Canada. Service Canada - Employment Insurance

Toll-free phone 1-800-531-7555 Automated Telephone Reporting Service (Teledec)
TTY phone 1-866-678-2785
Web site
Hours Office -- Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm - automated telephone Employment Insurance Information Job Bank and My EI Information Online service -- Monday to Sunday 24 hours
Area served Canada
Languages of service English, French
Eligibility Persons legally entitled to work in Canada How to apply
Contact nearest Human Resource Centre/Service Canada Centre
  • for information on EI claims and application procedures call Employment Insurance Information -- English 1-800-206-7218, French 1-800-808-6352 or visit web site for online application procedure
  • Job Order Service Hotline -- employers wishing to list employment opportunities call 1-866-789-1297, fax 1-866-664-2534
Service description Human Resource Centres/Service Canada Centres -- workers select employment opportunities from those listed in job banks
  • pre-employment counselling, referral to retraining programs
  • programs for youth, women, Native Canadians, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, social assistance recipients
  • Reachback program -- employment assessment and counselling for persons returning to work (includes persons with active EI claims, have a claim that ended within the last 3 years or have a maternity/paternity claim that has ended in the past 5 years)
Employment Insurance (EI)
the Employment Insurance Act covers most employed persons who have an interruption of earnings due to shortage of work, injury, quarantine, pregnancy, adoption, personal illness, or a grave illness in the family
  • claimants must have worked at least 700 hours of insured employment in the year prior to application (600 hours for maternity, parental, sickness or compassionate care benefits)
  • duration of benefits based on insured weeks of work and regional unemployment rate
  • a minimum of 910 hours of insured employment required if entering workforce for the first time, or if re-entering the workforce after more than a 2 year absence
  • workers 65 years and over pay EI premiums and are entitled to EI benefits, though income from employment related pensions will be deducted
An application form and, if possible, Records of Employment from previous employers should be submitted immediately after employment has ended to have the claim considered from the last day worked
  • the first 2 weeks of the claim are a waiting period for which no benefits are paid
  • claimants' report cards must be correctly completed to generate payment (exemptions available for compassionate care benefit claimants)
  • basic benefit rate is 55% of average insured earnings up to a maximum insurable amount of $41,100
  • maximum weekly benefit -- $435
  • claimants may earn up to 25% or $50 (whichever is higher) of regular benefits without a reduction in EI payment
  • able bodied claimants must be seeking employment daily to remain eligible
  • claimants who quit a job without just cause or are fired for misconduct are ineligible for regular benefits
  • just cause includes discrimination, sexual harassment, working conditions that constitute a danger to health and safety, significant modification of terms and conditions respecting wages or salary, leaving to care for child or immediate family member, major changes in work duties
  • My EI Information Online -- computer access to claim information
Special benefits
15 weeks sickness benefits
  • 6 weeks compassionate care benefits
  • 15 weeks maternity benefits
  • 35 weeks parental benefits available to natural, legal or adoptive parents -- benefits can be shared by mother and father/other parent
  • claimants may be able to receive combination of special benefits up to 71 weeks total
Any claimant or former employer of a claimant who disagrees with a claim decision may appeal to a Board of Referees
Social Insurance Numbers
proof of identity requirements include primary documents such as Canadian birth certificate, citizenship certificate or permanent resident (landed immigrant) paper proving status in Canada plus supporting documents such as a marriage certificate or registration, divorce decree, legal change of name document or adoption papers
Job Bank, online employment information and job postings
Organization type Federal Government
Subjects Appeals; Compassionate care benefits; Employment; Employment insurance; Internet information services; Native peoples; Parental benefits; Sickness benefits; Social insurance numbers; Vocational counselling; Women; Youth
Other Services See List
Record ID MET0125
Last complete update 2008-02-12
Last modification date 2008-05-16