The financial strains caused by the recent pandemic, inflation, and rising cost of production are being felt by employers and employees alike in Ontario, causing some employees to turn to employment insurance (EI). The government of Ontario has implemented measures to curtail some of these financial strains and provide financial support.
To apply for EI in Ontario, you will have to complete and submit an online application form with necessary information such as your Social Insurance Number(SIN),
your parent’s last name, your mailing, and residential addresses, and your banking information. If you are eligible for EI, your payment will usually be issued within 28 days from the date that you filed your benefits claim. If you are not eligible for EI, you will be notified in writing of this decision either via mail, or online via your applicant dashboard.
How To Apply For EI In Ontario
To complete your Employment Insurance (EI) application, you will be required to submit the following information for a seamless registration process:
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and if your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
- The last name of one of your parents or guardians.
- Your mailing and residential addresses. Also, your complete banking information to sign up for a direct deposit.
- The names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the past year.
- The dates, weekly hours, and earnings for each of your highest-paid weeks of insurable earnings within the last year or since the start of your last EI claim.
if you’re reactivating an existing claim, you will need to provide:
- the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked, including insurable tips and commissions or any other amount you received or will receive, such as vacation pay, severance pay, pension, payment in place of notice, and other taxable income.
All of the above information will be used to calculate your benefit rate.
After you apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, you will be required to submit reports to Service Ontario every two weeks for as long as you receive benefits. They help show your ongoing eligibility and make sure you get the benefits to which you laid claims.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible For EI In Ontario?
Your eligibility for EI in Ontario depends on what kind of benefit or benefits you are applying for. Typically, to be eligible for temporary income support, you have to be unemployed, or actively looking for paid employment.
To qualify for regular EI:
- You should have worked the required number of hours in your place of employment, and the hours must be within the last work year. The number is usually 420-700 hours, but it depends on the unemployment rate in Ontario for that year.
- Have paid into the EI programme, via a calculated salary deduction by your employer into the designated EI account.
- You should be without pay for a minimum of seven days.
- You should ensure to keep a clean work record, to avoid quitting without a good reason or getting fired for a good reason.
To qualify for special work benefits:
- You are losing 40% or more of your weekly income (food, water, electricity bills).
- You have worked 600 hours or more during the last 52 weeks or since your last EI claim.
- You must sign a statement that says when you expect your baby to be born, or what date the baby was born to qualify for maternity benefit.
- You must sign a statement that says when the baby was born or when the adopted child is placed with you, for parental benefits.
- You must get a medical certificate to confirm how long you are sick or hurt, and the certificate should prove that you are unable to work, to qualify for sickness benefits.
- If you have to take time off work to care for a very sick family member, you could be eligible for compassionate care benefits.
- To qualify for fishing benefits, you have to be a self-employed fisher or actively seeking work. Eligibility for EI fishing benefits is based on earnings.
How Much Does EI Give In Ontario?
The basic rate for calculating Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in Ontario is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount.
As of January 1, 2022, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $60,300. What this means is that you can receive a maximum amount of $638 as EI per week.
You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the current unemployment rate in Ontario, at the time of filing your claim, or the number of insurable hours you’ve accumulated in the last 52 weeks. The number of allocated time for which you may receive benefits does not change if you move to another province after your benefit period begins.
Am I Eligible For EI If My Hours Are Reduced In Ontario?
The answer to this is no.
You can only get Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you have, or have to stop working abruptly. You will not qualify for EI if your hours have only been reduced. You must be without work for at least seven consecutive days in the 52 weeks before applying for EI regular benefits. One good thing about it is that the amount of EI you will receive may depend on the number of hours you worked in the year before you applied.
Fret not, for you can get other benefits such as EI sickness benefits, maternity benefits, and caregiving benefits.
What Is The Qualifying Period For EI In Ontario?
The average qualifying period for EI in Ontario is usually the last 52 weeks before the start of your claim.
Sometimes your qualifying period can be longer, especially if the 52 weeks include weeks when you could not work due to sickness, injury, pregnancy, or jail time.
Sometimes it can be shorter especially if you had another EI claim that started in those 52 weeks. Therefore, your qualifying period will go back to the start of that claim.