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EI Reporting: All Canadians Need to Know About the Employment Insurance

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It can be quite a tough task to stay financially stable while being unemployed. To support people during these difficult times, Canada’s government offers income support through the Employment Insurance (EI) program.

The EI program provides temporary income support to unemployed workers while they look for employment or to upgrade their skills. It also provides special benefits to workers who take time off work due to specific life events such as illness, pregnancy, caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, taking care of a critically ill or injured person, or a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death.

The EI program is a part of Service Canada, which is the program operated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to serve as a single point of access for the Government of Canada’s largest and most heavily used programs. Other programs under Service Canada include the Social Insurance Number, the Old Age Security (OAS) program, and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

The government advises you to apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can even register for an EI benefit before getting your Record of Employment (ROE) from your employer. Any delay of more than four weeks after your last day of work could affect the benefits you will receive.

Once your application is accepted, you are required to report for the benefits at regular intervals. If you have wondered about the details, this article covers all you need to know about EI reporting.  

How Does Employment Insurance (EI) Reporting Work?

Once your application to receive temporary income support is approved, you are required to keep submitting EI reports to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to continue receiving benefits. This reporting is necessary to prove that you continue to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. 

The details you need to provide while reporting include the following: 

  • Dates and hours worked and earnings before deductions, even if you will be paid later
  • Contact information of any employers
  • Hours spent at school or in a training course and any training allowance received
  • Whether you were available for work

EI Report Submission – Weekly Or Bi-Weekly?

While you are availing of EI benefits, you have to submit a report every 2 weeks to show that you are eligible and want to continue receiving benefits.

Also, you will be given the date when your next report is due once you submit the report. Mark this date on your calendar. You would not be able to submit your report before this date, but you have 3 weeks from this date to submit it.

How To Submit Employment Insurance (EI) Report?

When you apply for benefits, the government mails you a benefit statement. This mail comes from Service Canada.

This benefit statement includes a 4-digit access code. You need this code and your social insurance number (SIN) to submit your reports.

You can submit your reports in two ways:

  • Using the Internet Reporting Service  or
  • Using the Telephone Reporting Service

EI Reporting Using The Internet Reporting Service

If you have Internet access, ESDC recommends you to use the Internet Reporting Service, which is simple, fast, convenient, and secure. If ESDC needs more information to process your report, you will receive a message at the end of your report asking you to call them.

EI Reporting Using The Telephone Reporting Service

If you do not have Internet access, you can use the Telephone Reporting Service by calling 1-800-531-7555.

If the authorities need more information to process your report, they will transfer your call to an agent or you will receive a message to call back during business hours.

EI Reporting Exemption

For some types of EI benefits, you can choose to be exempted from reporting. If you are eligible, you can request a reporting exemption, or cancel it, any time during your claim. You can agree to this exemption when you submit your EI benefits application.

You can choose to be exempted if:

  • You are receiving maternity, parental or caregiver benefits
  • You are participating in an apprenticeship program
  • You are part of a Work-Sharing agreement

EI Reporting For CERB

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provided financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who were directly affected by COVID-19. If you were eligible, you could have received $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week).

But now this program has been closed.

Employment Insurance Eligibility

Note that EI is not guaranteed right after you lose your job. You are eligible for EI benefits under certain circumstances. These situations include:

  • If your previous employment was insurable
  • If you have worked the required number of hours
  • If you lost your job via termination without cause or if you resign with specific acceptable
  • If you lost your job for reasons like provable harassment, toxic work environment, etc.
  • If you have proof of daily continuous job search.

Employment Insurance Ineligibility

You may not qualify for EI benefits if:

  • You quit your job without a genuine reason
  • You were terminated for misconduct
  • You are unemployed due to involvement in labor disputes
  • You are in jail or a similar institution

You can check your eligibility status by sending an application to Service Canada online. The application process takes about an hour to complete. To complete the form, you need the following information:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Name of employer(s)
  • Office Address(es)
  • Dates of employment
  • Reason for unemployment over the last 52 weeks

Other Key Points To Note

  • You can use My Service Canada Account to view your claim.
  • Also you can use My Service Canada Account to provide and update information and register for direct deposit. With direct deposit, your payment is deposited to your bank account 2 to 3 business days after you complete your report.
  • When applying, sign up for a direct deposit. This will ensure your payments are swift and are automatically deposited into your bank account two business days after being processed.
  • Submit your report on or just after the maturity date, however not before. You need to complete your reports no later than three weeks after every maturity, or your EI claim will be affected.
  • Employment Insurance is paid Bi-weekly. This means that it is paid once every two weeks.
  • You will be required to complete bi-weekly reports to prove your eligibility and receive benefits to which you will be entitled. Failure to do this will mean a loss of benefits.
  • Before you start receiving EI benefits, there may be a week that you may not be paid; usually known as the waiting period.
  • If you’re not entitled to receive EI benefits, you will be contacted via phone call or letter and explained why. You can file for a reconsideration if you disagree with them.

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