received the 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.

4. What you need before you start

To complete the online EI application for EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings Footnote 1 in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate. Temporary COVID-19 relief

You may also have to provide the following details if you are reactivating an existing claim:

  • the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
  • any other amount you received or will receive (such as vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, pay in lieu of notice, and other money)

When you apply for EI benefits, be sure to sign up for direct deposit to get your payments as quickly as possible. When you use direct deposit, your EI payments are deposited automatically into your bank account two business days after we process your EI report.

If you do not sign up for direct deposit at the time you complete your EI application, you can sign up any time after you apply through My Service Canada Account.

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