What You Need to Know About Ontario Employment Insurance

When individuals lose their jobs through no fault of their own, they may be eligible for employment insurance benefits. Possible reasons to apply and receive EI can include lay-offs, seasonal work, or a shortage of available work through your employer. There are regular EI benefits as well as special benefits. 

In Ontario, applying for EI is simple. It requires your SIN number, address, complete banking information, dates of employment, and a detailed version of facts. In your application, you can specify you wish to receive your EI benefits by direct deposit. This is the fastest way to obtain payments. Payments will start to be processed two business days after your EI report is processed.

Here is all you need to know about Ontario employment insurance.

When to Apply for EI

It is best to apply for EI benefits as soon as you are no longer working. You can apply without having received your record of employment (ROE). You have up to 4 weeks after your last day of work to apply. After that point, you are at risk of losing your EI benefits and not successfully accessing EI assistance.

You can apply for EI online directly on the Canadian government website. The application is extensive and can take up to 1 hour to complete. If you are found eligible, you will receive your first payment 28 days after you apply.

To be eligible for EI, you must be ready, willing, and capable of working each day. You must be actively looking for work as well. A written record of employers you contact must be kept, demonstrating that you are looking for work on an ongoing basis.

You Are Not Eligible If You Quit Your Job

If you quit your job, you are not eligible for regular EI benefits. These benefits are only applicable in situations where workers have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. That said, those who qualify may still be eligible to receive non-regular EI benefits, such as those offered under maternity, parental, sickness, critically ill child, or compassionate care categories.

You also do not qualify for EI in any situation where you have left your job without just cause. Similarly, you are not qualified if you were dismissed for misconduct or became unemployed due to active participation in a labor dispute. You are also not qualified during a period of leave that compensates for a period where you worked more hours than normal under full-time employment.

If your previous employer rejects your EI claim, you should contact an employment lawyer like www.employmentlawyertoronto.online for help.

How Much EI You Could Receive in Ontario

The amount of EI benefits you are eligible for can only be confirmed once your EI application is processed. The basic calculation used for most employment insurance in Ontario is 55% of a worker’s average insurable weekly earnings up to a maximum amount. The maximum weekly amount provided under EI in Ontario currently is $595.

EI is distributed from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, dependent on the unemployment rate in your region at the time you file a claim. It also depends on how much you’ve worked in the last year or since your last claim. The calculation of how much and how long EI benefits are provided for is complex. Once a weekly benefit rate is set, it remains unchanged for the rest of the period when EI is being claimed.

EI benefits are taxable. Federal and provincial taxes apply. They will be deducted from your payment, similar to what occurs on an employee paycheque.

You Can Reactivate An Existing Claim

If you have already claimed EI once in the last 52 weeks and you still have payable weeks on it, the existing claim will be renewed automatically when you go to apply. In some cases, it’s advantageous to cancel the old claim and start a new claim. This could increase the amount of benefits received or the length of the benefit period. If you do reactivate an existing claim, you can apply to establish a new claim once the existing period runs out.

You Must Fill Out Bi-Weekly Reports

To continue accessing benefits, you must fill out bi-weekly reports that can be done online or by telephone. These reports reinforce your ongoing eligibility and ensure you are receiving the full benefits you are rightfully entitled to. If you fail to complete these reports, you may lose your benefits.

You Could Be Asked to Repay Benefits

In some situations, you could be required to pay back some of your EI benefits if you’ve been overpaid. This happens when you earn money in the period in which are you are earning EI benefits or take a job and do not indicate it on your bi-weekly reports.


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