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: www.ServiceCanada.gc.ca .
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.
You will need certain documents in order to make an application
Social Insurance Number.
If you are applying in
person, identification (driver's licence, birth certificate
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.
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.
For detailed information, visit the Service Canada website or call 1-800-206-7218.