Can I get EI if my employer reduces my hours of work?Updated January 10

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.

You can only get Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you had to stop working. You won't qualify for EI if your hours have only been reduced.

But you may be able to get EI sickness benefits or caregiving benefits if you have to work fewer hours.

EI benefits

You're likely eligible for EI sickness benefits or caregiving 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.

These are just a few of the different types of EI benefits. Steps to Justice has more information about applying for EI.

Other COVID-19 benefits

These programs are available until at least May 7, 2022. The Canadian government may extend the programs again if the COVID-19 situation does not improve.

The Canadian government has created the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) for people who do not qualify for EI.

These programs are available to people who have lost at least 50% of their work time in a week because:

  • there's a government lockdown,
  • they have COVID-19 or are quarantining because of COVID-19, or
  • they are caring for a child or family member because of COVID-19.

Learn more about these benefit programs in:


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