I lost my job for reasons beyond my control. Can I get EI?

3. Figure out how much you can get

You can usually get EI regular benefits for between 14 and 45 weeks. This depends on the unemployment rate in your region and on the number of hours of  in your .

If eligible, most people can get EI benefits of 55% of their average insurable weekly earnings. As of January 1, 2021, the highest amount you can receive is $595 per week.

EI rules have changed because of COVID-19. As of September 26, 2021, everyone will get at least $300 a week. This means that you'll get either 55% of your normal weekly earnings or $300 a week, whichever is higher.

You must start your claim on or before November 20, 2021, to get this minimum amount.

The amount you get from EI each week is always the same, unless you are not available to work for a certain number of days or you earn money that week. If this happens, some money will be deducted from your weekly EI.

All types of EI benefits are taxable. Federal and provincial taxes or territorial taxes, where applicable, are deducted from your payment.

Family supplement

The family supplement gives additional benefits to low-income families with children. You can get this supplement if:

  • your family income after tax is deducted is not more than $25,921 per year, and
  • you or your spouse you live with or common-law partner you live with gets the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

The family supplement rate is based on:

  • your net family income up to a maximum of $25,921 per year, and
  • the number of children in the family and how old they are.

The family supplement can increase your benefit rate to up to 80% of your earnings, up to a maximum of $595 per week. If you and your spouse or common-law partner claim EI benefits at the same time, only one of you can get the family supplement. It is usually better if the spouse or common-law partner that earns less is the one to get the supplement.

As your income increases, the family supplement gradually pays less. When you reach the maximum income of $25,921, you will no longer get the supplement.

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“.

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