Can I get EI if I quit my job?

It depends. If you choose to leave your job, you can only get Employment Insurance (EI) if you have “” for leaving. This means that you have no other reasonable choice except to leave your job.

There are many different situations that might give you just cause for leaving your job. Some examples are:

  • you experienced sexual or other
  • you experienced
  • your working conditions were unsafe
  • your employer was not paying you the that were legally owed to you
  • your employer made major changes to your work duties

Every case is different. When you apply to Service Canada for EI, you'll likely have to describe your situation and explain what steps you took to fix the problem before you quit.

You'll have just cause for quitting only if you can show that there were no other reasonable steps you could have taken. You're expected to have tried other ways to fix the problem before you quit. For example, if your boss is not paying you on time, you should first try to fix the problem by talking to your boss or someone else in management.

Sometimes your decision to quit may not have been voluntary. For example, you should tell Service Canada staff if your employer threatened or bullied you into quitting when you really did not want to leave your job.

If you're called back after a layoff but you choose not to return to work, this is also quitting without just cause.

Quitting your job without just cause will only affect regular EI benefits. You might still be able to get EI special benefits like maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, or critically ill child benefits if you meet the criteria for these benefits.

Before you can qualify for EI, you must work to earn the hours needed. You need to earn between 420 and 700 during your . The higher the rate of unemployment in your area, the fewer hours you need to qualify for EI.

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