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Employment Insurance

If you have lost your job, you may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI). Employment Insurance benefits are payments made to persons who have lost their job in order to help them with their living expenses while they search for new employment.

Do I qualify for Employment Insurance?

To qualify for Employment Insurance, you must have previously been an employee receiving salary or wages for work you performed for your employer(s) in a formal employment relationship. The employer(s) must have also deducted EI premiums from your salary or wages.

People are required to work for a certain amount of hours to qualify for EI benefits. If you are in your first job ever, or you are in a job after not working for at least two years, you must work for at least 910 hours during the qualifying period (typically the last 52 weeks) to qualify for EI benefits if you lose that job.

If you are not in your first job or re-entering the workforce after at least two years, you will usually qualify for EI if you worked 700 hours or more during your qualifying period. You might qualify for EI if you worked between 420 to 700 hours in your qualifying period. You will not qualify for EI if you worked less than 420 hours in your qualifying period.

You may not be eligible for Employment Insurance if you left your job voluntarily, were fired for misconduct, or are unemployed as the result of participating in a strike or lockout. However, if you left your job voluntarily because you were harassed, discriminated against, expected to work in dangerous conditions, had to care for your child, were pressured to leave your job by your employer, or for other similar reasons, then you may still qualify for EI benefits.