Applying for EI (Employment Insurance) for Off Duty Status or Lay Off & EI Sickness Benefits

You may have gotten a notice that you are now on Off Duty Status (ODS), or lay-off, here’s
what you need to know.

Even if you are on ODS, you can still apply for EI. Start your application the day you receive
your notice. Do not wait.

You do not need to wait for your employer to issue an ROE, but you will need the last three
pay stubs.

If you need help don’t hesitate to contact your union rep or HR for help.

Here’s what you need to before you start:

• All applications are online.
• For EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:
• your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply
proof of your immigration status and work permit.
• your mother’s maiden name.
• your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
• your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial
institution name, bank branch number, and account number
• names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers
over the last 52 weeks
• your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the
last 52 weeks)
• 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 benefit rate.

If you are reactivating an existing claim:

• the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from
Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
• any other amount you received or will receive (such as vacation pay, severance pay,
pension payments, pay in lieu of notice, and other money)

EI Sickness Benefits – (Page 2)

Please note that the only change that’s been made to EI is to EI sickness benefits, and the work sharing
program, where the one week waiting period is waived and those claiming sickness benefits are
prioritized over others. A medical certificate is not required, but if members can get one, it certainly
makes the process smoother.

Service Canada now has a dedicated line for inquiries on changes to EI sickness benefits: 1-833-381-2725

What is a waiting period and how has it changed?

• A waiting period is a period of time in which an employee does not receive EI Sickness Benefits.
• Normally, there is a one (1) week waiting period for EI Sickness Benefits, in which an employee
would not receive payment. For example, if an employee were under quarantine or self-isolated
for two (2) weeks, they would only receive one (1) week of EI Sickness Benefits.
• The Government has now waived the one (1) week waiting period. This means employees will
now be able to access benefits for their period of absence, up to a maximum of 15 weeks.
Is a doctor’s note required to access EI Sickness Benefits?
• Normally, a medical certificate (signed by a qualified medical professional) is required to access
the benefits.
• As of March 11, 2020, the Government has stated that they are waiving the medical note for
individuals required to go into quarantine by law or by a public-health official.
• Should the quarantine period or self-isolation period be extended, a signed medical certificate
may still be necessary.

What does EI Sickness Benefits provide?

• Financial support for eligible workers who:

 -are unable to work for a medical reason (which now includes being subject to
quarantine or self-isolation);
-have experienced a decrease in regular weekly earnings of more than 40% for one
week; and
-have accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of the

How much can an employee claim and for how long?
• EI Sickness Benefits pay 55% of an employee’s insurable earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per
week, less applicable taxes.
• Employees can claim these benefits for a maximum of 15 weeks.

Service Canada:

• 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
• Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine
• People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical
• People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits (link) due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Download English (PDF)



Government of Canada -Employment Insurance -Services and information
Regular Benefits/ Sickness Benefits


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