EI sickness benefits: Apply


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

Follow these steps to complete your application:

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

If you're already familiar with the program:


Step 1: Gather required information

As part of the application process, you’ll need to provide information and documents to us.

Don't wait until you have the documents to apply. Complete and submit your online application right away. You can send the required documents after you apply.

  • Personal information

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

    • the names and addresses of your employers in the past 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 past 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 1 of your parents
    • your banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including:
      • the name of your financial institution
      • your branch (transit) number
      • your account number
  • Medical certificate

    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 them, visit:

  • Records of employment

    Employers issue records of employment (ROEs) to provide information about your work history. We use this 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 have been issued for you by past and recent employers.

    Electronic ROEs

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

    Paper ROEs

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

Step 2: Complete the online application

The online application takes about 1 hour to complete. If you don’t complete the application all at once, you can come back to it later using the temporary password that you receive when you start.

Your information is saved for 72 hours (3 days) from the time you start. If you don't submit the application within this time:

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

When you apply for EI benefits, we’ll ask for your email address. We may send you an email to provide you with information or ask you to call us if we can't reach you by phone.

Please note that we won’t ask you to send us information by email.


Step 3: Provide required documents

After you complete your online application, submit the required documents to us.

You can:

Step 4: A benefit statement and access code will arrive by mail

Once your application is received, we’ll mail you a benefit statement with a 4-digit access code. You’ll need this code and your SIN to follow up on your application. Receiving an EI benefit statement doesn't mean that we’ve made a decision about your claim.

Step 5: Check the status of your application

To check the status of your application, you can:

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