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  • How to Get EI Employment Insurance?

    How to Get EI Employment Insurance

    In today’s world, having a job for life simply isn’t the real deal anymore. Many of us regularly change jobs or even careers and it’s perfectly acceptable. The job market today is also less stable than perhaps it used to be. We no longer have large company pensions to fall back on, after decades at the same company. So how can we protect ourselves against the current economic climate and job insecurity?

    One way, is to have Employment Insurance, also known as EI. EI is overseen by the Government of Canada and provides short term, temporary financial help if you lose your job through no fault of your own. This is called a Regular Benefit, and it helps to protect you financially whilst you either look for a new job or spend time studying, learning or upgrading your current skill set.

    You can also receive EI help if you’re not working due to being ill, injured, pregnant, taking time out to care for a new born baby or adopted child, or if you’ve become the primary carer for a close family member who has a serious illness or is at a significant risk of dying. Under these circumstances, EI is referred to as a Special Benefit.

    Employment Insurance is obviously valuable and could protect you financially in times of a crisis. But not everyone is automatically covered by EI. Employers have a duty to offer it to staff and employees have a duty to themselves to make sure they have it.

    Here’s how you can make sure you’re protected.

    EI – a Step by Step Guide

    To qualify for EI, you must pay into the program each week or month, just like any other insurance. Your employer will automatically do this for you by subtracting your amount from your pay packet.

    If you find yourself out of work, you must apply for EI straight away by following these steps:

    • Make sure you’ve worked between 420 and 700 hours in the past year (the exact number depends on where you live)
    • Gather your Social Insurance Number (SIN) (and immigration status/work permit if necessary) plus your bank details
    • Gather the information of your employer/employers over the past 12 months, your employment dates and why you’re no longer working
    • If you’re applying for parental benefits, gather your details including birth/adoption date of your child
    • If you’re applying for sickness benefits, obtain a medical certificate from your doctor
    • If you’re applying because you need to care for someone, obtain their medical records
    • Then, either apply online here or at your local Service Canada Centre – it will take about an hour

    You should then receive the benefits you’re owed within 28 days of your application. This is usually around 55% of your average weekly earnings. If you’re rejected as unsuitable, you can appeal via phone or email – you will be provided with details.

    You can receive EI for between 14 and 45 weeks. During this time, if you’re able to work or you don’t have a job to return to, you should be actively seeking employment.

    None of us have a crystal ball that allows us to see into the future. We don’t know what’s around the corner that could mean that we’re out of work, so it’s imperative that we all take steps to look after ourselves financially. Employment Insurance is an ideal way of doing this.

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