I qualified for EI. What must I do to continue getting my benefits?

2. Working while on EI

You can work part-time and still get EI benefits.

Earnings exemptions

You are allowed to keep some of the money you earn if you work while you are collecting regular benefits, parental benefits, maternity benefits, sickness benefits, compassionate care benefits, or the family caregiver benefit for children. This is called an “earning exemption”.

Only 50% of the money you earn each week up to your “earning threshold” will be deducted from your benefits.

Your “earning threshold” is 90% of the average weekly earnings used to calculate your EI benefits. For example, if Service Canada staff calculates that you earned an average of $500 each week before you applied for EI, your earning threshold will be $450.

Example: Earning threshold

$500 per week x 90%

500 x .90 = $450

If you earned $475 in a week while on EI, 50% of the first $450 will be deducted ($225) plus anything over the $450 threshold ($25) is deducted. That is a total deduction of $250.

Example: Total deduction

Earning threshold: $450

Extra earned income: $475

$450 x .50 = $225 deducted

Everything over threshold ($25) deducted

Total deduction: $225 + $25 = $250

Report your earnings

You must report all of your earnings in your reports. If you do not report all of your earnings and you are caught, the whole amount you earned will be taken off your benefits. And there will probably be other penalties.

If the amount you earn while on EI is small, you should call Service Canada to see if you are able to use the old rules. If you decide to use the old rules, you cannot change back again.

You may want to wait until near the end of your claim to report your earnings. This will give you more time to see if the old rules allow you to keep more money. If you are able to use the old rules near the end of your claim, Service Canada will recalculate the deductions and refund you the difference.

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