EI Benefits During COVID-19

Because of COVID-19, there have been big changes to EI related to hours of insurable work and minimum payments. These changes are temporary.
If you don’t qualify for EI, you can apply for one of the new COVID-19 Recovery Benefits instead.
For more information about all COVID-19 benefits, visit https://stepstojustice.ca/covid-19


Reviewed: December 23, 2021

Employment
Insurance (EI)
To qualify for any Employment Insurance (EI) program, you must have worked enough “insurable hours” in your
qualifying period. Your qualifying period is normally the 52 weeks before you apply.

Who’s eligible Amount and how to apply Notes
EI regular
benefits
  • you lost your job through no fault of your own
  • you have at least 420 insurable hours (*1)
  • you’re ready, willing, and able to accept work
  • you’re actively looking for work
  • 55% of your weekly income up to
    $595 a week (*2)
  • lasts up to 15 weeks
(*1) The new rule applies from September 26, 2021, until September 24, 2022.
EI sickness
benefits
  • you have at least 420 insurable hours (*1)
  • your weekly earnings went down by more
    than 40%
  • you’re not able to work because you’re sick, injured, or in quarantine
  • 55% of your weekly income up to $595
    a week (*2)
  • lasts up to 15 weeks
(*2) The maximum amount increases from $595 a week to $638 as of January 1, 2022.
EI caregiving
benefits
  • you have at least 420 insurable hours (*1)
  • you must be caring for a person who’s critically ill, injured, or needs end-of-life care
  • you’re caring for someone you consider to be like family
  • the person must be certified critically ill or in need of end-of-life care (*3)
  • 55% of your weekly income up to $595
    a week (*2)
  • lasts up to 15 weeks if the sick person is
    over 18
  • lasts up to 35 weeks if the sick person is
    under 18
  • lasts up to 26 weeks if the sick person
    needs end-of-life care
(*3) This can be done by a doctor or a nurse
practitioner
EI maternity
benefits
  • you have at least 420 insurable hours (*4)
  • you’re pregnant or recently gave birth (*5)
  • your weekly earnings went down by more
    than 40%
  • 55% of your weekly income up to $595 a week (*2)
  • lasts up to 15 weeks
(*4) This new rules applies from September 26, 2021, until September 24, 2022.

(*5) You can start 12 weeks before your due date or the day you give birth. You can get the benefits for up to 17 weeks after you give birth.

 

EI parental
benefits
  • you have at least 420 insurable hours (*4)
  • you recently had a child or recently adopted a child (*7)
  • you and the other parent are both eligible (*8)
  • your weekly earnings went down by more
    than 40%
  • Standard benefits (35 weeks):
    • 55% of your weekly income up to
      $595 a week (*2)
  • Extended benefits (61 weeks):
    • 33% of your weekly income up to
      $357 a week (*6)
(*6)The maximum amount increases from $357 a week to $383 as of January 1, 2022.

(*7) You must use the standard leave within 52 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption, or within 78 weeks if you take an extended leave.

(*8) Both parents must share
the weeks of eligibility.

Because of COVID-19, there have been big changes to EI related to hours of insurable
work. These changes are temporary. If you don’t qualify for EI, you can apply for one of the
COVID-19 Recovery Benefits instead. For more information about all COVID-19 benefits,
visit stepstojustice.ca.
This is general legal information for people in Ontario, Canada. It is not intended to be used
as legal advice
Reviewed: December 23, 2021
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