The Coronavirus disease, more commonly known as COVID-19, has become a full-blown pandemic, disrupting all sectors of society. There have been a total of 82,420 confirmed cases in Canada alone, with a death toll trailing at 6,245.
The massive exponential growth of the infection rates has caused many businesses to shut down—causing the economy to take a massive nosedive. The Canadian Government, to help the citizens at their time of need, has made provisions to make the Employment Insurance (EI) more accessible to those affected by COVID-19. While it may not resolve the pandemic, this token gesture meant that everyone in Canada can breathe a little easier despite the raging virus crawling our streets.
To better understand how the EI can benefit employees affected by COVID-19, here are a few guidelines on how to avail the benefit.
Who Can Avail the EI?
Those whose employers are insured by EI and have worked the required number of hours in the last 52 weeks can benefit from it. Additionally, those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own (particularly due to sickness or circumstances regarding COVID-19) or have been without pay for at least seven consecutive days can claim it.
The EI also extends to permanent residents, work permit holders, and international students, not just the Canadian citizens. Through this, the blow that COVID-19 dealt with the Canadian economy will be nullified somewhat.
How Can You Apply?
Applying for the EI is quite simple and only requires the follow-through of three simple steps.
- Collate the documentation
Some basic documentation is necessary to apply for the EI. These requirements would include your record of employment (ROE) and a medical certificate. Your employers for this year should have submitted a record that you can see within your My Service Canada account.
While the ROE is generally necessary, it is recommended to apply as soon as you lose employment even if you haven’t received your ROE. The ROE can wait for submission later on. For EI claims beginning March 15, 2020, a medical certificate is no longer necessary to apply. Take note, however, that if you have applied for it recently, then do not re-apply. Your application should already be undergoing an assessment to check if you are eligible for the CERB.
- Fill the online application
Fill out an online application here. Make sure all details are filled out to ensure proper processing of your request. Again, if you can’t recall the employers you’ve had within the past 52 weeks, then check your My Service Canada account for verification.
- Check and Verify the Codes
The codes should be sent to you via e-mail—check regularly to confirm receipt. Once the access codes are received, then track your claim status online. While it is entirely possible to visit a Service Canada center to run this whole process, the pandemic has caused them to recommend online applications for safer transactions.
The EI can be a huge benefit for you and your family, especially with the tumultuous times surrounding us. If you’ve lost your job recently due to the virus, then apply for the EI as soon as possible to claim the benefits it holds for you.
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