Sickness Benefit

You are qualified to receive sickness benefit if:

  • have earned insurable employment (employer deducted your E.I. premium on your paycheque)
  • you fall sick or injured (from work or not) and needs extensive period to recover
  • your normal weekly earnings have been reduced by more than 40% due to sickness

How many hours do I need to qualify?

You need to have a minimum of 600 cumulative hours in the past year, from the day you stopped working, to meet the basic qualifying hours.


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.

How many weeks of sickness E.I. will I receive?

Sickness E.I. is consider under special benefits category. It only pays to a maximum of 15 weeks only (excluding 1 weeks waiting period). Since Service Canada may ask you to submit proof of sickness, ensure you have a medical doctor’s note to confirm the weeks of your sickness.

What documents do I need to provide for my sickness benefit application?

  1. Record of Employment(s). Make sure to submit all your ROE within the past 52 weeks to boost your insurable earning, therefore to receive higher benefit week amount. 
  2. Medical certificate. You may ask your doctor to fill up the template provided by Service Canada (form INS 5140) or use doctor’s note. Make sure your doctor indicate clearly 1) the reason of illness and 2) period of recovery (from when to when). Remember, your maximum payable 15 weeks of sickness benefit is only payable within the recovery period. Make sure to add an extra 2 weeks that covers the waiting period. So that makes a total of 17 weeks.

How long will I wait to receive my first sickness benefit payment?

The typical wait time to process an E.I. claim is up to 28 days. You should receive a first letter from mail, providing you an access code and instructions to create your Service Canada online account. There will be a 1 weeks non-paid weeks before your first sickness benefit week begins. If you have registered for direct deposit, you should expect your payment to arrive roughly 1 month after your application. 

The two-week waiting period can be waived or deferred under specific situations. For example:

  • if you receive sick leave pay from your employer after your last day worked, the waiting period may be waived; or
  • if you receive group insurance payments, you can serve the two-week waiting period during the last two weeks you receive these insurance payments.

You don’t need to serve another 2 weeks waiting period if you are converting your claim from regular E.I. benefit.

Do I need to complete E.I. report?

Yes, you are required to complete your E.I. online report. Ensure that you are “not available” to work when completing your E.I. report.