Millions of Canadians have found themselves out of work due to COVID-19, so if you find yourself suddenly without a job, you are not alone. Here are some of the most common questions people have about applying for employment insurance (EI) in Canada right now.
Who is Eligible for EI?
Anyone who has been laid off by their employer as a direct result of mandatory closures or business slowdowns may be eligible for benefits. People who have been quarantined due to COVID-19 can also receive EI sickness benefits.
If you have been permanently laid off, you are also entitled to severance from your former employer. Your severance will depend on whether your contract lays out severance entitlements. If your contract does not lay out those entitlements, you are entitled to a minimum of one week’s pay for every month you worked.
When Should You Apply for EI Benefits?
As soon as you find out you are laid off or that you are sick, you should visit the Service Canada website to apply for your benefits. The waiting period to apply for benefits has been waived during this pandemic, as have the requirements for employment records and health certificates, so it is important to file as soon as possible so that you are able to start receiving benefits immediately.
How Can You Apply For EI Benefits?
You can apply for EI through the Service Canada website, which is the easiest and fastest way to apply.
At the time we put this article together, all Service Canada offices are closed to the public. If you do not have access to an internet-connected computer or mobile device, you should call 1-800-O-Canada for assistance in completing your EI application.
What About The CERB Benefit?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is an additional benefit that pays up to $2,000 a month to workers who have stopped working because of COVID-19 due to layoffs, hours reduced to 0, quarantine, caring for a loved one in quarantine or closure of daycare for dependents.
CERB payments are available to contract workers, self-employed people and parents who were receiving EI or parental benefits, as well as people who were on EI who have used up their benefits and still cannot find work. Recently, the Federal government also opened CERB to seasonal workers.
If you applied for EI benefits after March 15, 2020, you do not have to do anything else to qualify for CERB. If you have not applied for EI, you can apply for CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency, but you should not apply through both.
If You Have Lost Your Job, Employment Professionals Canada Is Here For You
Whether you are looking for work now or you will be in the coming weeks and months, the recruiters of Employment Professionals Canada are here to help. Browse our current job openings, contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-842-0421 to learn more.