Frequently asked questions for Employment Insurance Benefits online

1. What is the Employment Insurance application online?

The Employment Insurance (EI) application online allows you to submit your application for EI benefits online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you have completed the application, it is sent electronically to a Service Canada Centre for processing.

2. Is applying online for Employment Insurance benefits secure?

Yes, your information is protected with the same level of security that is used by banks for their online services.

3. How do I retrieve my partially completed application using my temporary password?

You have up to 24 hours to retrieve your partially completed application.

  • Enter your personal information exactly as it was entered when you started the application.
  • Enter your previously issued password.
  • If you don’t enter the information in exactly the same way, you will not be able to access your partially completed application. After two unsuccessful log-in attempts our system will delete your application and you will have to start a new one.

4. What happens if I forget my temporary password or if it has expired?

If you have forgotten your password, or if your password has expired because the 24 hour time period has passed since it was issued, you will have to start a new application.

5. What is my “mother's maiden name”?

Your mother's maiden name is also referred to as her family name, last name or surname. It is your mother's family name at the time of her birth. You will be asked for your mother’s maiden name when you apply for EI. You previously provided your mother’s maiden name when you first applied for a Social Insurance Number. Your mother’s maiden name that you provide on your EI Application has to match the mother’s maiden name you provided on your application for a Social Insurance Number. If this information does not match it may delay the processing of your EI Application.

6. Should I terminate or reactivate an existing 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.

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.

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.

Note: If you require additional information to assist you in making the decision to reactivate or terminate an existing claim, this information is only available by phone at 1-800 206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742).

7. If my claim is automatically reactivated, will I have to complete another application when my benefits run out?

If there are four weeks or less payable on your claim and you have not worked since we reactivated it, you will not need to complete another application. In all other cases, you will have to reapply once you receive your final payment notice.

8. When do I need to submit my Records of Employment (ROE) to Service Canada?

If your employer submits ROEs electronically to Service Canada, they are not required to print you a copy; however, they may give you one as a courtesy. If this is the case, the serial number of your ROE will start with W or S. Electronic ROEs are directly sent to Service Canada, therefore, you do not need to provide copies to Service Canada. You can view ROEs issued electronically by visiting My Service Canada Account.

If your employer issues an ROE in paper format, you must provide Service Canada with the original copy of this ROE. Paper ROEs are generally filled out by hand and have serial numbers that start with A, E, K, L or Z. Service Canada will need all your ROEs that were issued from the last 52 weeks. You must either mail us your paper ROEs or drop them off in person at a Service Canada Centre. The mailing address will be provided to you on the Information and Confirmation page once you submit your online application for EI benefits.

Any ROE not submitted can cause a delay in processing your application.

9. How do I submit my paper Records of Employment (ROEs) and other documents required by Service Canada when I apply online?

You can submit your paper ROEs and other documents to Service Canada by mail. Mail your documents to the address that will be provided to you on the Confirmation and Information page once you submit your online application. You can also drop them off in person to the Service Canada Centre closest to where you live.

10. What happens after I apply online?

Shortly after applying for EI, you will receive a benefit statement in the mail. The statement includes your Access Code (4 digit number), which is printed in the shaded area at the top of the benefit statement. Your Access Code is needed to submit your required bi-weekly reports and to get information about your claim. Access the instructions on when and how to complete your reports with our Internet Reporting Service or our Telephone Reporting Service.

11. How do I know if my Employment Insurance application online has been received?

After submitting your application you will receive a confirmation number acknowledging receipt of your application.

12. What can I do if I am experiencing technical difficulties with the Employment Insurance application online?

If you have any questions or difficulties with the EI Application online, please call our telephone information service at 1-800-206-7218 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and press "0" to talk to a representative.