Notice on visiting Service Canada offices if you are sick: 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 the services online.
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.
Who qualifies for EI?
Whether you qualify for EI will still depend on your specific situation, such as regional rate of employment, and the number of hours worked in the last 52 weeks. The government recommends people apply as soon as possible to find out if they qualify; waiting more than four weeks after your last day of work means you could lose access to those benefits.
To receive regular EI, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, including lay-offs. EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. Under Wednesday’s changes, the one-week waiting period for sickness benefits will be removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim.
If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week.
How do I apply?
Applicants usually need a medical certificate along with records of employment, though the new rules allow quarantined workers to apply without the former. If you can’t apply because you are quarantined, you can also file for EI sickness benefits later and have the claim backdated.
To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website. Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government’s toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742.
It is also possible to apply in person at a Service Canada office, though those who are experiencing symptoms, or are in self-isolation or quarantine are instructed not to visit.
If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.
What if I don’t qualify for EI?
The federal aid package also includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks, to those affected by COVID-19. It’s intended for those who don’t qualify for EI, can’t go to work and don’t have paid sick leave.
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 Service Canada to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.
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. Service Canada will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.
- Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
- Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
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 Service Canada services online or by calling 1 800 O-Canada.
The Work-Sharing program is implementing temporary special measures to support employers and employees affected by the downturn in business caused by COVID-19. The new temporary special measures are available to employers impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19. The measures allows for eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed during the temporary downturn in business due to COVID-19. The temporary special measures will:
- extend the Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks
- wave the mandatory waiting period between agreements
- ease the recovery plan requirements
Access the Work-Sharing page to learn more about the program and its requirements.
Access the Work-Sharing temporary special measures page to find out if you are eligible for temporary special measures.