How do I apply for unemployment insurance?


It is time to be truly grateful for the internet because applying online for unemployment insurance has never been easier.  How do you apply for unemployment insurance? It is not as complicated as it may seem.

The only glitch will be in getting through to the site. It has been quite busy given the circumstances with COVID-19. We will all make our claims so stressing will not help you. Apply off peak hours has proven to be successful to some.  We have explained the process below – please take note of the temporary passcode they will give you during the process. You will need this passcode if you cannot complete the form in one sitting or if the internet Gods decide to fail.

To find out if you are eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application.

The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

When you apply for Employment Insurance benefits, you will be asked for your email address. If Service Canada needs more information about your claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number by email, asking you to call an agent.


What do I do first?

Head over to the services and benefits site site where you will see a multitude of options. From regular unemployment to maternity to self employed benefits. Choose the one that suits you best.


 Regular benefits: you have lost your job (through no fault of your own) and you are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.

 Fishing benefits: you are a self-employed person engaged in fishing.

 Sickness benefits: you are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine. This option also allows you to receive sickness benefits prior to maternity benefits.

 Maternity benefits: you are pregnant or have recently given birth. This option also allows you to receive maternity followed by parental benefits.

 Parental benefits: you are caring for a newborn or newly adopted child.

 Compassionate Care benefits: you are caring or supporting a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

 Family Caregiver benefits: you are providing care or support to a critically ill family member.


What do I need?

Regular Benefits

It is important to read the following instructions and gather the necessary information. This will help ensure that there are no delays in processing your application.

You will need to provide the following personal information:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN) – if your SIN begins with a 9, you will need to provide proof of your immigration status and work permit;
  • your mother’s maiden name;
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including postal codes (if you do not have a usual place of residence, you must apply in person at your local Service Canada Centre);
  • your complete banking information, including branch/transit number, financial institution name and number, and your account number (as shown on your cheque or bank statement), to have your payments deposited automatically into your bank account using direct deposit;
  • if you are receiving or will receive a pension, you will need to provide the type of pension (e.g. CPP/QPP, insurance, retirement pension from an employer), the start date, amount, and who is paying the pension. If you do not have this information at this time, you will need to provide it to us by calling 1-800-206-7218.

You will need to provide the following employment information:

  • the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all employers you worked for in the last 52 weeks, as well as the dates of employment and the reasons for separation from these employers;
  • your detailed version of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks;
  • if your earnings varied over the last year, you will need to provide the dates (Sunday to Saturday) and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your weekly EI benefit rate;
  • Record(s) of Employment:
    • If your employer(s) submits ROEs electronically to Service Canada, you do not need to request copies from your employer(s), and you do not have to provide copies to Service Canada.
    • If your employer issues ROEs in paper format, you must request all ROEs issued during the last 52 weeks and provide them to Service Canada as soon as possible after you submit your EI application. You must mail us your paper ROEs or drop them off in person at a Service Canada Centre.

Identity Information

You will be deemed to have signed your claim for benefits by providing and submitting:

  • your Social Insurance Number,
  • your date of birth,
  • your mother’s family name at birth

You have to provide your legal name (as indicated on your SIN card/letter). If your SIN card/letter does not reflect your legal name you must update your SIN record.

We will use the information you provided to verify your identity. Any information that does not match the information on your Social Insurance Number application may cause a delay in the processing of your claim.

To retrieve your partially completed application you will need to re-enter your personal information exactly as you first entered it. For example, if you used CAPITAL letters, you will have to use CAPITAL letters again to retrieve your application.

Answers to fields and questions with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

* This is a required questionSocial Insurance Number (without spaces or hyphens)


You will at this point be granted a password that you will want to keep handy in case you cannot complete your application.

This temporary password has been randomly generated. Your temporary password along with the information you completed on the last screen are the key to retrieving your partially-completed application. This temporary password will stay active for a 72 hour period. If you fail to complete your application in a 72 hour period, your application will be deleted and you will be required to start a new application.
Service Canada takes measures to ensure that your electronic transactions with us are secure and your privacy is protected.


You then need to follow the steps to how do i apply for unemployment .



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