Am I allow to work casual job while I’m collecting E.I. regular benefit? If yes, how will it affect my E.I. weekly payment?

To calculate your earning deduction, E.I. office looks at the total hours and amount earned while you are collecting E.I. Therefore, there is no such thing as a maximum allowable hours your can work while on E.I. claim. If you are collecting regular, fishing, parental, compassionate care or parents of critically ill children benefits, and you are working in a part-time or occasional work, you have a choice of two options of earning deduction to choose from.

Option 1: Default rule

Under default rule, you will be able to keep 50 cents of your E.I. benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90% of the weekly insurable earnings that E.I. office used to calculate your E.I. benefit amount. This 90% amount is called the earnings threshold. If you earn any money above the threshold, it will be deducted dollar for dollar from your E.I, weekly payment.

You may visit Service Canada’s website to see examples of calculations. Click here

Option 2: Optional rule

If you earn less than $75 or 40% (the threshold) of your weekly E.I. benefits, whichever was greater, your weekly benefit payment will not be reduced. However, weekly benefit will be deducted dollar for dollar for every dollars earned above this threshold. This rule penalized claimants who are gradually fitting back to workforce with more than one day of work per week. Under the new pilot project (aka Work While on Claim, WWC), introduce a new calculation that reflects a more realistic transitioning period from E.I. claimants.

The WWC pilot project is in effect until August 11, 2018, and will apply to E.I. claimants who earn money while collecting any of the following types of E.I. benefits:

  • regular benefits
  • fishing benefits
  • parental benefits
  • compassionate care benefits
  • parents of critically ill children

If you are receiving sickness benefits or maternity benefits, WWC pilot project does not apply to you. Any earnings you earn will be deducted dollar for dollar from your weekly benefit.

What is Work While on Claim (WWC) pilot project?

Can I study while on maternity leave?

Which option should I choose? Additional note from Service Canada website.

“You are strongly encouraged to make the choice near the end of your claim. At this point, more complete information about your specific circumstances and work pattern is available, making it easier to know which option would benefit you the most.

You do not need to apply to the Working While on Claim pilot project, as the “default rule” will apply to your claim automatically. Under this option, you file weekly reports and declare your earnings on-line. If, at the end of your claim, you weren’t able to work as much as you thought, you should contact Service Canada to verify which option would be most beneficial to you. If you decide that you would be better off under the “optional rule,” you can request the “optional rule” be applied to you claim with the difference between the options refunded to you.

You can also select the “optional rule” earlier in your claim. However, if you choose this option, you will be required to complete paper bi-weekly reports which must be returned by mail and could lead to delays in payment. Should you select the “optional rule,” it applies to your entire claim but for weeks effective August 7, 2016 or later, and it cannot be reversed for that claim.” (source from Service Canada)

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