How Do You Obtain Employment Insurance in Canada?


Quick Answer

To obtain employment insurance in Canada, a person must work a minimum number of hours in employment contributing to the employment insurance program, lose his job through no fault of his own, and apply using Service Canada's online application. Beyond job loss, other employment insurance benefits include parental, sickness, fishing and compassionate care benefits.

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Full Answer

To apply online for employment insurance, provide the required basic documentation, including social insurance number, mother's maiden name, home and mailing addresses, and bank account information for direct deposit. Additionally, provide employment information for all employment in the last 52 weeks and a detailed account of how the last job ended. Those applying for parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits may be required to provide further documentation.

Job losses eligible for employment insurance include mass layoffs, seasonal layoffs and cuts due to a shortage of work. Applicants must apply within four weeks of job loss to avoid potential loss of benefits.

The minimum number of hours worked to be eligible for employment insurance varies depending on the local unemployment rate. Most people are eligible after 420 to 700 insurable hours, but some may have to log up to 910 insurable hours, as of 2015. Not all jobs require payment into the employment insurance program, such as casual labor and contract work. Persons working in these forms of employment are not eligible for employment insurance after a job loss.

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