How to submit application for Employment Insurance (EI) in Canada


How to submit application for Employment Insurance (EI) in Canada

Welcome to How to submit application for Employment Insurance (EI) in Canada Article Here you will Get Complete Guide and Steps on How to Apply EI regular benefits in Canada.

Table of Contents

EI Eligibility criteria in Canada

To receive EI Regular benefits, you need to demonstrate that you:

  • were employed in insurable employment
  • lost your job through no fault of your own
  • have been without work and without pay for at least 7 consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day
  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them)

To prove your eligibility and to receive payments you may be entitled to, you’re required to complete bi-weekly reports by internet or telephone. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits.

Eligibility for specific work situations

You may still qualify for benefits, even if you work for an employer who is related to you.

Refer to the following links for eligibility information for these specific situations:

Situations where you may not be eligible

  • if you voluntarily left your job without just cause
  • if you were dismissed for misconduct
  • if you’re unemployed because you’re directly participating in a labour dispute (for example, a strike, lockout or other type of conflict)
  • during a period of leave that compensates for a period in which you worked under an agreement with your employer, more hours than are normally worked in full-time employment

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If you’re in jail

You need to have worked enough hours to be eligible

Based on the unemployment rate in your area, you’ll need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment during the qualifying period to qualify for regular benefits.

Number of hours of insurable employment required to qualify for EI

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your claim, or
  • the period from the start of a previous benefit period to the start of your new benefit period, if you applied for benefits earlier and your application was approved in the last 52 weeks

Exception: In some cases, the qualifying period may be extended to a maximum of 104 weeks if you weren’t employed in insurable employment or if you weren’t receiving EI benefits.

Determine how many hours you need

The unemployment rate in your area determines how many hours you need to qualify.

Look up EI Economic Region by Postal Code to find out the unemployment rate in your region and the number of hours to qualify for regular benefits.

If you received a notice of violation

If you received a notice of violation regarding prior EI benefit periods, the number of insurable hours required to qualify is increased.

Prepare to apply

Make sure you have the following information to complete your Employment Insurance (EI) application:

    • if your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit
    • your financial institution name
    • your bank branch (transit) number
    • your account number
    • this information will be used, along with your record(s) of employment (ROE), to calculate your benefit rate

You may need all of this information to apply

If you have all of the listed information, you’re ready to apply for EI benefits.

This information should be used as a guideline. We encourage you to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits as soon as possible and let us determine if you’re eligible.

If you applied for EI benefits in the past year

If you started a new EI claim within the last 52 weeks and there are still weeks payable on that claim, we’ll automatically reactivate (renew) your existing claim when you submit your application.

In some cases, it may be to your advantage to cancel or end your old claim and start a new claim, because this may increase the amount of your benefits or the length of your benefit period.

It is important to consider:

  • if your claim is reactivated and you work after the start of that claim, you may be able to establish a new claim when your existing claim runs out
  • in order to establish a new claim you must have enough insurable hours and meet the qualifying conditions for a new claim
  • if a new claim is established instead of reactivating your existing claim, the remaining weeks payable on the existing claim will be lost
  • additionally, a 1-week unpaid waiting period must be served on a new claim before you’re entitled to receive payment

If you’re reactivating an existing claim

You may also have to provide the following details if you’re reactivating an existing claim:

  • the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
  • any other amount you received or will receive, such as:
    • vacation pay
    • severance pay
    • pension payments
    • pay in lieu of notice
    • other money

Sign up for direct deposit

When you apply for EI benefits, be sure to sign up for direct deposit to get your payments deposited automatically into your bank account 2 business days after we process your EI report.

If you don’t sign up for direct deposit at the time you complete your EI application, you can sign up any time after you apply through My Service Canada Account (MSCA).

Apply online

To find out if you’re eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. The application takes about 1 hour to complete.

If you don’t complete the application all at once, you can come back to it later using the temporary password that you receive when you start.

Your information is saved for 72 hours (3 days) from the time you start. If you don’t submit the application within this time:

  • it will be deleted, and
  • you’ll have to start a new application

When you apply for EI benefits, you’ll be asked for your email address. If we need more information about your claim and can’t reach you by phone, we’ll send you a toll-free number in an email, asking you to call us.


Provide supporting information

Records of employment

Employers issue ROEs to provide information about your work history. We use the information to determine:

  • whether you’re eligible to receive EI benefits
  • how much you’ll receive

You can visit MSCA to view ROEs that have been issued for you by past and recent employers.

Electronic ROEs

Paper ROEs


We use an automated system to review and process ROEs. This system is closely monitored and all its actions are tracked. If the system identifies any issues, we’ll review the ROE manually.

We use this system according to the Government of Canada’s Directive on Automated Decision-Making.

A benefit statement and access code will arrive by mail

Once your application is received, we’ll mail you a benefit statement with a 4-digit access code. You’ll need this code and your SIN to follow up on your application and to complete your reports every 2 weeks. Receiving an EI benefit statement doesn’t mean that we’ve made a decision about your claim.

Check the status of your application

To check the status of your application, you can:

If you’re not registered with MSCA, you can create an account when you receive your benefit statement and access code.

How much you could receive

You could get up to 55% of your earnings

We can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll receive before we process your application. For most people, the basic rate for calculating Employment Insurance (EI) benefits is 55% of their average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2023, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $61,500. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $650 per week.

Insurable earnings include most of the different types of compensation from employment, such as wages, tips, bonuses and commissions. The Canada Revenue Agency determines what types of earnings are insurable.

You can get benefits for up to a maximum of 45 weeks

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you’ve accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.

Seasonal workers
Number of weeks of EI regular benefits payable by regional rate of unemployment

The number of weeks for which you may receive benefits doesn’t change if you move to another region after your benefit period begins.

How we calculate your weekly benefit amount

The amount of weekly benefits is calculated as follows:

  • we calculate your total insurable earnings for the required number of best weeks (the weeks that you earned the most money, including insurable tips and commissions) based on the information you provide and/or your record(s) of employment
  • we determine the divisor (number of best weeks) that corresponds to your regional rate of unemployment
  • we divide your total insurable earnings for your best weeks by your required number of best weeks
  • we then multiply the result by 55% to obtain the amount of your weekly benefits

In regions of Canada with the highest rates of unemployment, we’ll calculate using the best 14 weeks. In regions of Canada with the lowest rates of unemployment, we’ll use the best 22 weeks. In other regions, the number of weeks used to calculate benefits will be somewhere between 14 and 22, depending on the unemployment rate in those regions.


  • Total insurable earnings for the required number of best weeks
  • divided by Required number of best weeks
  • times by 55 %

  • equals Weekly EI benefit (maximum $650)

Required number of best weeks by regional rate of unemployment
Regional rate of unemploymentRequired weeks
6% or less22
6.1% to 7%21
7.1% to 8%20
8.1% to 9%19
9.1% to 10%18
10.1% to 11%17
11.1% to 12%16
12.1% to 13%15
13.1% or more14

To find out the rate of unemployment in your region, visit EI Program Characteristics.

Once the weekly benefit rate is established, it will remain unchanged over the life of your claim.

If your net family income is $25,921 or less

If your net family income doesn’t exceed $25,921 per year, you have children and you or your spouse receives the Canada Child Benefit, you’re considered a member of a low-income family. Therefore, you may be eligible to receive the EI family supplement.

The family supplement rate is based on:

  • your net family income up to a maximum of $25,921 per year
  • the number of children in the family and their ages

The family supplement may increase your benefit rate up to 80% of your average insurable earnings. If you and your spouse claim EI benefits at the same time, only 1 of you can receive the family supplement. It is generally better for the spouse with the lower benefit rate to receive the supplement.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.

Taxes are deducted from EI payments

EI benefits are taxable, no matter what type of benefits you receive. Federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will be deducted from your payment.


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