Support for workers and unemployment/EI resources

What support has the government announced for workers?

Access to Employment Insurance 

  •  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#improved_access_employment_insurance
  • 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.
  • If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.
  • 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 the department. This will allow them 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. We 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 our services online or by calling 1 800 O-Canada.

Apply for Employment Insurance

The new Emergency Response  Benefit

  •  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit
  • The government  will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
    • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
    • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
    • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
    • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, beginning the first week of April.

Information for Alberta employees and employers