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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: 
May 31, 2017
Answer

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.

Even if you don’t qualify for EI sickness benefits, you may be able to take up to 10 days off each year as personal emergency leave if you are covered by the Employment Standards Act. You have the right to be paid for 2 days of personal emergency leave each year if you’ve been working for your employer at least one week.

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