COVID-19: Employment Insurance & the Canada Recovery Benefit

The Government of Canada has made changes to support people seeking employment through the Employment Insurance (EI) program.

Employment Insurance (EI) is now more widely available to include those who would not have qualified for EI in the past. Anyone receiving EI is eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits are accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks.

Transition from Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to Employment Insurance

If you need financial assistance after your CERB ends

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. These changes will be in effect for one year.

Find out if you qualify

If you received the CERB through Service Canada

After you receive your last CERB payment, continue completing reports. In most cases, you do not need to apply for EI benefits. The Government of Canada will automatically review your file and your Record of Employment, then start a claim for EI regular benefits if you qualify. If you do not qualify, you will be notified by mail.

You will need to apply for EI after your CERB ends if:

  • you have a social insurance number that starts with a 9
  • you are self-employed, or
  • you declared that you returned to work full-time on your CERB report

If you received the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency

You need to receive all your CERB payments before applying for EI benefits. You can apply after the end of your last CERB eligibility period. Visit EI benefits and leave to determine which benefit is right for your situation and to apply online.

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

For more information, go to Canada Recovery Benefit.

This information is from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

For More Information

Last updated: February 25, 2021 4006471