Applying for Employment Insurance benefits online
Applying for Employment Insurance online will take about 60 minutes.
Helpful tips for applying for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits online:
- Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.
- It is important to read all of the following instructions and gather all necessary information before starting your application benefits.
- You will find the EI application online after the Privacy Notice in Instruction 4. If you have questions as you complete the application online, please consult the help instructions of each page of the application.
- Instruction 1 of 4: Required personal information for the EI application
- Instruction 2 of 4: Required employment information for the EI application
- Instruction 3 of 4: Reactivating or terminating a previous EI claim
- Instruction 4 of 4: The Privacy Notice Statement / start your EI application
Instruction 1 of 4: Required personal information for the EI application
Gather the following personal information:
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN);
- your mother’s maiden name;
- your mailing and residential addresses, including postal codes (if you do not have a usual place of residence, you must apply in person at your local Service Canada Centre); and
- your complete banking information, including branch number, financial institution name and number, and your account number (as shown on your cheque or bank statement), to have your payments deposited automatically into your bank account using direct deposit.
Instruction 2 of 4: Required employment information for the EI application
If you are or were an employee, you will also need the following employment information:
- the names, addresses, dates of employment, and reasons for separation for all your employers in the last 52 weeks;
- your detailed version of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks; and
- the dates (Sunday to Saturday) and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your weekly EI benefit rate.
If you are self-employed and have entered into an agreement to access EI special benefits for self-employed people, you will also need the following:
- your self-employment earnings for the previous tax year (the exact amount, or the estimated amount if you have not filed your income tax and benefit return); and
- a medical certificate if you are applying for sickness benefits.
Records of Employment
Electronic ROEs: If the employers you have worked for submit ROEs electronically to Service Canada, you do not need to request copies from your employers, since you are not required to provide us with paper copies.
Paper ROEs: If your employer issues ROEs in paper format, you must request all ROEs issued during the last 52 weeks. After you submit your EI application online, you will need to provide us with the original copy of all paper ROEs as soon as possible.
Instruction 3 of 4: Reactivating or terminating a previous EI claim
Note: The following information does not apply to you if you are applying for fishing benefits.
If you started a new claim for EI benefits within the past 52 weeks, and there are weeks still payable, that claim will automatically be reactivated when you complete the EI application online.
To reactivate your claim, read the information on this page and continue through to the Privacy Notice Statement to reach the application for Employment Insurance benefits online.
If you prefer to terminate your existing claim and begin another EI claim, do not start the application at this time. To terminate a claim, you must first contact us by calling 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742). Your decision to terminate a claim is final and cannot be changed.
If your existing claim is reactivated and you have worked since the start of that claim, you may be able to establish a new claim when this claim runs out.
- To establish a new claim, you must have enough insurable hours and meet the qualifying conditions.
- If you start a new claim instead of reactivating your existing claim, the remaining weeks payable on the existing claim will be lost.
- You must serve a two week unpaid waiting period on a new claim before you are entitled to receive payment.
To verify if your waiting period has been served or to view the number of weeks still payable on the existing claim, access My Service Canada Account.
Click on the Start Application link to begin the application process, once you have read the Privacy Notice Statement on the following page.
Instruction 4 of 4: The Privacy Notice Statement / start your EI application
Read the following privacy notice statement before you access the link "Start application" located at the bottom of this page.
The information you provide is collected under the authority of the Employment Insurance Act to determine your eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits (including the Family Supplement), employment benefits, employment services, and training.
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is collected under the authority of the Employment Insurance Act and in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on the SIN, which lists the Employment Insurance program as an authorized user of the SIN. The SIN will be used as a file identifier to determine your eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits (including the Family Supplement), employment benefits, employment services, and training.
Since your privacy is important to us, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) confirms your identity by comparing the information you submit to the information contained in your Social Insurance Number record.
Completion of the EI application for benefits online is voluntary; however, failure to complete this application will result in your not being considered for the aforementioned benefits.
For those applying for Employment Insurance (EI) self-employment benefits, information may be shared with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the administration of the Income Tax Act. The CRA may provide information concerning your net self-employment earnings with the income information for the current year and two prior calendar years (strictly for individuals identified by HRSDC), in order to allow HRSDC to determine or verify the individual's entitlement; to validate the income information declared on the claim; and to determine or amend the EI weekly benefit rate.
The Information may also be shared with the Province of Quebec for the administration of the Employment Insurance Act respecting parental insurance. For employment benefits, services, and training, this may include the provision of information to your province/territory for the administration of the Labour Market Development Agreements or to third-party service providers.
The information you provide may be used or disclosed for policy analysis, research, and/or evaluation purposes. In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under the custody and control of HRSDC may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of your personal information will never result in an administrative decision being made about you.
Your personal information is administered in accordance with the Employment Insurance Act and the Privacy Act. You have the right to the protection of, and access to, your personal information. It will be retained in the Personal Information Bank(s) HRSDC PPU 150, "Insurance Claim File-Local Office," HRSDC PPU 293, "Employment Benefits and Support Measures" and/or HRSDC PPU 323 "Registration for the Employment Insurance Measure for Self-Employed People" and will be used and disclosed in accordance with the conditions listed therein and retained for the period of time required by the Employment Insurance Act.
Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source. Info Source may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.
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