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Information About Employment Insurance (EI)

What Is Employment Insurance?

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.

Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Important: If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application before contacting Service Canada. This will allow them to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.

How To Apply for EI

All Employment Insurance applications must be submitted online. For more information on how to apply please visit Service Canada’s website, here.

If You've Already Applied For EI

If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. They will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty breathing or you are in self-isolation or quarantine, do not visit or enter any Service Canada office.  As an alternative, you may access our services online or by calling 1 800 O-Canada.

Information courtesy of Service Canada. 

Financial Supports for Individuals 

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Employment Insurance (EI) Existing benefits continue.Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 45 weeks. Apply online, here.
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 15 weeks.One week waiting period waived.No medical certificate required (unless tested positive beyond the quarantine time period) Apply online, here
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) A taxable benefit of $2000 a month (for up to four months) for workers who have lost their income and do not qualify for EI. Apply online, here.
Mortgages (CMHC-insured) CMHC and other mortgage insurers will be applying new measures to help homeowners who may experience financial difficulty. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately Check with your lender for additional information.
Mortgages (non-CMHC) Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. Check with your lender for additional information.
Canada Student Loans effective March 30 a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans was put in place for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment a one-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple, $400 for eligible individuals in May. Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. No application necessary, eligible recipients will receive this payment automatically.
Canada Child Benefit an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. If you are already registered for CCB you will receive this benefit automatically. Otherwise, apply online.
Income tax return The filing due date has been deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. No application necessary.
Registered Retirement Income Funds the required minimum withdrawals from (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. No application necessary.
Emergency Travel Loan Canadians abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada. Call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-613-996-8885, or send an email to CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca
Old Age Security (OAS) The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. Apply online, here.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada. Apply online, here.
Allowance/Allowance for Survivor The Allowance for the Survivor is a benefit available to people aged 60 to 64 who have a low income, who are living in Canada, and whose spouse or common-law partner has died. Apply online, here.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19. Additional information to come. Contact your MLA for further details.
Disability Assistance disability assistance can help you if you need financial or health support. Existing Disability Assistance program continues to be available. See also full list of additional supports here. Apply online, here.
Freeze on rental rates no rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1. Contact the Residential Tenancy Board for more information, or with questions.
Rental supplement the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program gives tenants and landlords temporary support towards rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19. Payments are made directly to the landlords of eligible households. Apply online, here.
BC Student Loans effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No action needed.
BC Hydro bill deferrals, payment plans, as well as crisis funding is available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Emergency Housing existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. Call 2-1-1 or search online.
Climate Action Tax Credit a one-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individuals in an enhanced payment in July. No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return.
For a full list of financial supports available for individuals, please click here.
While our office is closed to the public, we are still working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.