Generic placeholder imageEmployment Insurance

If you are laid off, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). It provides temporary income support while you look for work or upgrade your skills. You may also qualify for EI if you take sick leave from work, become pregnant or have to care for a newborn or adopted child, or if you must care for an ill family member. EI income support is different from Ontario Works income support, because you pay into your EI insurance (a portion of your work paycheck is deducted for EI).

Note: If you quit your job without just cause, you will not be paid regular benefits, but you may still qualify for maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits.
Note: You cannot apply for EI if you quit your job.


There are different types of benefits:
Regular benefits – If you lose your job through no fault of your own.
Special benefits – These include maternity and parental benefits, sickness benefits, compassionate care benefits.

Click here to read more about EI benefits.

Am I Eligible for EI?

■ The requirements depend on where you live and what type of benefits you apply for. How much you receive and for how long depends on a few factors. You must have worked a certain amount of hours within the last year. The number of hours you worked (generally between 420-700 hours) depends on the unemployment rate in your area. Find out how many hours you need to work to obtain EI.

For more information, go to Am I eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)?


■ Usually, you are NOT eligible for EI regular benefits if you:

    · Quit your job without a good reason
    · Were fired for a good reason
    · Have not worked for a required period of time
    · Have not paid into the EI program (examples include consultants, subcontractors etc.)
For More Information

EI Benefits for Self-Employed People – Information from Service Canada about who is eligible, how to apply and types of benefits.
Employment Insurance – Guide to EI by CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario), including various Frequently Asked Questions.