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EI (Employment Insurance) discussion thread

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lithium_09 wrote:
Oct 27th, 2011 6:07 pm
I will be leaving my job to go back to school for a year after working full time for 4 years. Since I can't demonstrate that I'm able to work, I assume I can't receive EI benefits while in school. However, when I graduate, I may not have a job right away. Am I eligible for EI in the time period after I graduate but before I secure my new job?

Nope, quitting to attend school is a personal choice, so there is no just cause. And don't try to lie, people have been caught and they have to pay back all benefits plus penalties. ;)

Besides, when you apply after graduating, you will have 0 insurable hours in the most recent 52 weeks, so a claim will not be established in the first place.
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Oct 26, 2011
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AJAX
hello there,

Had a quick question. I worked at one job for almost 1 year, but i quit because I found another job which paid a little better. The new job I worked at for only 1 month because I quit. The reason being is I felt overwhelmed by the job (i felt it was too much work and that i wasnt capable of doing the job). It has been 2 weeks now that I have been at home unemployed. Would I qualify for EI benefits if i applied?
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ASM216 wrote:
Oct 27th, 2011 8:25 pm
hello there,

Had a quick question. I worked at one job for almost 1 year, but i quit because I found another job which paid a little better. The new job I worked at for only 1 month because I quit. The reason being is I felt overwhelmed by the job (i felt it was too much work and that i wasnt capable of doing the job). It has been 2 weeks now that I have been at home unemployed. Would I qualify for EI benefits if i applied?
Unlikely.
Unless your health is negatively affected and your doctor recommended you to quit, your voluntary leaving has no just cause. Simply being unsatisfied with a job does not constitue just cause.
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b166er1337 wrote:
Oct 12th, 2011 4:44 pm
As a formal Service Canada Payment Service Officer and Benefits Officer of several years, I know pretty much about everything regarding Regular EI Benefits. Since there are numerous EI-related threads on RFD, I feel there should be a centralized thread to discuss all things EI related. Feel free to ask about Special Benefits as well; I will do my best to answer all questions.

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

Useful links for EI Benefits:
1) EI Digest: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ents.shtml
2) Appeal decisions favorable to claimants: http://www.ae-ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favour ... _toc.shtml
3) Jurisprudence Index: http://srv130.services.gc.ca/indexjuris ... /case.aspx

update 1: all the links and information provided can be found on Service Canada website and they are publicly accessible.

update 2: links updated

I appreciate you taking the time to help people here! I've posted a question on traveling with EI here (see below). Could you have a look? It's the last post..


travelling-while-ei-752157/6/
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billymadison wrote:
Oct 27th, 2011 10:42 pm
Stumbled upon this thread and am hoping for some advice.

My spouse went on a medical leave of absence from work due to severe stress and depression (diagnosed by her family doctor). Prior to diagnosis, we had booked our ANNUAL trip to visit family in Europe. A month later (after booking our trip), she went on medical leave and filed for EI (under medical/illness - supported by her doctor).

The Government found out she left the country while collecting EI and they sent a letter requesting she respond to a series of questions (why did you leave the country, for what purpose, why didn't you say anything, etc).

The problem with the current EI reporting system is that it is tailored completely for those who file for EI after being laid-off or fired -- not for medical reasons. If you are sick or not well, you shouldn't be 'looking for work' so leaving the country is meaningless. She took that trip as an opportunity to seek reprieve from the stress of her job and, with the help of family, hopefully overcome her depression. Her doctor even recommended she do this!

Anyone have experience with this sort of situation? We are putting a letter together now (along with printed records of ticket purchase date, etc, proving the ticket was booked well before she ever filed for EI). She thought she only had to report if she left the country if she was laid-off or fired (not medical reasons).

If anyone has advice, it would be greatly appreciated

Please refer to Digest 11.6.3 and 11.3.0:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a11_6_3
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a11_3_0
The Act leaves no room for other circumstances that could occur where a person might, for personal reasons or on the recommendation of a physician, have to stay outside the country, even with a medical certificate establishing the inability to work6.
Digest 11.3.0 states "A person who makes a claim for sickness benefits is not only required to demonstrate being unable to work but also to demonstrate that he or she would be otherwise available for work." Unfortunately, your spouse was not otherwise available for work as she was outside of Canada.

Only claimants on paternity and maternity benefits do not have to prove their availability. Those who are on sickness have to prove they're otherwise available for work had it not been for their illness.
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b166er1337 wrote:
Oct 27th, 2011 11:00 pm
Please refer to Digest 11.6.3 and 11.3.0:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a11_6_3
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a11_3_0



Digest 11.3.0 states "A person who makes a claim for sickness benefits is not only required to demonstrate being unable to work but also to demonstrate that he or she would be otherwise available for work." Unfortunately, your spouse was not otherwise available for work as she was outside of Canada.

Only claimants on paternity and maternity benefits do not have to prove their availability. Those who are on sickness have to prove they're otherwise available for work had it not been for their illness.

Thanks for the response!

So, in other words -- she's screwed and is going to be penalized, even though she was still employed (her position was on hold until she returned healthy). What sort of penalty is she likely to receive for this?

I am shocked that they would take this sort of action -- especially when we already had paid for her flight far in advance of the EI filing. I would have taken a huge hit (no refund) had she not gone.

*sigh*
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Oh, and yeah, she's unemployed now while she battles depression (and not collecting any government hand-outs). So now she will have to pay back benefits (potentially) when she has 0 dollars. Nice. That's going to do wonders for her depression progress.
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billymadison wrote:
Oct 27th, 2011 11:15 pm
Oh, and yeah, she's unemployed now while she battles depression (and not collecting any government hand-outs). So now she will have to pay back benefits (potentially) when she has 0 dollars. Nice. That's going to do wonders for her depression progress.

Unfortunately we don't make the rules. This program is not perfect by any means. However, if you respond the inquiry honestly, I don't think your spouse will be penalized (just pay back the benefits she received while she was away). You can arrange payment options with the investigator. From my experiences, an overpayment will be established and 50% of future payments will be deducted until the overpayment is cleared. Your spouse's scenario is one of those honest mistakes people make while on EI claims.
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FreelanceWolf wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2011 9:43 pm
Hello. Sorry to bother you but I am in a bit of trouble now, and will probably be in a lot of trouble later.

I was under the impression that if you are on the company's payroll, you don't get EI so I didn't apply for EI (I was laid off) until after my 2 month non-working notice ended. The website is pretty vague on the matter. It says I should apply for EI as soon as you stop working. Does this mean when you're not physically working anymore or after the non-working notice. I got severance on the last day of the non-working notice.

I'm afraid now that I will not get my benefits because I was stupid not to apply sooner and if I don't get EI I'm literally screwed unless I happen to land a job by then :(

While it is true EI benefits are not paybale while you are receiving severance/pay in lieu of notice, it is best to apply for EI benefits right away. If you receive salary continuance (where as you continue to receive salary and all the company benefits, such as medical and dental insurance), apply when your salary continuance ends. The day that your stops receiving salary continuance is your last day of work.

In your case, apply now. As long as the last day paid (block 11 on the record of employment) is within 28 days of the application date, you are good to go.
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Lets say you're entitled to 9 months of EI. Two months in, you get a 3 month work contract, report your income and therefore collect no EI during those three months. What happens then?

Does that three months get added on to your EI term once you finish your contract or are any benefits owed to you during the term of the contract basically lost?
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FrogPrince wrote:
Nov 4th, 2011 11:22 am
Lets say you're entitled to 9 months of EI. Two months in, you get a 3 month work contract, report your income and therefore collect no EI during those three months. What happens then?

Does that three months get added on to your EI term once you finish your contract or are any benefits owed to you during the term of the contract basically lost?

In a typical claim, you have 52 weeks to collect your entitlement (aka benefit period). Only in special circumstances can a benefit period be extended.

In your case, the BP won't be extended. However, the hours/earnings you worked for this 3-month contract will be used to calculate a new claim once your current claim expires. Assuming you are working 40 hour week, 13 weeks x 40 = 520 hours, which is sufficient to qualify for a new claim in some regions with high unemployment rate.
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Jul 24, 2010
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worked at company "A" for 8 years but was laid off due to company restructuring.
hired at company "B" early october. I specifically asked in my interview my hours, was told 8-430... went into work the first day for training, at the end of the day was told my hours were 6am till 230. I had to leave my place at 5am to be onsite for 6. I am a single father and this was ridiculously hard to deal with finding arrangements dailys for my daughter. I tried for 2 weeks but just could not do it anymore so i quit. I feel they should of told me these hours during the interview when i asked..
how likely am i to get approved for EI?
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b166er1337 wrote:
Nov 4th, 2011 11:34 am
In a typical claim, you have 52 weeks to collect your entitlement (aka benefit period). Only in special circumstances can a benefit period be extended.

In your case, the BP won't be extended. However, the hours/earnings you worked for this 3-month contract will be used to calculate a new claim once your current claim expires. Assuming you are working 40 hour week, 13 weeks x 40 = 520 hours, which is sufficient to qualify for a new claim in some regions with high unemployment rate.

Thanks for the reply.

So basically, the money I was supposed to get during this 3 month contract is lost to me. However, I might be eligible for another EI claim after the current one expires based on the hours I work during this contract.
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hellodestiny wrote:
Nov 4th, 2011 11:41 am
worked at company "A" for 8 years but was laid off due to company restructuring.
hired at company "B" early october. I specifically asked in my interview my hours, was told 8-430... went into work the first day for training, at the end of the day was told my hours were 6am till 230. I had to leave my place at 5am to be onsite for 6. I am a single father and this was ridiculously hard to deal with finding arrangements dailys for my daughter. I tried for 2 weeks but just could not do it anymore so i quit. I feel they should of told me these hours during the interview when i asked..
how likely am i to get approved for EI?

Refer to Digest 6.8.1 reason 38 http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... unilateral
Working Conditions–Significant Unilateral Changes (Duties, Hours of Work, Wages, Responsibilities)

Raison d'être:
protect employees from significant changes made by the employer to their contract of employment;

Reference:
EIA 29(c)(vii), (viii), (ix);

Reasonable Alternative:
resort to the union;
use the provisions of the collective agreement;
explore the possibility of recourse under employment standards statutes.

Just Cause:
conditions of employment are greatly inferior;
the number of hours are excessive;
unreasonable addition of duties or responsibilities;
reduction is not justifiable;
indications point to a constructive dismissal;
no other reasonable alternative to quitting.
Also refer to reason 18: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ation_care
Obligation to Care for a Child or a Member of the Immediate Family

Raison d'être:
situation is outside the control of the claimant;
situation of a child due to minor age or for other reason, or an immediate family member, requires care;

Reference:
EIA 29(c)(v);

Reasonable Alternative:
seek help from relatives, friends or neighbours;
try to engage the services of another person on a regular basis;
try to change the work schedule;
consider sharing responsibilities with other family members;
request leave from the employer.

Just Cause:
presence required rather than a deliberate personal choice;
no reasonable alternative but to leave;
recourse exhausted.
Before quitting a job, you have to exhaust all reasonable alternatives. In your particular case, the reasonable alternative is to request the employer to honor their original commitment. Also you've tried to find arrangement for the childcare, but things just don't work out. You have a strong case, and I would have approved your claim easily if I'm the adjudicator.


FrogPrince wrote:
Nov 4th, 2011 11:50 am
Thanks for the reply.

So basically, the money I was supposed to get during this 3 month contract is lost to me. However, I might be eligible for another EI claim after the current one expires based on the hours I work during this contract.

That's another way of looking at it.
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Nov 4, 2011
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Hi b166er1337,

I have a situation and would like to hear your opinion or advise. There is a lot I can say but wil try to be as brief as possible.
I want to and need to leave my current job of 5 years. I have been in treatment for anxiety, stress and depression for about a year and a half… , psychiatrist, therapy, lots of medication… My symptoms went as far as having involuntary body movements, blurry vision, inability to concentrate, having panic attacks, feelings of hopelessness, not feeling awake for several days at a time, and other more common symptoms.

This condition I have developed is because of my boss. He is very abusive and mentally unstable. The previous three business partners (my real, original bosses who hired me) all left the business because they couldn't stand him and they know he is an awful person. The 10 out of the 12 people that have worked there all concluded that he is sick and that he might have a narcissist, bipolar and personality disorder. Always lying and doing thing that are just simply humiliating and enraging or doing annoying things like not paying you the overtime when you have to do them, arriving at the office early to move the desks so that our monitors face him, telling me that the law doesn't allow us to have lunch but after 3-4 pm or standing behind someone less than a metre away staring at him work for as far as 3.5 hours (we clocked him one day and he did close to 5 hours in total with 3.5 hours without moving to even pick up the phone or go the washroom. It's really quite amazing). All my coworkers have been only stayed from 3 months to 2 years and they have all been pretty quiet and avoid showing their unhappiness during their time with us. Me on the other hand, although extremely patient, I don't like to see abuse and dishonesty so I do express my views and feelings to my boss. Because of this, since like 2 years ago my boss and I have developed an awful relationship with lots of arguments and fights. I do defend myself which makes him lose his mind and get crazy with insults. On top of this, he loves to smile at me when people are around, but when they are gone he starts insulting me, threatening me, telling me he'll fire me, that if a company ever calls to ask about me prior to hiring me that he'll f**k me up and say I am an a-hole. He does a lot behind people's back.

Although I do try hard to stand all this, even with my condition which is costing me lot in medication and treatment, I have lost my temper at times. I admit it. But it is not because I am a bad employee, but because it's sometimes too much to take. He might also still have emails where we both exchanged some harsh criticism. Another thing that he keeps on repeating as thing he can use against me and a previous coworker who already left is that we had a tendency to be late. This is in part true. Last year the business partners left the business, my boss didn't know how to run the business and we saw our hours reduced due to the lack of business he was bringing in. On average we probably did around 4-5 hours a day. This means, 9-1pm. He often texted us at midnight telling us not to go to work the next day. On one occasion we went 9 days straight without working receiving texts each of this 9 days from midnight to even 6 am telling us to take the day off. Due to all this we all slowly started to develop this thing about not seeing the point in arriving early if we knew we were going to go back home at noon. But didn't complain about it last year. Aside from this, due to my medication I had trouble waking up in the morning and it did sometimes affected my punctuality. My psychiatrists struggled a lot to find the right combination of meds that wouldn't affect my sleep. My boss now currently complains about this, when this issues were from last year, but he still says I am never punctual even though I am more punctual than my new coworkers that started this year. He says he'll always use this against me.

Everybody has struggled with him and had problems and felt a lot of frustration… including the other owners who left their own business. He's always been "alone" in the business because no one has gotten along with him. Now he just hired one of his buddies, and this guys always backs him up. For the first time he has someone on his side which is very dangerous. Whatever my boss decides to do…, to leave me or my coworkers with a bad reference or trying to make things up to affect me or my coworkers in case we decide to leave, get EI, etc… His buddy will back him up and be his "eye witness". He also has a friend who is a "lawyer" who will back him up.

And so, my psychiatrists, and previous bosses who used to run the business (whom I have a good relationship still now) all have advised me to leave. They are right. My psychiatrists urge me to go on leave and go on EI if I want to get better. I just started looking into quitting this job and getting EI. I got some information from the ministry of labour, and they told me that it's ok if I "resign" and apply for Medical EI the day after I finally leave. This is 100% legit in my case. I have medical records, doctors that support me, and endless piles of receipts showing the 1.5 years of medication. Wouldn't be surprised if I have spent over 3000 grand on my health.
The people at the ministry of labour also told me that If I "voluntarily" quit and apply for Medical EI, I can switch to regular EI once the medical is over.

I have now notified my employer that I might be leaving and he already knew a little about my medical condition.
Just tonight… an hour ago, I got a call from my boss telling me that "if I quit and try to go on medical EI", that when he gets the call asking about me and the reason why I left the job, that he'll tell the government or whoever, that I am a bad employee, that I left because I don't like him and that he won't admit or rectify that I did leave because of my medical condition, and that my ROE (record of employment) won't say anything about a medical condition. He also said that he could take legal action against me if I ever work for a client of us that loves me… but then he was cool with a coworker taking a job offer from another of our clients.


So that's my brief story. What advice can you give me?

I am trying to be professional here and end things well, and quite frankly I don't want any disputes or trouble with my employer.
I'd like to leave with a "thank you and best of luck" and be able to get the EI I deserve. I got my medical paper signed and ready. I am at this stage suffering due to my condition.


• Can I quit, be able to go on medical EI? And after that possibly be able to switch to regular EI?
• Can my employer affect my application for EI, if the ROE doesn't say anything about medical problems, if he denies them and if he says that I am not leaving because of medical reasons?
• What kind of chances do I have to succeed with my application for Medical EI and later switch to regular EI if I can show that I am ready to start looking for a job?
• Could I experience any difficulties with the application process for both medical EI and regular EI? if so what kind of difficulties?


Thank you in advance for your help.

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