Navigating EI benefits around COVID-19

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Anyone looking to apply for the new EI benefits, can visit the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website and follow the five steps.
An image of the process for applying to EI. (Employment and Social Development Canada)
An image of the process for applying to EI. (Employment and Social Development Canada)


  1. Gather supporting documents – You must have your records of employment (ROEs), but a medical certificate won’t be necessary for those who have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine. Service Canada advises people to apply right away even if you don’t have these documents as you can send them in later.
  2. Complete the online application – This includes making sure you have: the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks, the dates employed with each employer and the reasons you’re no longer employed, and personal information including mailing address, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and banking information.
  3. Provide supporting documents – You can visit My Service Canada Account (MSCA) to view ROEs that have been issued to you by past and current employers.
  4. Receive access code by mail – Service Canada will mail you a benefit statement, which includes a 4-digit access code. You need this code and your SIN to get updates about your application and to complete biweekly reports.
  5. Review your application status

What if I don’t qualify for EI?

The economic aid package includes the emergency care benefit, which would give up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks to those who don’t qualify for EI but have been sickened by COVID-19, are in quarantine or have to stay at home to care for children or other family members.

Canadians can apply for the emergency care benefit by going to the Canada Revenue Agency MyAccount secure portal, or through a My Service Canada account, or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been announced. Registration for this benefit is not yet open.

Find more information through the links below: