EI sickness benefit: How much could you receive
Changes to support you during COVID-19
As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI sickness benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year and could apply to you:
- 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.
The exact amount you receive will be determined once your application is processed.
Up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits are available. The number of weeks of benefits you get depends on how long you’re unable to work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your insurable earnings* up to a maximum of $573 a week. The amount you receive depends on your insurable earnings before taxes in the past 52 weeks or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter.
*Insurable earnings include most of the different types of compensation from employment, such as wages, tips, bonuses and commissions. The Canada Revenue Agency determines what types of earnings are insurable.
Some employers provide additional money to employees on sick leave. This is called a top-up. Check with your employer to find out if they offer a top-up.
If your weekly earnings vary or your income changes
To calculate your benefit amount, we use a specific number of your highest paid weeks of employment. We call these your best weeks. The number of best weeks we use is based on the unemployment rate where you live. It could be between 14 and 22 weeks.
If your weekly earnings vary or your income changes, your best weeks can impact your benefit amount. Find your economic region to learn how many best weeks are used to calculate your benefit amount.
What's included in benefit calculations
The basic rate used to calculate sickness benefits is 55% of average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. In 2020, the maximum amount is $573 a week.
This is how we calculate your weekly benefit amount:
- We add your insurable weekly earnings from your best weeks based on information provided by you and your record of employment
- We divide that amount by the number of best weeks based on where you live
- We then multiply the result by 55%
If your family income is $25,921 or less
You may be eligible to receive the family supplement if you meet the following conditions:
- your annual net family income is $25,921 or less
- you have at least one child under 18
- you or your spouse receive the Canada Child Benefit
Service Canada automatically adds your family supplement to your weekly benefit payments. You don't need to take any action. Your total weekly amount cannot exceed $573.
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