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I lost my job for reasons beyond my control. Can I get EI?
Employment Insurance (EI) benefits provide some short-term financial help for people who are out of work. Most jobs in Canada take money from your paycheque to pay into the EI program. Even if your employer hasn’t paid into the program, you might still be able to get EI.
Be sure to apply as soon as you have at least 7 days without work or pay. If you apply more than 4 weeks after you have an interruption of earnings, it may be harder to get approved for EI. If you are approved, you might get less money. This is because there will be a large period of time where you have no hours worked and no money earned.
There are different EI benefits that might be available for your situation. These are:
- Sickness benefits: if you are unable to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine.
- Maternity benefits: if you are pregnant or have recently had a baby.
- Parental benefits: if you are a parent and are caring for a new born child or a child you recently adopted.
- Compassionate care benefits: if you need time off work to provide care or support to a family member who could die in the next six months.
- The family caregiver benefit for children: if you need time off work to provide care or support to your critically ill child.
- Fishing benefits: if you are a self-employed fisher actively looking for work.
You might be able to get EI regular benefits if you:
- were employed in insurable employment
- lost your job through no fault of your own
- have not worked or been paid for at least 7 days
- worked enough hours to qualify for EI, usually in the last 52 weeks
You must also be ready and able to work right away, and actively looking for work.
You might not be able to get EI regular benefits if you: