This page will provide general information on applying for Employment Insurance through Service Canada¹.
In order to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) with Service Canada, you are required to have:
Refer to the following links for eligibility information for these specific situations:
In most cases, if you lose or quit your job because you didn't comply with your employer's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, you won't be eligible for EI regular benefits. To determine if you're eligible, we may contact you to obtain information such as:
Service Canada will use the facts provided by you and your employer to determine if you're entitled to benefits.
You're not entitled to receive EI benefits while you're confined to a jail, penitentiary or other similar institution.
If you've been incarcerated but are later found not guilty by a court of law on all counts in relation to the event that led to your incarceration, your qualifying period and benefit period may be extended upon providing necessary proof.
Once you've applied for EI benefits, you'll be asked to provide us with proof that you were confined to a jail, penitentiary or other similar institution and that you were not found guilty of the offence(s) from the event(s) for which you were being held.
For a qualifying period or benefit period to be extended, you'll be asked to submit the following documents:
Keep these documents in a safe place. Service Canada will contact you and provide you with instructions on how to submit them.
The qualifying period is shorter of:
Exception: In some cases, the qualifying period may be extended to a maximum of 104 weeks if you weren’t employed in insurable employment or if you weren’t receiving EI benefits.
You only need to have accumulated 420 hours of insurable employment during your qualifying period to qualify for EI benefits.
If you were assessed a violation, you might need more insurable hours to qualify for benefits. The required amount rises based on the number and seriousness of misrepresentations that have been recorded in the 5-year period before the start of your claim.
Based on the unemployment rate in your area, you'll need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment during the qualifying period to qualify for regular benefits.
Once you have determined the unemployment rate in your area, see the table below for the number of hours required.
Look up EI Economic Region by Postal Code² to find out the unemployment rate in your region and the number of hours to qualify for regular benefits.
If you received a notice of violation regarding prior EI benefit periods, the number of insurable hours required to qualify is increased.
The number of hours is shown in the following table:
|Regional rate of unemployment||Without violation||Minor violation||Serious violation||Very serious violation||Subsequent violation|
|6 % and under||700||875||1050||1225||1400|
|6.1 % to 7 %||665||831||998||1164||1330|
|7.1 % to 8 %||630||788||945||1103||1260|
|8.1 % to 9 %||595||744||893||1041||1190|
|9.1 % to 10 %||560||700||840||980||1120|
|10.1 % to 11 %||525||656||788||919||1050|
|11.1 % to 12 %||490||613||735||858||980|
|12.1 % to 13 %||455||569||683||796||910|
|More than 13 %||420||525||630||735||840|
Are EI regular benefits not applicable to you? Use the Benefits Finder² to find other Government of Canada, provincial, or territorial benefits.
Note: If you need assistance in making your EI claim, please click here to contact our office. We will then assist you in making your EI claim.
Information you need to apply
Make sure your information is accurate before submitting it. A common mistake, like misspelling your parent's last name at birth, can delay the processing of your claim.
Do not enter your parent's first name, married name, or date of birth.
To complete the online EI application, you will need the following information:
1. When to apply
Apply as soon as you stop working. You can apply online at home, at any Service Canada Centre using one of the many Internet kiosks available, or at a public Internet access site, such as a public library. The website takes you step by step through the application process.
Records of employment
Missing records of employment (ROEs) can delay the processing of your claim.
2. After you apply
You will receive a confirmation number electronically as proof that we received your application. Make a note of this number and of the date you submitted your application for future reference.
Note: If you do not receive a confirmation number, call 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Mon-Fri) Do not complete another online application.
3. Receiving your EI benefits
The benefit statement is mailed to you shortly after you apply for benefits. The statement includes your access code (4-digit number), which is printed in the shaded area at the top of the benefits statement. Your access code is needed to submit your required bi-weekly reports and to get information about your claim. You are required to complete bi-weekly reports to prove your eligibility and to receive any payment you may be entitled to. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits. Access the instructions on when and how to complete your reports with our Internet Reporting Service² or our Telephone Reporting Service².
Get information about your EI claim through My Service Canada Account
Register for My Service Canada Account² to access your EI information online. My Service Canada Account is a fast and convenient way to securely:
Register for My Service Canada Account² using the step-by-step instructions.
If you have further questions, the phone number for EI (Service Canada) is: 1-800-206-7218 (TTY: 1-800-529-3742) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Mon-Fri).
If you have been denied EI Benefits, Please click here to contact our office, as we may be able to assist you in an appeal process.