EI sickness benefits: After you apply

After you apply

Submit your biweekly reports

After you apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, you'll have to submit reports to us every 2 weeks for as long as you receive benefits. They show your ongoing eligibility and make sure you get the benefits to which you're entitled.

You'll need your social insurance number (SIN) and the 4-digit access code we mailed you to submit your reports online or by phone. Once you submit your report, you'll get the date to submit your next one. You have 3 weeks from that date to complete the next report.

If you work or earn money, you must indicate it on your report. If you don't inform us, you risk being overpaid and having to repay benefits.

For more information on how earnings impact your benefits, visit Working while on claim.

When payments start

You'll receive your first payment about 28 days after you apply if you're eligible and have provided all required information. If you're not eligible, we'll notify you of the decision made about your application.

Waiting period

Before you start receiving benefits, there is 1 week for which you won't be paid. This is called the waiting period. It's like the deductible that you pay for other types of insurance.

If your situation changes

Please contact us if you:

  • recover earlier than expected, or
  • need more time off work than expected

You may be eligible for other types of EI benefits. You must meet the conditions for each benefit.

If you travel outside of Canada

If you travel, let us know by filling out the online form Absence from Canada in My Service Canada Account (MSCA), or when you complete your biweekly report.

You’re not usually eligible to receive sickness benefits while outside Canada. However, you could be eligible if you're obtaining medical treatment that isn't readily or immediately available in your area of residence.

We encourage you to contact Service Canada for advice on your specific circumstances.

Check or update your information

With MSCA, you can check the status of your EI application. You can also:

  • view and update your personal information
  • find out when your payments start and end
  • sign up for direct deposit or change your direct deposit details

When payments end

You'll stop receiving benefits if:

  • you no longer need to be away from work because of your medical condition
  • you've received 15 weeks of sickness benefit payments
  • you've received the maximum weeks of benefits payable to you when combining EI benefit types or
  • you've reached the end of your claim period
    • when you start a claim for any type of EI benefit, your claim is open for a certain period of time. This is usually 52 weeks. In some situations, the claim period may be extended up to a maximum of 2 years

If you disagree with the decision about your application for EI benefits

You can request a reconsideration of the decision. You must submit a request for reconsideration within 30 days after the day the decision was communicated to you. You can contact Service Canada to help you with your reconsideration request

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