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Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if my employer reduces my hours of work?

Question
Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if my employer reduces my hours of work?

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Can I get Employment Insurance (EI) if my employer reduces my hours of work?
Reviewed: 
June 3, 2020
Answer

The Government of Canada has created a tool to help you figure out which COVID-19 benefits you might qualify for. The tool does not guarantee that you'll be eligible. But it's a good place to start.

For now, all Employment Insurance (EI) applications are being processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). EI benefits will be available after the CERB has ended. There are links to information about the CERB below.

You can’t get EI regular benefits unless you had to stop working. It’s not enough if your hours have only been reduced.  

But you may be able to get EI sickness benefits if you have to work fewer hours. You’re likely eligible for EI sickness benefits if your income goes down by at least 40% because:

  • you’re sick, injured, quarantined, or pregnant, or
  • you have to care for a child or family member with a serious medical condition.

How much you’ll get from EI depends on:

  • the number of hours you worked in the year before you apply
  • the unemployment rate in the region where you live at the time you apply

Steps to Justice has more information about applying for EI.

Who qualifies for CERB

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available if you have stopped working because of COVID-19. For more information about applying for the CERB, read the question Who can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how do I apply?

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