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How to Apply for Unemployment in Toronto

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Canada's Employment Insurance (EI) offers short-term financial relief to Canadians who are unable to work or have lost their jobs and cannot find other work through no fault of their own. Those who cannot work because they are pregnant or are caring for a child or an ailing family member may also be eligible for benefits.


Determine the type of Employment Insurance you want to apply for. In Canada, there are five different types of benefits. The first is Regular Benefits, which are available to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are actively seeking a new job. The second is Maternity or Parental Benefits, which are available to individuals who are pregnant, are adopting a child or caring for a newborn. The third is Sickness Benefits, which are available to individuals who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine. The fourth is Compassionate Care Benefits, which are available to individuals for up to six weeks who are unable to work in order to provide care for a gravely ill family member at risk of dying within 26 weeks. The last type is Fishing Benefits, which are specifically designed to support self-employed fishers who are actively seeking work.

Determine your eligibility. To be eligible for Regular Benefits, you must have been out of work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days and you must have worked the required number of hours based on your geographical region in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. To be eligible for Maternity or Parental Benefits or Sickness Benefits or Compassionate Care Benefits, your regular weekly earnings must have decreased by more than 40 percent and you must have worked 600 insured hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. To be eligible for Fishing Benefits, you need to have earned at least C$2,500 to C$4,200 in a maximum 31-week period before the claim starts.

Gather all the documents you need in order to begin your application. This may include your Social Insurance number, record of employment (ROE) papers, personal identification in the form of a driver's license, passport or birth certificate, bank information and detailed version of facts regarding your last employment.

Apply for EI either online through Service Canada website or in person at your local Service Canada Center.

Serve a two-week unpaid waiting period. This is usually the first two weeks of your claim.

Complete your reports by Internet or telephone. Soon after applying for EI, you will receive your access code in the mail along with the date your first report is due.

Receive your EI payments. If you provided all the necessary information, your first EI payment will be issued within 28 days from when you filed your claim.


You should apply for EI as soon as you stop working. A delay beyond four weeks after your last day of work may result in loss of benefits.


Do not make false statements in your application as they will affect your future EI eligibility.



About the Author

Ci Ci Fan has been a writer, videographer and photojournalist since 2007. She has worked for news media rabble.ca and promotional company Rob N Steal Productions. Fan has been published in magazines such as "Purchasing B2B." She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ryerson University.

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