Regular Benefit

Here are the basic criteria to qualify for regular E.I. benefit.

You are entitled to receive E.I. regular benefits if you:

  • have earned insurable employment (employer deducted your E.I. premium on your paycheque)
  • lost your employment through a reason not of your own fault and your own decision (e.g. layoff, office closed, end of contract, etc)
  • have at least seven (7) consecutive days of no work in the last 52 weeks
  • have worked for the required insurable hours in the past 52 weeks and more
  • are ready, willing, and capable of working each day (E.I. report declaration)
  • are actively looking for work (with proof of job search record)

Unfortunately you are not entitled to receive E.I. regular benefits if you:

  • quit; voluntarily left your employment without just cause;
  • were dismissed for misconduct;
  • are unemployed because you are directly participating in a labour dispute (strike, lockout, or other type of dispute).

How many insurable hours do I need to qualify?

Hours required to qualify for regular E.I. has been changed since July 2016. Claimant no longer need to worry about the 910 hours and the New Entrance Re-Entrance rule. Applicants need to acquire a minimum hours between 420 to 700 hours in the last 52 weeks to qualify for regular E.I. The actual required hours varies based on the applicant’s Regional Rate of Unemployment.

How much E.I. weekly benefit amount will I receive?

Current maximum is $543 per week and is paid out every two weeks through mailed cheque or direct deposit. Please refer to our E.I. benefit amount estimation page for more details.

You may receive higher E.I. benefit (Family Supplement) if you are low-income family. Read more…

What if I resign my job to attend school?

You may be qualified for Regular Employment Insurance benefits if you have voluntarily left your employment to attend training course(s) under the approval of an authorized employment counselor or officer. Read more…

What if I was forced to quit or leave my job?

In general, E.I. regular benefit is for contributors who have been separated from their job due to an external reason not under their control. However, in an situation where the external environment has forced you to take a decision to be separated from your employer, you may still be eligible for E.I. regular benefit. Employment Insurance office has a set of rules and guidelines to determine your eligibility under voluntary separation with just cause.

Voluntary leave explained – Service Canada

Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles – Chapter 6 – Voluntarily Leaving Employment

Circumstances for quitting that considered as just cause

 List of 40 Main Circumstances to Take Into Consideration (Alphabetical Order)

  1. Adoption–Leave Not Granted
  2. Armed Forces–Failure to Re-Enlist for a Further Term
  3. Course of Instruction or an Employment Activity–referred by a Designated Authority and Starting Within a Short Term
  4. Disciplinary Action–Penalty Clearly Disproportionate
  5. Discrimination on a Prohibited Ground
  6. Duties–Intolerable Situation
  7. Health Adversely Affected by Work or Working Environment
  8. Health Adversely Affected–on Credible and Convincing Explanations from the Claimant
  9. Health Adversely Affected–on Doctor’s Advice
  10. Illness in Immediate Family–Presence Required
  11. Intolerable Situations–Living Accommodations, Food, Facilities, Employment Amenities
  12. Moral Objections Based on Religious Beliefs
  13. Moral Objections: Employer’s Practices Contrary to Professional Ethics, Law
  14. Moral Objections: Illegal Activities or Contrary to Fundamental Ethical Values
  15. Moving Because of an Anticipated Marriage
  16. Moving with Parents in the Case of a Minor
  17. Obligation to Accompany a Spouse, Common-Law Partner or Dependent Child to Another Residence
  18. Obligation to Care for a Child or a Mmember of the Immediate Family
  19. Overtime–Excessive Hours
  20. Overtime–Failure to Pay
  21. Pregnancy–Incapacity to Work and Leave Not Granted
  22. Reasonable Assurance of Another Employment in the Immediate Future
  23. Relation with Authority–Hostile Atmosphere Created by Superiors
  24. Relation with Co-Workers–Abusive Treatment
  25. Retirement–Undue Pressures from Employer
  26. Sexual or Other Harassment
  27. To Start a Business or to Become Self-Employed in a Near Future
  28. Transportation Problems–Serious, Even Insolvable
  29. Union Relations–Employer’s Abusive Treatment
  30. Union Relations–No Longer Acting as Strike-Breaker
  31. Wages–Formal Promise of Increase Not Fulfilled
  32. Wages–Hiring Conditions Not Honoured
  33. Wages–Loss Due to Employer’s Financial Difficulties
  34. Wages–Unjustified Reduction
  35. Wages or Salary Less Than Provided by Legislation
  36. Work Away from Family–Serious Illness in the Family
  37. Work Away from Family–After a Reasonable Period of Absence
  38. Working Conditions–Significant Unilateral Changes
  39. Working Conditions–Unreasonable, Restrictive
  40. Working Conditions that Constitute a Danger to Health or Safety