Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have taken to completing necessary forms online. To aid the process and encourage more people to stay safe, the Canada Revenue Agency has integrated almost all filings and registrations of forms online.
Registration online has been made possible via the CRA website by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This step is to ease the affairs of Canadians and minimize physical interactions as much as possible.
Employment Insurance (EI) is one of the forms you can fill online. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the rules governing this program have changed. As of August 9, 2020, Canadian require only 120 hours of insurable work to be eligible for Special Benefits. While as of September 27, 2020, you only need 120 hours of insurable work to qualify for Regular Benefits for first-timers.
Also, a new minimum EI payment of CA$500 weekly commenced on September 27, 2020. This fund applies to both Regular Benefits and Special Benefits.
Applying for EI in Canada
There is an online application you must complete to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. When applying online, there are instructions you have to follow to send your documents to Service Canada.
You can apply at a Service Canada Office for those without internet service via any of their internet kiosks. Alternatively, you can use a public internet access site like a library. It is advisable to call the Service Canada Office in your province to inquire if you’ll need to book an appointment.
Regardless of the type of EI benefits, you are applying for; you should apply as soon as possible to meet the deadline.
Before the pandemic, you have to wait for a week after losing your job before applying for EI. Now, you don’t have to do this. You can collect EI commencing from the day after you lose your job. This rule is applicable for people applying for EI between January 31, 2021, and September 25, 2021.
It might be challenging to get approval for EI if you apply for more than four weeks after losing your job. If you get approval, you might get less money. This is because there will be some period where you have no account for hours worked and money earned.
If you can show evidence why you could not apply within four weeks, your application might be considered and approved a though it was filed immediately. This is known as an “antedate.” It means to have a good cause for the delay.
Types of Employment Benefits
Most employees are entitled to an average of one type of Employment Insurance (EI) depending on their job loss. There are currently seven types of employment benefits, they include:
- Regular benefits
- Maternity benefits and parental benefits
- Sickness benefits
- Compassionate care benefits
- Fishing benefits
- The Family Caregiver Benefit for Children
- The Family Caregiver Benefit for Adults
Submitting EI Application Online
To apply for EI benefits, you must apply via an online application on the Government of Canada website. You will need the following information to complication your application online:
- Social Insurance Number
- Mother’s maiden name
- Mailing and residential addresses, including postal codes
- Banking information – this is applicable if you want your payment to be sent directly to your bank account.
Once you’re eligible for EI benefits, your payment will be issued within 28 days from the date you file your claim. However, if you do not qualify, Service Canada will notify you in writing of this decision.
Record of Employment (ROE)
All applicants of EI must have a Record of Employment (ROE). A Record of Employment is a form that all employers are required to give their employees when they’re leaving. It states the duration an employee has worked and how much he/she earned. You can still apply for EI if you’ve not received your ROE. Your employer can submit on your behalf online to Service Canada.
Suppose your ROE is issued in paper format; you must request, you must ask for a copy of all the ROE forms that they issued on your behalf during the last 52 weeks. You’ll need to provide the original copy of all paper REO forms after submitting your EI application online.
Once you’ve filed your EI application, Service Canada will mail you an EI benefit statement. This statement carries the following information:
- Your EI first report submission date
- Your access code for your online account
- Detailed instruction on submitting your EI reports
Once your EI claim is active, you must submit reports bi-weekly that state you are still entitled to receive EI benefits. Your report must show whether you:
- Were in or out of Canada during the period of the report
- Received or will get funds other than that already reported
- Attended a school or a training course
- Worked or got any income during the period, including self-employment earnings
- Were open and willing to work daily
- Commence a full-time job
Earning exemption is where Service Canada allows you to retain some of the money you earn if you work while receiving regular benefits, parental benefits, maternity benefits, sickness benefits, compassionate care benefits, or the family caregiver benefit for children. Click here to read more on Employment Insurance in Canada.