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Employment Insurance Act (S.C. 1996, c. 23)

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-09-25. Previous Versions

PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)

Payment of Benefits (continued)

Marginal note:Waiting period

 A claimant is not entitled to be paid benefits in a benefit period until, after the beginning of the benefit period, the claimant has served a waiting period of one week of unemployment for which benefits would otherwise be payable.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 13
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 213

Marginal note:Presumption

  •  (1) For the purpose of determining a claimant’s waiting period, a week of unemployment is deemed to be a week of unemployment for which benefits would otherwise be payable if — were the week not the waiting period — the amount of the benefits that would have been payable in that week after deducting the following would be greater than zero:

    • (a) the amount of the earnings, if any, that is greater than $50, if the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits is less than $200; or

    • (b) the amount of the earnings, if any, that is greater than 25% of the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits, if that rate is $200 or more.

  • Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1),

    • (a) in determining the amount of the benefits that would have been payable, the deduction referred to in subsection 19(2) is to be excluded; and

    • (b) a reference to earnings means earnings as determined for the purpose of subsection 19(2).

  • 2018, c. 12, s. 284

Rate of Benefits

Marginal note:Rate of weekly benefits

  •  (1) The rate of weekly benefits payable to a claimant is 55% of their weekly insurable earnings, or 33% of their weekly insurable earnings for the weeks for which the claimant is paid benefits under section 23 in the case where the applicable maximum number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii).

  • Marginal note:Maximum weekly insurable earnings

    (1.1) The maximum weekly insurable earnings is

    • (a) $750 if the claimant’s benefit period begins during the years 1997 to 2000; and

    • (b) if the claimant’s benefit period begins in a subsequent year, the maximum yearly insurable earnings divided by 52.

  • Marginal note:Weekly insurable earnings

    (2) A claimant’s weekly insurable earnings are their insurable earnings in the calculation period divided by the number of weeks determined in accordance with the following table by reference to the applicable regional rate of unemployment.

    TABLE

    Regional Rate of UnemploymentNumber of Weeks
    not more than 6%22
    more than 6% but not more than 7%21
    more than 7% but not more than 8%20
    more than 8% but not more than 9%19
    more than 9% but not more than 10%18
    more than 10% but not more than 11%17
    more than 11% but not more than 12%16
    more than 12% but not more than 13%15
    more than 13%14
  • Marginal note:Insurable earnings

    (3) Insurable earnings in the calculation period are equal to the total of the following amounts established and calculated in accordance with the regulations:

    • (a) the claimant’s insurable earnings during the calculation period including those from insurable employment that has not ended but not including any insurable earnings paid or payable to the claimant by reason of lay-off or separation from employment in the qualifying period; and

    • (b) the insurable earnings paid or payable to the claimant, during the qualifying period, by reason of lay-off or separation from employment.

  • Marginal note:Calculation period

    (4) The calculation period of a claimant is the number of weeks, whether consecutive or not, determined in accordance with the table set out in subsection (2) by reference to the applicable regional rate of unemployment, in the claimant’s qualifying period for which he or she received the highest insurable earnings.

  • (4.1) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 604]

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 14
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 604
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 232

 [Repealed, 2001, c. 5, s. 5]

Marginal note:Rate increase — family supplement

  •  (1) The rate of weekly benefits of a claimant who has one or more dependent children shall be increased by the amount of a family supplement determined in accordance with the regulations if the claimant establishes, in such manner as the Commission may direct, that the claimant meets the prescribed low-income family eligibility criteria.

  • Marginal note:Criteria

    (2) The criteria for low-income family eligibility may include criteria that are the same as or similar to the criteria for receiving a Canada child benefit.

  • Marginal note:Canada child benefit

    (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a Canada child benefit is a deemed overpayment under subdivision a.1 of Division E of Part I of the Income Tax Act.

  • Marginal note:Maximum increase

    (4) The amount of the increase in the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits shall not exceed the prescribed percentage of the claimant’s weekly insurable earnings or, if no percentage is prescribed, 25%.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 16
  • 2016, c. 12, s. 86

Marginal note:Maximum rate of weekly benefits

 The maximum rate of weekly benefits is 55 % of the maximum yearly insurable earnings divided by 52.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 17
  • 2001, c. 5, s. 6

Disentitlement to Benefits

Marginal note:Availability for work, etc.

  •  (1) A claimant is not entitled to be paid benefits for a working day in a benefit period for which the claimant fails to prove that on that day the claimant was

    • (a) capable of and available for work and unable to obtain suitable employment;

    • (b) unable to work because of a prescribed illness, injury or quarantine, and that the claimant would otherwise be available for work; or

    • (c) engaged in jury service.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) A claimant to whom benefits are payable under any of sections 23 to 23.3 is not disentitled under paragraph (1)(b) for failing to prove that he or she would have been available for work were it not for the illness, injury or quarantine.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 18
  • 2012, c. 27, s. 15
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 247
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 233

Deductions from Benefits

Marginal note:Earnings in waiting period

  •  (1) If a claimant has earnings during their waiting period, an amount not exceeding those earnings shall, as prescribed, be deducted from the benefits payable for the first three weeks for which benefits are otherwise payable.

  • Marginal note:Earnings in periods of unemployment

    (2) Subject to subsections (3), (4), 21(3) and 22(5), if the claimant has earnings during any other week of unemployment, there shall be deducted from benefits payable in that week the amount equal to the total of

    • (a) 50% of the earnings that are less than or equivalent to 90% of the claimant’s weekly insurable earnings, and

    • (b) 100% of the earnings that are greater than 90% of the claimant’s weekly insurable earnings.

  • Marginal note:Undeclared earnings

    (3) If the claimant has failed to declare all or some of their earnings to the Commission for a period, determined under the regulations, for which benefits were claimed,

    • (a) the following amount shall be deducted from the benefits paid to the claimant for that period:

      • (i) the amount of the undeclared earnings, if, in the opinion of the Commission, the claimant knowingly failed to declare the earnings, or

      • (ii) in any other case, the amount of the undeclared earnings less the difference between

        • (A) all amounts determined under paragraph (2)(a) or (b) for the period,

        and

        • (B) all amounts that were applied under those paragraphs in respect of the declared earnings for the period; and

    • (b) the deduction shall be made

      • (i) from the benefits paid for a number of weeks that begins with the first week for which the earnings were not declared in that period, and

      • (ii) in such a manner that the amount deducted in each consecutive week equals the claimant’s benefits paid for that week.

  • Marginal note:Earnings and allowances from employment support measures, courses and programs

    (4) Earnings from employment under an employment support measure other than one referred to in paragraph 59(c) or (d) and earnings or allowances payable to a claimant for attending a course or program of instruction or training shall not be deducted under this section except in accordance with the regulations.

Marginal note:Deduction for excluded days in waiting period

  •  (1) If a claimant is not entitled to receive benefits for a working day in their waiting period, an amount equal to 1/5 of their weekly rate of benefits for each such working day shall be deducted from the benefits payable for the three weeks described in subsection 19(1).

  • Marginal note:Deduction for excluded days not in waiting period

    (2) If a claimant is disentitled from receiving benefits for a working day in a week of unemployment that is not in their waiting period, an amount equal to 1/5 of their weekly rate of benefits for each such working day shall be deducted from the benefits payable for that week.

Special Benefits

Marginal note:Illness, etc. — minor attachment claimants

  •  (1) A minor attachment claimant who ceases work because of illness, injury or quarantine is not entitled to receive benefits while unable to work for that reason.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) If benefits are payable to a claimant as a result of illness, injury or quarantine and any allowances, money or other benefits are payable to the claimant for that illness, injury or quarantine under a provincial law, the benefits payable to the claimant under this Act shall be reduced or eliminated as prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Deduction

    (3) Subject to subsection 19(3), if, as a result of illness, injury or quarantine, benefits are payable to a claimant for a week of unemployment, there shall be deducted from those benefits any allowances, money or other benefits payable to the claimant for that week under a plan that covers insured persons employed by an employer and in respect of which the employer’s premium has been reduced in accordance with regulations made under subsection 69(1).

Marginal note:Pregnancy

  •  (1) Despite section 18, but subject to this section, benefits are payable to a major attachment claimant who proves her pregnancy.

  • Marginal note:Weeks for which benefits may be paid

    (2) Subject to section 12, benefits are payable to a major attachment claimant under this section for each week of unemployment in the period

    • (a) that begins the earlier of

      • (i) 12 weeks before the week in which her confinement is expected, and

      • (ii) the week in which her confinement occurs; and

    • (b) that ends 17 weeks after the later of

      • (i) the week in which her confinement is expected, and

      • (ii) the week in which her confinement occurs.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3) When benefits are payable to a claimant for unemployment caused by pregnancy and any allowances, money or other benefits are payable to the claimant for that pregnancy under a provincial law, the benefits payable to the claimant under this Act shall be reduced or eliminated as prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Application of section 18

    (4) For the purposes of section 13, the provisions of section 18 do not apply to the week that immediately precedes the period described in subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Deduction

    (5) Subject to subsection 19(3), if benefits are payable under this section to a major attachment claimant for a week of unemployment, there shall be deducted from those benefits any allowances, money or other benefits payable to the claimant for that week under a plan that covers insured persons employed by an employer and in respect of which the employer’s premium has been reduced in accordance with regulations made under subsection 69(1).

  • Marginal note:Extension of period

    (6) If a child who is born of the claimant’s pregnancy is hospitalized, the period during which benefits are payable under subsection (2) shall be extended by the number of weeks during which the child is hospitalized.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (7) The extended period shall end no later than 52 weeks after the week of confinement.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 22
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 214
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 234
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 287
  • 2021, c. 23, s. 309

Marginal note:Parental benefits

  •  (1) Despite section 18, but subject to this section, benefits are payable to a major attachment claimant to care for one or more new-born children of the claimant or one or more children placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption under the laws governing adoption in the province in which the claimant resides.

  • Marginal note:Election by claimant

    (1.1) In a claim for benefits made under this section, a claimant shall elect the maximum number of weeks referred to in either subparagraph 12(3)(b)(i) or (ii) for which benefits may be paid.

  • Marginal note:Irrevocability of election

    (1.2) The election is irrevocable once benefits are paid under this section or under section 152.05 in respect of the same child or children.

  • Marginal note:First to elect

    (1.3) If two major attachment claimants each make a claim for benefits under this section — or one major attachment claimant makes a claim for benefits under this section and an individual makes a claim for benefits under section 152.05 — in respect of the same child or children, the election made under subsection (1.1) or 152.05(1.1) by the first claimant or individual, as the case may be, to make a claim for benefits under this section or under section 152.05 is binding on both claimants or on the claimant and the individual.

  • Marginal note:Weeks for which benefits may be paid

    (2) Subject to section 12, benefits under this section are payable for each week of unemployment in the period

    • (a) that begins with the week in which the child or children of the claimant are born or the child or children are actually placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption; and

    • (b) that ends 52 weeks after the week in which the child or children of the claimant are born or the child or children are actually placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption.

  • Marginal note:Extension of period — children in hospital

    (3) If the child or children referred to in subsection (1) are hospitalized during the period referred to in subsection (2), the period is extended by the number of weeks during which the child or children are hospitalized.

  • Marginal note:Extension of period — Canadian Forces

    (3.01) If, during the period referred to in subsection (2), the start date of a claimant’s period of parental leave is deferred or a claimant is directed to return to duty from parental leave, in accordance with regulations made under the National Defence Act, the period is extended by the number of weeks during which the claimant’s parental leave is deferred or the claimant is directed to return to duty, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3.1) No extension under subsection (3) or (3.01) may result in the period being longer than 104 weeks.

  • Marginal note:Extension of period — special benefits

    (3.2) The period referred to in subsection (2) is extended so that benefits may be paid up to the applicable maximum number of weeks referred to in subparagraph 12(3)(b)(i) or (ii) if, during a claimant’s benefit period,

    • (a) regular benefits were not paid to the claimant;

    • (b) benefits were paid to the claimant for more than one of the reasons mentioned in paragraphs 12(3)(a) to (f);

    • (c) the maximum total number of weeks established for those reasons is greater than 50; and

    • (d) benefits were paid for the reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b) but for fewer than the applicable maximum number of weeks established for that reason.

  • Marginal note:Extension of period — reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b)

    (3.21) The period referred to in subsection (2) is extended by 26 weeks so that benefits may be paid for the reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b) up to the maximum number of weeks if, during a claimant’s benefit period,

    • (a) benefits were paid to the claimant for that reason and the applicable maximum number of weeks is established in subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii);

    • (b) regular benefits were not paid to the claimant; and

    • (c) benefits were not paid for any reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(a), (c), (d), (e) or (f).

  • Marginal note:Extension of period — regular and special benefits

    (3.22) If, during a claimant’s benefit period, regular benefits were paid, benefits were paid for the reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b) in the case where the applicable maximum number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii), and benefits were paid for fewer than the total number of weeks established under subsection 12(6) as determined under subsection 12(7), the period referred to in subsection (2) is extended for the same number of weeks as the extension established under subsection 10(13.02).

  • (3.23) [Repealed, 2012, c. 27, s. 17]

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3.3) An extension under subsection (3.2) must not result in the period referred to in subsection (2) being longer than the maximum benefit period calculated under subsection 10(15).

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3.4) An extension under one or more of subsections 10(10) to (13.02) must not result in the period referred to in subsection (2) being longer than 104 weeks.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3.5) If benefits are payable to a claimant for the reasons set out in this section and any allowances, money or other benefits are payable to the claimant for the same reasons under a provincial law, the benefits payable to the claimant under this Act are to be reduced or eliminated as prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Division of weeks of benefits

    (4) If two major attachment claimants each make a claim for benefits under this section — or if one major attachment claimant makes a claim for benefits under this section and an individual makes a claim for benefits under section 152.05 — in respect of the same child or children, the weeks of benefits payable under this section, under section 152.05 or under both those sections may be divided between them up to a maximum of 40, if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection (1.1) or 152.05(1.1) is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(i) or 152.14(1)(b)(i), or up to a maximum of 69, if that number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii) or 152.14(1)(b)(ii). If they cannot agree, the weeks of benefits are to be divided in accordance with the prescribed rules.

  • Marginal note:Maximum number of weeks that can be divided

    (4.1) For greater certainty, if, in respect of the same child or children, a major attachment claimant makes a claim for benefits under this section and an individual makes a claim for benefits under section 152.05, the total number of weeks of benefits payable under this section and section 152.05 that may be divided between them may not exceed

    • (a) 40, if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection (1.1) or 152.05(1.1) is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(i) or 152.14(1)(b)(i); or

    • (b) 69, if that number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii) or 152.14(1)(b)(ii).

  • Marginal note:Maximum number of weeks per claimant

    (4.11) Even if the weeks of benefits payable are divided in accordance with subsections (4) and (4.1), the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid to a claimant is 35 or 61 weeks, in accordance with the election made under subsection (1.1) or 152.05(1.1).

  • Marginal note:Deferral of waiting period

    (5) A major attachment claimant who makes a claim for benefits under this section may have their waiting period deferred until they make another claim for benefits in the same benefit period, otherwise than under section 22 or this section, if

    • (a) the claimant has already made a claim for benefits under section 22 or this section in respect of the same child and has served the waiting period;

    • (b) another major attachment claimant has made a claim for benefits under section 22 or this section in respect of the same child and that other claimant has served or is serving their waiting period;

    • (c) another major attachment claimant is making a claim for benefits under section 22 or this section in respect of the same child at the same time as the claimant and that other claimant elects to serve the waiting period; or

    • (d) the claimant or another major attachment claimant meets the prescribed requirements.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (6) If a major attachment claimant makes a claim under section 22 or this section and an individual makes a claim under section 152.04 or 152.05 in respect of the same child or children and one of them has served or elected to serve their waiting period, then

    • (a) if the major attachment claimant is not the one who served or elected to serve the waiting period, that claimant is not required to serve a waiting period; or

    • (b) if the individual is not the one who served or elected to serve the waiting period, that claimant may have his or her waiting period deferred in accordance with section 152.05.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 23
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 107, c. 14, s. 4
  • 2002, c. 9, s. 14
  • 2003, c. 15, s. 18
  • 2005, c. 30, s. 130
  • 2009, c. 33, s. 7
  • 2010, c. 9, s. 3
  • 2012, c. 27, s. 17
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 235
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 304
  • 2021, c. 23, s. 310
 
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