Employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits give people up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is eligible for people who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits give people up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is eligible for people who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

COVID-19: How to apply for employment insurance

You can receive up to 55 per cent of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week

As many businesses close up shop and lay off employees to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 500,000 people applied for employment insurance in the span of a week.

Employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits offer up to 15 weeks of income replacement and people who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine are eligible. You can receive up to 55 per cent of your prior wage to a maximum of $573 a week.

To be eligible to apply for EI, an applicant needs to demonstrate inability to work for medical reasons, or that regular weekly earnings have decreased by more than 40 per cent for at least one week.

Apply online at canada.ca as soon as possible. Those who wait more than four weeks after the last day of work to apply may lose benefits.

To apply online you will need the names and addresses of employers in the last 52 weeks; dates employed with each employer, along with the reasons why you’re no longer employed; full mailing address; social insurance number and banking information.

READ ALSO: B.C. announces $5 billion financial relief for COVID-19 pandemic

The online application takes about an hour to complete and information is saved for up to 72 hours from the time you start.

Due to the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, the one-week waiting period of EI benefits has been waived for new claimants currently quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim.

In addition, a new dedicated toll-free phone number has been set up to support inquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period to help speed up the process.

READ ALSO: Closures, revenue, staffing among main impacts of COVID-19 on 90% of B.C. business: survey

People claiming due to being quarantined do not need to provide a medical certificate. People who can’t complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine can apply later and have the claim backdated to cover the period of delay.

Applicants need to obtain a record of employment to provide work history for the claim.

Once an application is complete, Service Canada mails a benefits statement that includes a four-digit access code. This code is needed, along with your social insurance number, to access your application and complete biweekly reports.

The biweekly reports are submitted to Service Canada for as long as you receive benefits, this helps show your ongoing eligibility.

Those who don’t qualify for EI may qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, announced earlier this week to help people who have lost their source of income due to COVID-19 and/or related measures.

READ ALSO: Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from Nanaimo daycare

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

The 190-step Seabold stairs, damaged by a storm in 2018, have been rebuilt from Vancouver Island yellow cedar and are once again open to the public. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Seabold Park stairs in north Nanaimo open again

Stairs, damaged by storm in 2018, have been rebuilt and reopened to public

Emergency crews are on scene at a motor vehicle incident involving multiple vehicles at Bowen Road and Dufferin Crescent. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Two people hurt in multi-vehicle crash at Bowen and Dufferin in Nanaimo

Motor vehicle incident blocking a section of Bowen Road

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

Crews fight a fire in a home on Wakesiah Avenue on Thursday afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Crews putting out fire in a house on Wakesiah Avenue in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue was called out at noon Thursday

Beef to Halloween, a celebration of death, weapons, blood and murder. Halloween is a mockery of death and our beloved deceased. Why do we celebrate it?
Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Most Read