EI Special Benefits for Self-Employed People – after you’ve applied

6. After you’ve applied

If you are entitled to receive EI special benefits, you should receive your first payment within 28 days of the date we receive your application and all required documents. This is how you will know that your application has been approved. For more information on the status of your application, visit the “My Service Canada Account".

If you are not entitled to receive benefits, we will notify you by letter or by telephone to explain why your application was not approved. If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to submit a request for a reconsideration.

A one-week waiting period

Before you start receiving EI benefits, there is one week for which you will not be paid. This is what we call the waiting period. The waiting period is like the deductible that you must pay for other types of insurance.

You usually serve the waiting period at the very beginning of a benefit period, unless you receive earnings during this one-week period. In that case, the waiting period will start during the first week for which you would otherwise be entitled to benefits.

If you received EI benefits in the last 52 weeks and you have reactivated your claim having already served the one-week waiting period, you do not need to serve an additional waiting period on the existing claim.

EI reports

After you apply for EI benefits, you must complete and submit EI reports to get the benefits you are entitled to receive. During the period your EI claim is active, you have to submit reports to Service Canada every two weeks that show you are still entitled to receive EI benefits.

How do you submit EI reports

There are two ways to complete and submit your EI reports:

  1. You can use the EI Internet Reporting Service, which allows you to answer questions at your own pace by reading and verifying your answers before submitting your report. To use this service, click on "Complete your EI report."
  2. You can call the EI Telephone Reporting Service at 1-800-531-7555. Please note that, if you use a cellular or cordless phone, we cannot assure your privacy or security.

On your EI reports, you must indicate whether you:

  • were outside Canada during the period of the report;
  • worked or received earnings, including self-employment earnings;
  • started a full-time job;
  • attended school or a training course;
  • were ready, willing, and capable of working each day; and
  • received or will receive money other than that already reported.

Note: The week of work covered by the reports begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You must therefore complete your report by Saturday, even if your regular work week does not necessarily correspond to these days.

For more information on EI reports, see the publication called What You Need to Do Now to Receive Your Employment Insurance Benefits.

Benefit Statement

Shortly after you file your EI application, we will mail you an EI benefit statement. The statement includes your Access Code (4 digit number) which is printed in the shaded area at the top of the benefit statement. Your Access Code is needed to submit your required bi-weekly reports and to get information about your claim.

Note: Keep in mind that receiving the EI benefit statement does not mean that your application has been approved.

Important information on your Employment Insurance access code

Your access code is the four-digit code printed in the shaded area of your benefit statement. You need to have it with you whenever you want to obtain information about your benefit claim and when you submit your reports. Your access code is used to identify you and ensure the confidentiality of the information you provide.

Do not share your access code with anyone, since you will be held responsible if someone accesses your information or modifies your claim without your knowledge. Always store it in a safe place and, for added protection, be sure to store it separately from your Social Insurance Number.

If you received a temporary access code, you will need to change it. You can also change your current access code for security reasons. Simply call the EI Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) Choose "1" and follow the instructions to change your access code.

If you lose your access code, please call the EI Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Choose "0" to speak to an agent. You may also visit a Service Canada Centre. In either case, you will be asked questions to verify your identity, and you will be issued a new access code.

How will your benefits be paid

Direct deposit ensures that you will get your payment as quickly as possible. Direct deposit is reliable, convenient, and easy to set up. When you use direct deposit, your EI payments are deposited automatically into your bank account two business days after we process your EI report.

You can sign up for direct deposit when you Apply for EI. You can also sign up for direct deposit online, by phone, in person, or by mail.

Note: You need to notify us if you change your bank account information or if you move.

Where can you get more information about your claim

You may obtain information online through your My Service Canada Account or by telephone. Call 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) and choose option "1." Be sure to have your Social Insurance Number and your access code on hand when you call.

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