EI sickness benefits: Apply

From: Employment and Social Development Canada


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 the EI program to help you access EI sickness benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 25, 2021, and could apply to you:

  • the waiting period may be waived
  • you don't need to get a medical certificate
  • you only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you'll get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help you meet the required 600 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.

Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. If you wait more than 4 weeks after your last day of work to apply, you may lose benefits.

To complete your application, you must do the following:

Service Canada collects personal information you put in an Employment Insurance (EI) benefit application to decide if you qualify for benefits. By starting this application, you consent to the terms of the privacy notice statement. Please read the privacy notice.

If you're already familiar with the program:

Ready to start?

Gather supporting documents

As part of the application process, you must obtain a medical certificate and your records of employment (ROEs). You may need to provide these documents to Service Canada.

Don't wait until you have these documents before you apply. You can get them after you complete your online application and send them in if we need them.

Complete the online application

Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. If you wait more than 4 weeks after your last day of work to apply, you may lose benefits.

Make sure you have the following information to complete your application:

  • the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks
  • the dates you were employed with each employer and the reasons you're no longer employed with them
  • your detailed explanation of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks
  • your full mailing address and your home address, if they’re different
  • your social insurance number (SIN)
  • the last name at birth of one of your parents
  • your banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including:
    • your financial institution
    • your branch (transit) number
    • your account number

The online application takes about 1 hour to complete. Your information is saved for 72 hours (3 days) from the time you start. If you don't complete the application, you can come back to it later using a temporary password that you receive when you start your application.

If you don't complete the application within 72 hours:

  • it will be deleted, and
  • you'll have to start a new application

Ready to start?

Provide supporting documents

Medical certificate Temporary COVID-19 relief

You'll need to get a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner.

There are 2 options. You can ask your medical practitioner to complete and sign either:

Once you have your medical certificate, keep it for 6 years in case we require it later. We'll contact you to let you know if you need to submit your medical certificate after you apply.

The medical practitioner may charge a fee to provide you with a medical certificate. We don't reimburse this fee.

For more information on medical certificates, such as who can sign it, visit:

Record of employment

Employers issue a record of employment (ROE) to provide information on your work history. Service Canada uses the information to determine:

  • whether you're eligible to receive EI benefits
  • how much you'll receive

You can visit My Service Canada Account (MSCA) to view ROEs that past and current employers have issued to you.

Electronic ROEs

Electronic ROEs are sent directly to Service Canada by your employer. You don't need to request electronic copies from your employer or provide copies to Service Canada.

Paper ROEs

If your employer issues paper ROEs, you must request copies of all ROEs issued to you in the past 52 weeks. You'll need to provide them to Service Canada as soon as possible after you submit your EI application. You can mail them or drop them off at a Service Canada Centre.

A benefit statement and access code will arrive by mail

Once your application is complete, Service Canada will mail you a benefit statement. This statement will include a 4-digit access code. You need this code and your SIN to inquire about your application and to complete biweekly reports. Receiving the EI benefit statement doesn't mean that Service Canada has made a decision about your claim.

Review your application status

To check the progress of your application, you can:

If you’re not registered with MSCA, you can create an account when you receive your benefit statement and access code.

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