Unemployment Benefits for Canadian Permanent Residence Holders

As a permanent resident of Canada, you are eligible to avail the unemployment benefits. The unemployment benefits are available to individuals who lose their jobs by none of their faults.

For example, loss of job due to the shortage of works, seasonal or mass layoffs. These unemployed individuals should show that they are willing to work but cannot find a job.

It is advised that you apply for unemployment benefits or insurance as soon as you lose your job. As dragging the applying period beyond 4 weeks will nullify your eligibility to apply for unemployment benefits.

Eligibility to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Here is the eligibility criteria that you need to meet. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you:

  • Were employed in an insurable company
  • Lost your job for none of your own fault
  • Have been without work or pay for last 7 consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • Have worked for required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks before claiming employment benefits
  • Are ready, willing and are actively looking for work

You may not be entitled to unemployment benefits if you:

  • Voluntarily left your job without just cause
  • Were dismissed or terminated for misconduct
  • Are unemployed for involving in labor dispute

You are also not entitled to unemployment benefit if you are confined in jail, penitentiary or any other similar institution.

If you are incarcerated but are later found not guilty, your unemployment benefit period may be extended depending on the number of days you spent in jail.

Number of Hours of Insurable Employment Required to Qualify for Employment Insurance

In order to calculate the benefits, your insurable employment hours are taken into account. You need to accumulate the insurable employment hours during your qualifying period.

The qualifying period is the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your claim.

How Much Money Can You Receive as EI Benefit?

Stating exactly how much you could receive unemployment benefit funds is impossible. A number of factors are taken into consideration before attending an individual’s claim.

For most people, the basic rate for calculating unemployment benefits is 55% of your weekly insurable income and up to a maximum amount. The maximum insurable amount as of now is $51,300 yearly. Calculated, this means you will be receiving $543 per week.

How Long Can You Receive Your EI Benefit?

You can receive your unemployment benefit from 14 weeks to a maximum of 45 weeks. This clearly depends upon the unemployment rates in your region.

Calculation of Your Unemployment Benefits

Your weekly unemployment benefits are calculated as follows:

  • Your total insurable earnings for the required number of best weeks (the weeks in which you made the most income inclusive of tips and commission) is calculated. This is based upon the information as derived from your employment records.
  • The number of best weeks of your employment is determined that corresponds to the rate of unemployment in your region.
  • Your total insurable earnings for your best weeks is divided by the required number of best weeks.
  • The result is then multiplied by 55% to obtain the amount for your weekly benefits

Family Supplements

If a family’s income does not exceed $25,921 per year, the primary earner has a spouse, child, and your spouse receives Canada Child Benefit, you are considered a member of a low-income family. Thus, you may be eligible to receive the EI family supplement.

The family supplement rate depends upon:

  • Your net family income not exceeding $25,921 per year; and
  • The number of children and their ages

Unemployment Benefits are Taxed

All unemployment benefits are taxable and it does not matter what kind of benefit you avail. Federal, provincial or territorial taxes as applicable will be deducted from your EI benefits.

What Do You Need Before Applying for Unemployment Benefit

While applying for Employment Benefit online, you will need the following personal details:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with ‘9’, you will need to provide proof of your immigration or work permit.
  • Your mother’s maiden name
  • Your mailing and residential address along with postal code
  • Your complete banking details including information to sign up for direct deposit, including bank name, branch number and account number
  • Names, addresses, dates of employment and reason for dismissal from your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • A detailed version of your facts regarding employment and unemployment
  • The dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in last 52 weeks

You may also be required to provide additional documents if asked:

  • The salary amount you received for the last week you worked
  • Any other amount you received or will receive

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Canada

To learn if you are eligible for unemployment benefit or Employment Insurance (EI), you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application.

The website will take you through a step-by-step application process and provides instructions on how to complete the form.

What After You Have Applied for Unemployment Benefits?

Once you qualify for availing the Unemployment Benefits, you should be receiving your first payment within first 28 days of the date the application is received. There can be one week for which you will not be paid, this week is generally called the waiting period.

If you are not entitled to unemployment benefits, you will receive a letter or a telephone call explaining why you are not eligible for the unemployment benefit. If you still disagree, you have the right to ask for reconsideration of your form.

After submitting your EI application online, you will receive EI benefit statement. This, however, does not mean that your EI benefit is approved.

Your access code is in the shaded portion of your EI benefit statement and it of 4 digits. You need to have this access code each time you want to obtain information about your benefit claim. Your access code serves the purpose of your identity and maintains the confidentiality of your information.

While you are on an active EI, you must submit reports every two weeks that shows that you are still entitled to receive EI benefits.

An EI benefit claim will end if:

  • You have received all the weeks of benefits; or
  • The payment time-frame for receiving your EI benefits ends
  • You request a termination of your EI benefit claim