How do I apply for Employment Insurance (EI)?

To apply for Employment Insurance (EI), go to the nearest Service Canada Centre or apply online as soon as you lose your job. You need to submit an application form and some documents. You also need to have an interview with an EI agent.

When to Apply

You must apply within 4 weeks of your final day at work. It is a good idea to apply as soon as you stop working.

The Application Form and Documents

To apply for regular benefits, you must submit:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) - If you have a SIN that starts with "9" you also need to show your work permit and proof of your immigration status.
  • A Record of Employment (ROE) - From each job you have had in the past year (52 weeks). If your employer submits your ROE electronically, you do not need a paper copy.
  • Personal identification - Such as your driver's licence, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your complete bank account information - You can find this on your bank statement. Or you can bring a personal cheque - write "void" on the cheque. The government uses this information to deposit your payment directly into your bank account.
  • Your detailed version of the facts - If you have quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last year (52 weeks).
  • Information about your most recent job - Such as: your salary (total earnings before deductions including tips and commissions), your gross earnings for your last week of work (from Sunday to the last day worked), gross amounts received or to be received (vacation pay, severance pay, pension, pay in lieu of notice or lay of) and other monies.

If you are missing some of these documents, you can still apply. This will help prevent delays.

If you want to apply for special benefits, you may need more documents. Find more information about special benefits.

Where to Apply

You can apply at a Service Canada Centre near you.

Apply Online

You can apply for EI online.

Get Help

Many settlement agencies can help you with your EI application. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For more information about EI, you can call Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 or go to their website.

For More Information

Last updated: November 9, 2015 4001139