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Employment Insurance Guide

Many members of CWA Canada who are losing their jobs in these difficult economic times will be turning to Employment Insurance (EI) to see them through the financial tsunami. For most of them, however, this is foreign territory. So we have put together a guide that might be helpful.

You can apply in person for EI benefits at Service Canada offices in urban centres throughout the country (click here to locate the office nearest where you live) or you can submit your application online at the Service Canada website: .

Be sure to apply as soon as you stop working. Delaying filing your claim beyond four weeks after your last day of work could cause loss of benefits.

Application Checklist

You will need certain documents in order to make an application for EI:

  • Social Insurance Number.

  • If you are applying in person, identification (driver's licence, birth certificate or passport).

  • Bank information (for direct deposit of EI payments) as shown on your cheque or bank statement, or a voided personalized blank cheque.

  • Record of Employment (ROE). If your employer issues these in paper format, you must request ROEs issued in the last 52 weeks. However, if your employer submits your ROE to Service Canada electronically, you do not need to request a paper copy of your ROE; it will be received electronically from your employer.

  • Details regarding your employment: Your total salary before deductions including commissions; your salary before deductions for your last week of work — from Sunday to your last day worked — gross amounts received or to be received: vacation pay, severance pay, pension, pay in lieu of notice or layoff and other monies.

What to Expect

  • You must serve a two-week unpaid waiting period before your EI benefits begin to be paid.

  • Earnings (vacation or severance pay) allocated during the two-week waiting period will be deducted in the first three weeks for which benefit is otherwise payable following the waiting period.

  • Benefits can be paid from 19 to a maximum of 50 weeks.

  • The basic benefit rate is 55 per cent of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $42,300. This means you can receive a maximum payment of $447 per week. (Your EI payment is taxable income.)

  • Special measures have been put in place to let you receive EI benefits and work part-time, allowing you to earn the greater of $75 or 40 per cent of weekly benefits.

Getting Paid

In order to receive EI benefits, you must complete a report by Internet, telephone or mail every two weeks. Shortly after applying for EI, you will receive a benefit statement in the mail that will provide your access code, the date the report is due and instructions on how to complete your report.

More Information

For detailed information, visit the Service Canada website or call 1-800-206-7218.