Can I get EI if I work for an app-based company like Uber?Updated November 11
Employment Insurance (EI) is for employees who pay EI premiums from their paycheques.
App-based companies, like those for ride-sharing and food delivery, usually say that their workers are independent contractors, not employees. This means that most of these workers don't pay EI premiums and so they can't get EI benefits.
But since you're “self-employed”, you and other app-based workers can qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefits.
Canada Recovery Benefits
Starting on September 27, 2020, the government introduced new benefit programs for people who don't qualify for EI.
Some benefits have ended but two of these programs are still available.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is for people who don't qualify for EI and have to take time off work to care for family members.
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is for people who get COVID-19 or who have to self-isolate.
You can get these benefits until at least November 20, 2021. And the government has said that they plan to extend both benefits until May 7, 2022. But this isn't the law yet.
The Canada Recovery Benefit was designed for people who lost work because of COVID-19, but who didn't qualify for EI. This included independent contractors. This program ended on October 23, 2021. But applications are still open to get back payments for work you lost before this date. For example, if you lost work the week of October 10 to 23, 2021, the last day you can apply is December 22, 2021.
Other Benefit Programs
You can use Canada's Benefit Finder tool to find benefits and programs you might be able to get.