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I am too sick to work. Can I get EI?

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I am too sick to work. Can I get EI?
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I am too sick to work. Can I get EI?
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Reviewed: 
January 1, 2019
Answer

As of April 6, 2020, employees, self-employed people, and parents who were receiving EI parental benefits can apply to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for up to $2,000 a month. This benefit is available to people who have completely stopped working because of COVID-19. This includes people who are quarantined because of COVID-19.

If you applied for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits after March 15, 2020, your claim will be handled as if you applied for the CERB. You don’t have to do anything more.

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?

If you are not able to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine, you might qualify for up to 15 weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

To qualify for sickness benefits, you need a medical certificate signed by your doctor or approved medical practitioner. The certificate should describe your sickness and say how long you will need to be off work.

You must also show that you would have been ready and able to work if you had not gotten sick, injured, or quarantined. There must not be any other reason that would have prevented you from working full time.    

For example, if you made plans to go back to school full-time before you got sick, you might not be able to get EI sickness benefits. This is because as a full-time student you would not have been available to work full-time, even if you were healthy.

If you work while on sickness benefits, any money you earn is deducted dollar for dollar from your benefits.

Other benefits 

Even if you don’t qualify for EI sickness benefits, you may be able to take up to 3 days off each year as sick leave if:

  • you're covered by Ontario's Employment Standards Act, and
  • you’ve been working for your employer for at least 2 weeks in a row.

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