EI in BC (Employment Insurance)

What’s EI in BC

Employment Insurance is an important benefit that the Canadian government is providing for people who are no fault but unemployed. In British Columbia, when you are laid-off or able to work but can’t find a job, Services Canada online application can help you get benefits while you are actively looking for a job. Also, there are several types of EI in BC, for example, sickness leave, maternal benefits, caregiving benefits, self-employed benefits, and living abroad benefits.  

Canada has one of the most comprehensive welfare systems in the world, and many benefits are available for various occupations to ensure everyone has the right to get a job or has a skill in the labour market. There are also other associated benefits like Workers’ Compensation for injured workers or CERB for unemployed workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, etc. Regular Employment Insurance is the most common one, the government provides EI for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, it could be seasonal or mass lay-offs, shortage of work market, previous workplace closure,  or you are skilled but can’t find a job. After reading through the government’s website, you simply apply for employment insurance. This article will take you through Employment Insurance in Canadian social benefit systems and provide some guidance on how to search on the website and where to apply.

EI in BC
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7 Common types of EI (Employment Insurance)

Regular Benefit

Regular Employment insurance is designed for workers that lose their jobs or can’t find a job but have no fault of their own. Workers in Canada can apply as soon as they stop working. Workers who were employed in insurable employment, lost jobs with no fault of their own, are affected by natural disasters, have been unemployed and without work pay for at least 7 days in the last 52 weeks, capable of working each day, and are actively seeking for a job can qualify for EI benefit. For more information on Eligibility. Eligibility doesn’t include workers voluntarily leaving the job, being dismissed for misconduct, being unemployed because of participating in labour disputes, leave with compensation. The exact amount of EI benefit can vary depending on the job and insurable employment hours. Usually, the basic rate for EI benefit is 55% of their average earnings, it could be up to the maximum amount. From January, the government has updated the maximum insurable yearly earnings to $56300, which means skilled workers can receive a maximum amount of $595 every week. For detailed information on how much EI benefit is.

Sickness benefits

According to the Government of Canada, sickness benefits can provide up to 15 weeks of financial assistance for workers who are not able to work due to medical reasons. Like regular benefits, workers may receive 55% of average earnings and the maximum pay could be $595 per week. Sickness benefits require a medical certificate or proof that you are not able to work, which can include illness, injuries, quarantine, etc. Some employers may provide their own sick leave insurance, which EI benefits may not apply. Long-term or permanent disability may have a different benefit plan, Canada Pension Plan disability can provide a monthly benefit for disabled workers aged under 65, and for age 60 to 65, workers can apply for CPP post-retirement disability benefit. When you receive a disability benefit, the government of Canada also provides your dependent children a monthly payment called CPP Children’s Benefit for children under the age of 18 or between 18 to 25 and full-time at a recognized school or university.

The requirement for sickness benefit is workers are unable to work due to medical reasons, regular weekly earnings from work are reduced by more than 40% for at least 1 week, and accumulated 420 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the claim. Moreover, medical certificates have to be signed by a medical practitioner who can be a medical doctor, chiropractor, optometrist, psychologist, dentist, midwife, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. The Government of Canada just announced between September 26, 2021, and November 20, 2021, workers who apply for sickness benefits can at least receive $300 per week before tax. For more information on how much you can receive for sickness benefits

EI in BC
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Maternity and parental benefits

Another important benefit of EI is for maternity or parental leave workers. In general, Employment Insurance maternity, and parental benefits are for workers who leave work because they are pregnant or have recently given birth and parents who are away from work because they have to take care of their newly born or newly adopted children. For standard parental benefits, new parents can receive benefits up to 40 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits, and the benefit rate is usually 55%, weekly maximum is $595. Extended parental benefits are up to 69 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits, and the benefit rate is 33% with a maximum weekly payment of $357. Usually, parental benefits are followed by maternity benefits.

Maternity benefits are provided by the Government of Canada for the person giving birth. Usually, the government will grant benefits up to 15 weeks with a 55% benefit rate and maximum weekly pay of $595. However, Quebec has different conditions for Employment Insurance called Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. Requirements for maternity and parental benefits are people who apply for this benefit need to fulfill accumulated 420 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before applying for the claim.

Moreover, because of the different situations of maternity leave, there might be some special circumstances for maternity benefits. Changing the planned number of weeks for the benefits is allowed and for non-consecutive parental leave, workers need to submit an application. If complications happened during pregnancy, workers may need to apply for sickness benefits, same applied to miscarriages, termination, or stillbirth. Surrogacy is eligible for maternity benefits but not eligible for parental benefits. Death of a child or health complications for a child may be eligible for other benefits. If you are a member of the Canadian Forces, you may be able to extend parental benefits due to interruption of military requirements. For more information on special circumstances.

Caregiving benefits and leave

Employment Insurance for caregivers means when workers are away from work because they need to care for or support a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care. The Government of Canada is providing 55% of workers’ earnings benefit and maximum could receive $595 per week. Caregivers are family members or someone like family providing care to the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life- care. There are several types of caregiving benefits: Family caregiver benefits for children, family caregiver benefits for adults, and compassionate care benefits. The condition for family caregiver benefit for children is a person can receive benefit up to 35 weeks while providing care for a critically ill or injured person under 18. For family caregiver benefits for adults, benefits can be granted up to 15 weeks when you are providing care to a critically ill or injured person 18 or over. Compassionate care benefits are payable up to 26 weeks for those who are providing care to a person of any age and in need of end-of-life care.

The definition of a critically ill or injured person is when a person’s life is at risk and needs the care or support of at least 1 caregiver and the condition must be recognized by a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner. End-of-life care is defined as someone providing care to a person who has a serious medical condition with a risk of death within 26 weeks (6 months) and this person requires at least 1 caregiver. Family members recognized as a caregiver include immediate family or relatives. Workers who apply for caregiving benefits have to fulfill an accumulated 420 insured hours of work requirement. More information on Caregiving Benefits and leave.

EI in BC
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Benefits for self-employed

Self-employed benefits is a special one in Employment Insurance. When an owner of a company or someone who holds more than 40% of a corporation’s share can be qualified for self-employed benefits. Also, this program is rather special, you can receive benefits as early as 12 months after registering. When an owner leaves work to take care of themselves, their family members, or children, the government may grant benefits of up to 55% of the earnings, and a maximum of $595 per week.

Conditions for applying for self-employed EI benefits are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, registered self-employed program for at least 12 months, have decreased the amount of time one spends on business by more than 40% for at least one week,  and have earned a minimum amount of self-employed earnings between Jan 1 and Dec 31 of the year before applying for benefits. To apply for the self-employed program, you will need to register online and pay EI premiums. In general, in 2021, owners need to pay $1.58 in EI premiums for every $100 they earn, and the most you can pay is $889.54. If you are an owner and employee at the same time, you are also eligible for employment insurance. For more information on how to withdraw your EI benefit.

Benefits for Canadians living abroad

There are 6 different categories of benefits on the Government of Canada website: Employment Insurance and workers and residents outside Canada, Taxation for Canadians traveling, living or working outside Canada, Lived or Living Outside Canada-Pension and Benefits, Receiving payment of Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan pensions and benefits outside Canada, Taxes on Pension and Benefits for those outside Canada, and Living abroad. Each one has different requirements and different Employment Insurance amounts depending on different programs. To find out your benefits: Benefits for Canadians living abroad.

Fishing benefits

The fishing industry is a unique industry in Canada, it is seasonal and unstable. Employment Insurance for the fishing industry is depending on earnings instead of insurable employment hours. Also, in Canada, the tax calculation for the fishing industry is rather more complicated than other occupations, so the requirement for applying to fishing benefits is different. The qualifying period for fishing employment hours is no earlier than the week of March 1 for the summer fishing benefits period. For winter fishing benefits, it can’t start earlier than September 1. For detailed fishing Employment Insurance Benefits qualifications.

How to apply for EI

First, you need your basic information ready for applying for EI benefits. SIN number, the last name of your one parent, your immigration status, addresses, banking information, dates of employment, detailed facts about your last employment, earnings, etc. Now EI benefits can be applied through an online portal on Service Canada. Moreover, a record of employment is also important for applying for EI, you can either submit electronic ROEs or paper ROEs.

EI in BC
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EI training and education

In British Columbia, the Government of BC provided a variety of government-funded training programs for those who are unable to work and low-skilled workers. Wo rkBC is the official government organization that helps British Columbians find their career and provide financial assistance. WorkBC has a funding training program called Employment Services (ES) aimed to help unemployed workers gain skills and find a job again. For WorkBC’s Apprentice services, there are two parts to gain financial assistance from the Government. Part 1 Employment Insurance benefits, and part 2 WorkBC Apprentice Services Financial Support which is managed by the Ministry of Social Department and Poverty Reduction, to support in-school training. WorkBC may provide funding for those who don’t have skills to enroll in training programs and assist them to start a new job. To see if you are eligible: Apprentice Services.

In Create Career College, we fully support students who are sponsored by WorkBc and Employment Insurance claimants. Our goal is to help students find their careers and provide the highest quality of training programs and real-world practice. Our Hospitality Management diploma programs with Co-op guarantee students’ employment after only 48 weeks of lectures. We are happy to accept financial aid students to join our school and build a future career together.