EI Special Benefits for Self-Employed People - Apply

5. Apply

You have to wait 12 months from the date of your confirmed registration before applying for EI special benefits

If you are self-employed and are also receiving insurable earnings as an employee, you can choose to Apply for EI special benefits either as a self-employed person or as an employee, as long as you qualify for both.

If you are applying as a self-employed person, we will take into account your earnings from both self-employment and employment as an employee when we calculate your weekly benefit amount, as long as your earnings from both sources are eligible. You must provide your Record of Employment to show details of your earnings as an employee.

If you are applying as an employee, we will use only the earnings from your employment as an employee (including fishing earnings) to calculate your weekly benefit amount. We will not use any of your self-employed earnings. You must provide your Record of Employment (available from your employer) to show details of your earnings as an employee.

To apply for EI special benefits, you must submit an application online. The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

You can apply:

  • At home
    If you have access to the Internet at home, you can apply for EI benefits from there—24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also use the computer of a friend or a family member.
  • At a public Internet access site
    There are various locations in your community, such as public libraries, where you can access the Internet to apply for EI benefits.
  • At a Service Canada Centre
    You can apply online at any Service Canada Centre using one of the many Internet kiosks available. To find the Service Canada Centre nearest you, visit the Service Canada website.

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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