Lost your job in Canada?


Lost your job in Canada?

Government provides regular benefits if...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Dear Mr Brown,

I recently obtained permanent residence in Canada after working for a year on my post-graduate work permit after attending Humber College. I am not sure if you remember me, but you helped me with my Humber College and study applications a few years ago. I was recently laid off from my job and I want to know whether I am entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits at this stage.

— ER

Dear ER:

I appreciate your e-mail. I am always pleased to assist and congratulate you on your permanent resident status.

I am not sure how long you have been working or exactly when you obtained your permanent residency, the nature of your employment or when you were laid off. However, I can provide you with a general summary in terms of entitlement and rates.

The Canadian Government's Employment Insurance (EI) programme provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but cannot find employment.

EI provides financial support to eligible workers by replacing part of their income while they are:

• Seeking new employment;

• Upgrading their skills;

• Absent from work due to sickness, childbirth or adoption;

• Caring for a child or adult who is critically ill or injured, or needs end-of-life care.


Entitlement to EI regular benefits is based on the following factors:

• Employed in insurable employment;

• Losing one's job through no fault of oneself;

• Being without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;

• Have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;

• Are ready, willing and capable of working each day;

• Are actively looking for work (based on a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).

There is no entitlement to EI benefits under the following circumstances:

• One voluntarily leaves a job without cause;

• Dismissal for misconduct;

• Unemployment due to direct participation in a labour dispute (for example, a strike, lockout or other type of conflict).

The above stated is a general summary. However, I would recommend that you discuss the matter with the Human Resources Department. They are normally more helpful with such matters, in my experience.

Basic rate

Generally, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55 per cent of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is CAD54,200. This means you can receive a maximum amount of CAD573.00 per week.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.

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