Calculating if, how much, and how long you qualify for EI regular benefit

24 March 2020

This post is an addition to our previous post on qualifying for EI to explain EI qualification criteria, and how rates and length of benefits are calculated

We hope these questions and answers help explain the process….

What do I need to qualify for EI regular benefit?

All hours must have been worked during the qualifying period

• Qualifying period is the shorter of either:

        o Either the 52 weeks before the date you start making your claim.

        o Or (if you have received EI before) the time between the date the previous EI claim started and the date you start making this claim.

• The number of hours you need to have worked depends on the (pre-COVID-19) unemployment rate in your area and varies between 420 and 700

How much EI benefit can I receive?

About 55% of your average earnings, to a maximum of $573/week

• Your average earnings is calculated based on the best number of weeks in your qualifying period. The number of weeks used to calculate the average depends on the unemployment rate in your region.

How long could I receive EI benefits for?

You can receive EI for 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time you start your claim.