Did you Know?
You can find out about new initiatives and other updates related to Employment Insurance through our What's New page.
Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed Canadians who have lost their job through no fault of their own, while they look for work or upgrade their skills.
Canadians who are sick, pregnant, or caring for a newborn or adopted child, as well as those who must care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or who must provide care or support to their critically ill or injured child may also be assisted by Employment Insurance.
Types of Employment Insurance benefits
There are several types of benefits available to Canadians, depending on their situation.
- Employment Insurance Regular Benefits are available to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal layoffs, or mass layoffs) and who are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.
- Employment Insurance Maternity and Parental Benefits provide support to individuals who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are adopting a child, or are caring for a newborn.
- Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits are for individuals who are unable to work because of sickness, injury, or quarantine.
- Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits are available to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.
- Employment Insurance benefits for Parents of Critically Ill Children are available to eligible parents who take leave from work to provide care or support their critically ill or injured child.
- Employment Insurance Fishing Benefits provide support to qualifying, self-employed fishers who are actively seeking work.
Employment Insurance Initiatives
- Variable Best Weeks Initiative
Beginning April 7, 2013, the benefit amount used to calculate Employment Insurance (EI) regular and special benefits will be based on the highest weeks of earnings over the previous year.
- Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs initiative
Beginning January 6, 2013, the Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs (CCAJ) initiative will help unemployed people receiving Employment Insurance (EI) regular or fishing benefits stay connected with available jobs that match their skills and are in their local area, and will provide them with the additional support to help them find work.
- Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-Employed People
Registered and qualified self-employed Canadians can access Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits: maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care and parents of critically ill children benefits
- Extension of Eligibility Period for Employment Insurance Parental Benefits for Military Families
If your parental leave has been deferred or interrupted because of an imperative military requirement, the parental eligibility period during which Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefit can be paid may be extended by one week for every week that you are unable to collect EI parental benefits
General Employment Insurance Information
- Employment Insurance A-Z
- Employment Insurance Forms
- Employment Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
- Employment Insurance Publications
- Hours Required to Qualify for Benefits
- While on Employment Insurance
- Employment Insurance and Workers and/or Residents Outside Canada
Certain individuals who reside outside Canada may be eligible for EI if their job is insured under Canada’s EI program.
- Employment Insurance Family Supplement
The EI Family Supplement provides additional benefits to low-income families with children.
- Employment Insurance Information for Employers
Find information about Records of Employment, programs to assist employers, help for employers to protect the EI fund, and more.
- Reconsideration of an Employment Insurance Decision
Find information on how you can request a reconsideration of a decision concerning your EI claim for benefits.
- Employment Insurance Act and Regulations
Read the Employment Insurance Act and Regulations, as well as past amendments.
- Employment Insurance Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles
The Digest of Entitlement Principles contains the principles applied by Employment and Social Development Canada when making decisions on claims for benefits under the EI legislation. See also:
- Employment Insurance (EI) regulation amendment for workers not authorized to remain in Canada.
Find more information about this amended regulation with respect to EI maternity, parental and compassionate care benefit claims for individuals who are outside Canada and whose Social Insurance Number has expired.
Related programs and services
- Canada Benefits
- Finding a Job
- Job Bank
- Social Insurance Number
- Training and Careers
- Training and Employment Initiatives
- Working in Canada
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