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EI (Employment Insurance) discussion thread

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EI (Employment Insurance) discussion thread

As one of several former Service Canada employees here on RFD, there is a ton of knowledge, experience and wisdom on EI Benefits. The purpose of this is to have one centralized thread to discuss all things EI related. Feel free to ask any EI question; myself and others will do our best to answer it.

Of course, questions about how to cheat the system will be ignored. Ask away.

Useful resources for EI Benefits:
1) EI Digest: http://goo.gl/3O9Ji
2) Appeal decisions favorable to claimants: http://goo.gl/8Tpjg
3) Jurisprudence Index: http://goo.gl/NMU7c
4) NEW rules on how your earnings will affect the weekly EI benefit payment: http://goo.gl/o4FPy

*Important*
If your claim is over 28 days old and you're unable to reach anyone at the Call Centre, try the following two steps:
1) Call 1-866-506-6806 and file a complaint with Office for Client Satisfaction (OCS).
2) If your claim is still not processed, visit your MP's office in person and make a complaint.

** Acknowledgement**
I want to thank clseea, Electricute, Wilmega, OldMarriedGuy, Ipip12, BubbleGuppy and many others for their continuing contribution to this thread.

FAQ
What's the difference between Disqualification and Disentitlement?
Disqualification happens when one quit without just cause, or when one is fired due to misconduct. Disqualification will remain on the claim for the entire duration. To qualify for EI after a disqualification, claimant has to work minimum amount of hours in order establish a new claim. Disentitlement can be temporary or permanent. For example, a claimant gets disentitled when one is unavailable (sick, attending school, out of the country etc). To rescind a disentitlement and begin receiving regular benefits, claimant has to prove their availability. For instance, when they return to Canada, when their health improves or when the school is done.

If I quit without just cause or is fired for misconduct, can I still qualify for EI benefits?
While you are disqualified from regular benefits, you can still receive special benefits providing you meet the criteria. For example, if you punch your boss in the face and is fired, you probably won't get regular benefits. But during the process you broke your hand, then you can get up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits providing that you submit medical documentation.

Disclaimer: all information provided here is for your personal reference only.
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12619 replies
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Mar 16, 2006
1094 posts
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My wife always get those bad news letter from EI about overpayment and so on. The overpayment could be recently or 2 years ago.

My questions are:
What is the best way to find out or to confirm those overpayment are legit and not error from EI?
If it is error made by EI, what is the best way to appeal to the decision?

Thanks!
Jr. Member
Sep 19, 2004
158 posts
12 upvotes
Saskatoon
I've always wondered about the numerous individuals I've met that seem to go on and off employment insurance almost on a regular schedule, and what protocols that Service Canada has to prevent people from doing this? I don't know the employment insurance system really well at all, so Its just something I'm curious about.
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May 15, 2010
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Ohmsford wrote:
Oct 12th, 2011 11:50 pm
I've always wondered about the numerous individuals I've met that seem to go on and off employment insurance almost on a regular schedule, and what protocols that Service Canada has to prevent people from doing this?
There are no protocols to prevent it because it's perfectly legal to go on and off EI as often as you want, as long as you work at least the minimum number of hours in between.
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2k4accord wrote:
Oct 12th, 2011 9:59 pm
My wife always get those bad news letter from EI about overpayment and so on. The overpayment could be recently or 2 years ago.

My questions are:
What is the best way to find out or to confirm those overpayment are legit and not error from EI?
If it is error made by EI, what is the best way to appeal to the decision?

Thanks!

There are several possible causes for the overpayment. For instances, your wife might receive separation monies after her claim is established or there was a penalty placed on her account. Have you called the call centre to inquire about the overpayment? You can request a call back and a PSO will explain to you how the overpayment arise.

Yes, I believed you can appeal the overpayment. If it is indeed a Commission error, then Service Canada will eat it. However, hypothetically speaking, if your wife received a sizable separation monies and failed to declare it, then she is responsible for the ensuing overpayment.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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Sep 21, 2004
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Ohmsford wrote:
Oct 12th, 2011 11:50 pm
I've always wondered about the numerous individuals I've met that seem to go on and off employment insurance almost on a regular schedule, and what protocols that Service Canada has to prevent people from doing this? I don't know the employment insurance system really well at all, so Its just something I'm curious about.

Dilton is correct on this one. As long as you have accumulated sufficient hours and lost the job due to no fault of your own, then you are qualified for benefits.

Some jobs are seasonal, such as construction, fishing, roofing, or school-related. Individuals in these fields do go on EI on a regular basis.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Newbie
Nov 25, 2009
35 posts
3 upvotes
BC
There's a caveat on the above statement.

If I've seen someone with a revolving door history of claims every year (usually seasonal layoff) with a clear pattern of no other work history in their downtime, it demonstrates a lack of job search or desire to become employed instead of waiting to be recalled.

I forward these claims to internal investigations.

That can mean an inconvenience to the claimant, or an in-depth investigation which could uncover things that could lead to bigger issues.

While it's true if you have enough hours you can qualify, it doesn't mean that you're on paid vacation.

Ya feel meh?
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Jul 13, 2009
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b166er1337 wrote:
Oct 13th, 2011 2:07 am
There are several possible causes for the overpayment. For instances, your wife might receive separation monies after her claim is established or there was a penalty placed on her account. Have you called the call centre to inquire about the overpayment? You can request a call back and a PSO will explain to you how the overpayment arise.

Yes, I believed you can appeal the overpayment. If it is indeed a Commission error, then Service Canada will eat it. However, hypothetically speaking, if your wife received a sizable separation monies and failed to declare it, then she is responsible for the ensuing overpayment.

and don't forget overpayments can be paid at a bank! don't show up to a service canada office with $5000 cash and make a CSO count it...and double count it.....and triple count it.....in $20 bills.


Hey OP! Did you get laid off from the whole restructuring of EI Processing Centres? The whole thing about 122 centres to 20 mega processing centres?
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bhrm wrote:
Oct 13th, 2011 3:28 pm
Hey OP! Did you get laid off from the whole restructuring of EI Processing Centres? The whole thing about 122 centres to 20 mega processing centres?

Possibly. :razz:

And just to clarify about these "hub offices", Kitchener office is one of them and it is practically half empty. Walk in any Service Canada processing centres and there are more empty desks than you can imagine. This is why some units in Toronto are still working on school-related claims from July. It's ridiculous that they have returned to work for over a month and yet their EI claim from the summer has still not been processed.

All the decisions to downsize EI processing capacity are politically driven. Tony Clement just admitted that senior executives (those who earn over $100k or 150k) will receive performance bonus pending on how much spending they cut. The easiest way is to reduce the head-counts while sacrificing services provided by the government. But hey, all the money saved here will be used to build brand new prisons and put more people in jail. [/end rant]
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Member
Sep 18, 2011
362 posts
40 upvotes
AURORA
Hey!

I got let go from my job in May of this year with the statement. It stated dismissal. I was worried I wouldnt get EI benefits so i looked for a job and moved out of the place and closer to the GTA.

I still have the letter and I was wondering if i leave my current job, is there any way I can still get EI?? I have been working non stop for 3 different employers since Oct 2005 (one on a casual basis, where I was deducted EI and the other was contractual positions...the job that I got dismissed from had only 1 month left before they terminated me)

I wanted to go on EI to sort everything out and start again cause I rushed into the new Job and distance plus company culture is not what I had in mind.

Can i still get any compensation for the time I had no job between May and June of this year before I got hired again?

Thanks in advance!
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Sep 21, 2004
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Kappa21 wrote:
Oct 13th, 2011 5:53 pm
Hey!

I wanted to go on EI to sort everything out and start again cause I rushed into the new Job and distance plus company culture is not what I had in mind.

Can i still get any compensation for the time I had no job between May and June of this year before I got hired again?

Thanks in advance!

There are two issues here. To answer your first question, you can qualify for EI benefits if you have shown just cause in voluntarily leaving the current job. Unfortunately, being simply unsatisfied with one's job doesn't constitute just cause. There are some exceptions: http://goo.gl/zIZ6L. As the EI Digest states, under these circumstances, one may have just cause in leaving his employment. In your case, if the commute time is excessive, the adjudicating agent may allow the reason for separation. Keep in mind that one-hour commute each way is considered the norm.

The second question is whether you can get "back-pay" if you file late. The official terminology is "Antedate". You have to request an antedate and provide the reason why you delayed filing your application. You have to show "good cause" for the delay. Keep in mind this is different from "just cause". Ignorance of EI Act and Regulations, unfortunately, does not constitute as good cause so your antedate request will most likely be denied.

As for the M-Dismissal from your previous employer, you don't have to worry about it too much. In many instances, an employee is not suitable for a position and is let go due to unsuitability. The ROE would indicate the reason for separation as M - Dismissal, but Service Canada agents will specify that it is "misconduct - not proven".
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Sr. Member
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Aug 8, 2011
697 posts
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SCARBOROUGH
Hey I have been extremely stressed at my job and its causing me to get sick. I have been to doctor more the past month than my entire life time. Is there way to quit and still be eligible for EI ? or am i out of luck ? Employer is also sending me subliminal messages to quit everyone on my team is against me, reduced responsibilities
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If I voluntarily leave my job of several years to go work for a new company, then I get fired from the new company after only a week, do I qualify for EI? In other words do they count the insurable hours from my previous job or only the job I had at the time I was fired?
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thestar99 wrote:
Oct 14th, 2011 11:03 pm
Hey I have been extremely stressed at my job and its causing me to get sick. I have been to doctor more the past month than my entire life time. Is there way to quit and still be eligible for EI ? or am i out of luck ? Employer is also sending me subliminal messages to quit everyone on my team is against me, reduced responsibilities

You can find all the information from EI Digest 6.5.5 http://goo.gl/Uzg5Q. Digest 6.8.1 reason 7 and 8 may also apply to your case. I will post the summary here:
Summary: Working Conditions that Constitute a Danger to Health or Safety

Reasonable Alternatives:

discuss the situation with the employer;
request a transfer to another division;
contact the union;
use the provisions in the collective agreement;
file a complaint under occupational safety and health legislation.

Just Cause:

real danger not normally inherent in the occupation;
no other reasonable alternative;
recourse exhausted;
medical or other certificate confirming that a doctor advised the claimant to quit because the working conditions are a health hazard.
You have to provide a medical note (from a recognized medical practitioner, not from a massage therapist :lol :) which states the work environment is hazardous to your well being and health and therefore it is recommended that you quit. In addition, you have to exhaust all reasonable alternatives, such as requesting a transfer or discuss your issues with the employer and attempt to remedy the situation. Each adjudicator has different criteria so there is no one size fits all.

Having the doctor's note by itself doesn't guarantee that you have just cause, but it will definitely help.

Here is a very useful link for anyone who wants to read the jurisprudence that's favorable to claimants: http://www.ae-ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favour ... lth_safety
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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Dilton wrote:
Oct 14th, 2011 11:50 pm
If I voluntarily leave my job of several years to go work for a new company, then I get fired from the new company after only a week, do I qualify for EI? In other words do they count the insurable hours from my previous job or only the job I had at the time I was fired?

In your case, refer to Digest 6.5.7: http://goo.gl/3Dxe4
The situation described in paragraph 29 (c)(vi) of the Employment Insurance Act assumes three things: "reasonable assurance", "another employment", and the "immediate future".
Since you already have reasonable assurance of new employment in the near future, the hours and earnings from the old job will be used to calculate your claim.

As for being fired after only 1 week on the new job, as long as it is not due to your own fault (such as wilful misconduct), you will be fine. HOWEVER, since you only left your old job for only a week, you have to make an attempt to get your old job back. It is very important. It only applies to people who lost their new jobs soon after they quit their old jobs. Not making any attempt to go back to your old job will raise a question mark in our minds.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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