Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
Types of Employment insurance benefits
- EI Regular Benefits: provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate of your region. The basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2021, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $56,300. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $595 per week.
- EI Sickness Benefits: provides sickness benefits for up to 15 weeks if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $595 a week.
- EI Maternity and Parental Benefits: provides financial assistance to people who are away from work because they are pregnant or recently gave birth or parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child. The maximum amount is depending on the type of benefit you applied for:
- Standard parental benefit: up to 40 weeks (one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits) with a benefit rate of 55% and a weekly maximum of $573
- Extended parental benefit: up to 69 weeks (one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks) with a benefit rate of 33% and a weekly maximum of $357.
- EI Caregiving benefits and leave: provides financial assistance to people who are away from work to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured person. As a caregiver, you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for or support, but they must consider you to be like family. There are three types of caregiving benefits:
- Family caregiver benefits for children: up to 35 weeks for taking care of a critically ill or injured person under 18
- Family caregiver benefits for adult: up to 15 weeks for taking care of a critically ill or injured person over 18
- Compassionate care benefits: up to 26 weeks for taking care of a person of any age who requires end-of-life care.
Also, EI Special benefits are available for self-employed people or Canadians living abroad. For these types of benefits please refer to the Government of Canada website.
Application to EI benefits
Depending on the type of EI benefit you have different deadlines to follow. But we recommend applying for benefits as soon as possible so Service Canada agents can determine if you’re eligible. Applications can be done online or at any Service Canada centre.
Taxation of EI benefits
EI benefits are taxable, no matter what type of benefits you receive. Federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will therefore be deducted from your payment.