EI benefits for self-employed people: Register
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 Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for self-employed people. The following changes are in effect until September 2021, and could apply to you:
- effective January 3, 2021, you need to have made at least $5,000 in net earnings in 2020 to be eligible for benefits under the self-employed program in 2021
- you’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits, but you could receive more
Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.
Sign up or log into My Service Canada Account
If you already have a My Service Canada Account (MSCA), log in using your sign-in partner, GCKey or MyAlberta Digital ID.
To create an account:
Register for the self-employed program
On the main page in MSCA:
- Click the Apply for tab
- Click Register for EI for the self-employed
- Follow the steps to enter into an agreement with the EI Commission
Once you submit your registration, you’ll immediately get a confirmation that you’ve entered into an agreement with the EI Commission.
Submit supporting documents to the Canada Revenue Agency
Each year when you complete your income tax return, you must complete and submit Schedule 13 (Employment Insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings) to the Canada Revenue Agency.
To get a Schedule 13:
- Choose the tax package you need
- Select your province
- Click on Schedule 13 under Schedules
Fill out schedule 13 to calculate your premiums. You’ll pay premiums based on your self-employed income for the entire calendar year, starting the year you register.
You’ll pay $1.58 for every $100 you earn, to a maximum of $889.54 in 2021.
Residents of Quebec
If you’re a resident of Quebec, you’ll pay $1.18 for every $100 earned, to a maximum of $664.34 in 2021.
Benefits are available 12 months after registration
You can apply for special benefits 12 months after your confirmed registration date. You can check your registration date in MSCA.
If you need special benefits, decide which one is right for your situation and then apply online. You must meet the eligibility criteria for the benefit for which you are applying.
Once you receive benefits as a self-employed person, you’ll continue paying premiums for as long as you’re self-employed.
If you have not filed your income tax return for the year before you apply for benefits, you’ll have to provide an estimate of your self-employed earnings. This estimate should be as accurate as possible, since your benefit amount will be calculated based on what you provide. We’ll make any necessary adjustments after you file your income tax return.
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