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Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if I work for an app-based company doing work like driving or food delivery?

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Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if I work for an app-based company doing work like driving or food delivery?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if I work for an app-based company doing work like driving or food delivery?
Reviewed: 
October 6, 2020
Answer

Employment Insurance (EI) is for employees who pay EI premiums from their paycheques.

App-based companies, like those for ride-sharing and food delivery, often say that their workers are independent contractors, and not employees. This means that most of these workers do not pay into EI so they cannot get EI benefits.

But since you're technically "self-employed", you and other app-based workers qualified for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

End of the CERB

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends October 3, 2020.

But the CERB is still available for any time you could not work between March 15, 2020, and October 3, 2020. You can apply for money to cover this time period until December 2, 2020.

Read more in Who can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how do I apply?

New Canada Recovery Benefits

Starting on September 27, 2020, the government has introduced new benefits for people who don't qualify for EI. The Canada Recovery Benefit is designed for people who lose work because of COVID-19, but who don't qualify for EI. So for example, independent contractors.

There are also new benefits for people who don't qualify for EI and have to take time off work to care for family members, as well as a benefit for people who get COVID-19 or who have to self-isolate.

 

COVID-19 Benefits
COVID-19 EI Benefits

Learn about new EI rules during COVID-19

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