Can I get EI if my employer reduces my hours of work?Updated November 4

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 November 20, 2021. The Canadian government plans to extend the programs again to May 7, 2022, but this is not the law yet.

The Canadian government has created the 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:

  • 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.

You can learn more about these benefit programs in the questions: Who can get the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)? and Who can get the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)?

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