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Getting a Master's While on EI

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  • Jul 19th, 2020 10:26 am
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[OP]
Member
Jan 1, 2007
224 posts
39 upvotes
Toronto

Getting a Master's While on EI

I am thinking about going back to school for a master's degree to make myself more marketable. Does anyone have experience with going back to school for a master's degree while on EI? Would I be able to study and still retain EI benefits?
a
17 replies
Deal Guru
Nov 21, 2011
10557 posts
3676 upvotes
epy wrote: I am thinking about going back to school for a master's degree to make myself more marketable. Does anyone have experience with going back to school for a master's degree while on EI? Would I be able to study and still retain EI benefits?
You'd need to maintain your responsibilities with respect to being ready, willing and able to work. Unless your Master's is a part time night course, this likely isn't possible. Your job while on EI is to look for work.
Jr. Member
Sep 21, 2015
152 posts
42 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
I believe they specially ask if you are going to school during EI in the biweekly reports
Newbie
Dec 7, 2014
72 posts
76 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
How long is the Master's program?
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
2396 posts
3693 upvotes
West
You would have to prove you are still looking for work, intended to work at your FTE during your schooling, and would have to apply/take jobs as they come. So if you have no intention to work, you'll be committing fraud, which is generally not a good idea.

Have a look to see if you qualify for student loans/grants instead. Might be a more legitimate way of getting money.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
37171 posts
5169 upvotes
Winnipeg
I was under the impression that you are allowed to take training programs while on EI, that is the whole purpose of improving your skill to get a job.
WTB amazon gc @90%
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
2000 posts
377 upvotes
Toronto
A lot of the masters program require you to do TA and/or RA work, so you will have income during study, and that will reduce your EI.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2016
4653 posts
5840 upvotes
divx wrote: I was under the impression that you are allowed to take training programs while on EI, that is the whole purpose of improving your skill to get a job.
Government/approved training programs and University are 2 different things. Simply cannot be on EI while attending University.
EI for University students is called a student loan.
Sr. Member
Dec 11, 2013
635 posts
569 upvotes
Toronto
KravenHead wrote: Government/approved training programs and University are 2 different things. Simply cannot be on EI while attending University.
EI for University students is called a student loan.
I know someone who went back to finish a comp science degree, had to pay back 150% of benefits received and is going to have a very hard time collecting again.

No student loan is 50% interest, I wouldn't risk it.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2016
4653 posts
5840 upvotes
JFlash20 wrote: I know someone who went back to finish a comp science degree, had to pay back 150% of benefits received and is going to have a very hard time collecting again.

No student loan is 50% interest, I wouldn't risk it.
I almost rather deal w/ the mafia then Revenu Canada. A few years back a chap from RC called trying to squeeze more out of me for monthly student loan payments.
During his "audit" he flat out told me "well thats too much" when told I was spending about 125$ of groceries per week for a family of 4.
I always try to stay calm, composed and respectful but I just lost it. Literally turned into ranting,raving lunatic...
Dont regret it at all. At one point you gotta stand your ground.
Posting what I said would definitely be, as they say..NSFW

Save yourself the headache and avoid dealing w/ Service Canada/Revenue Canada at all cost.. Someone needs to pay for all the money Trudeau is throwing to his friends.. just dont let it be you footing the bill.

Cheers, KH
[OP]
Member
Jan 1, 2007
224 posts
39 upvotes
Toronto
From https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-soc ... Initiative it seems that after Aug 2018, there is a way to take full time training and not being required to work while still retaining benefits with permission from Service Canada and if you are a "long-tenured worker". Does anyone have experience with this?
a
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
6397 posts
5761 upvotes
Most progressive universities (if they're smart) realize that people can't afford to quit their jobs to go back to school. As a result there are many graduate programs that are now available online or part-time to allow students to continue to work full-time especially business programs. OP this means that you should be able to start our masters while on EI as long as you meet the criteria and continue to job search. My advice would be ask directly from the source to get the most accurate info though.
Sr. Member
Dec 11, 2013
635 posts
569 upvotes
Toronto
hierophant wrote: Most progressive universities (if they're smart) realize that people can't afford to quit their jobs to go back to school. As a result there are many graduate programs that are now available online or part-time to allow students to continue to work full-time especially business programs. OP this means that you should be able to start our masters while on EI as long as you meet the criteria and continue to job search. My advice would be ask directly from the source to get the most accurate info though.
Just my opinion, but an online MBA is a waste of time and resources.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2016
4653 posts
5840 upvotes
JFlash20 wrote: Just my opinion, but an online MBA is a waste of time and resources.
That use to be the popular opinion but I feel it slowly changed over the years when major universities started to offer their programs online.
W/ a lot of kids/young adults nowadays opting to work while studying.... online courses will be the norm sooner than later (more convenient, less debt etc)
Also, Covid will have an effect on Universities focusing on online courses too.
Interesting times ahead....

Cheers, KH
Sr. Member
Dec 11, 2013
635 posts
569 upvotes
Toronto
KravenHead wrote: That use to be the popular opinion but I feel it slowly changed over the years when major universities started to offer their programs online.
W/ a lot of kids/young adults nowadays opting to work while studying.... online courses will be the norm sooner than later (more convenient, less debt etc)
Also, Covid will have an effect on Universities focusing on online courses too.
Interesting times ahead....

Cheers, KH
Agreed, but the main reason to take the program the networking it comes with, not the course material. I'd say like 80/20.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2016
4653 posts
5840 upvotes
JFlash20 wrote: Agreed, but the main reason to take the program the networking it comes with, not the course material. I'd say like 80/20.
Goes without saying.. the best part of most courses I took in university were the drinks at the local pub straight afterwards.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 2, 2013
5615 posts
1478 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
I worked in a seasonal industry for several years and we received layoffs in Spring and right before Winter. I'd go to school while I was off work. However, I was in part-time or online studies programs.

EI requires you to be ready and able to work, and actively seeking work. You can technically be a student and still fit this criteria; they are not mutually exclusive.

EI expect you to actively seek work related to your previous occupation and compensation, to some extent depending on factors like how long you've been off for, and availability of alternate employment.

IF they do a random check or audit (which they did to us frequently), they'll send you a written notice to attend a mandatory EI information session, bringing along records of regular job searches. Records include phone numbers and contact information on the employers you applied at. How much of these records they check was unknown - but I recall one sheet I was required to fill out, expected you to had searched for work on a daily basis Monday - Friday.
Accountant (Public Practice)
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 2, 2013
5615 posts
1478 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
JFlash20 wrote: Agreed, but the main reason to take the program the networking it comes with, not the course material. I'd say like 80/20.
Ironically 90% of my work offered over the years was through word of mouth. Not only it was useful for employment, it was useful to find favorable employment. A vouch was very useful to indicate that it was worthwhile. We weren't worried about finding a job; it was more so one that lasted, or was worthwhile taking, and staying at. Being unemployed is often better than being employed in a job you hate, or has no future.

Sometimes having no job is better than a terrible one.

After 7 years in O&G and construction, I went back to school in Accounting (have half a year left of the degree now). This after COVID-19 and my separation with my previous business partner wrecked my finances. Long story short, I went $100-200K into the red YoY from Spring 2019 - Spring 2020 (exact number dependent on how much is legally recoverable).

In order to afford it, I had to file a Division II Proposal to restructure my debts and finances. (I also separated with my business partner) Funny thing was, the insolvency firm asked me to work for them, even not having graduated. This only after meeting me, talking with me, and working with me during the filing and construction of the proposal. An Accounting background was a typical requirement to enter the insolvency field, especially if you wanted to advance to be a restructuring professional or LIT. e.g. To be admitted to the CIRP, you had to have an Accounting degree, a CPA, or a law degree.

Would had loved to take it if I didn't have to relocate to Calgary. I had sent over 700 job applications for accounting, financial, or IT roles otherwise, with only 1 offer.
Accountant (Public Practice)
  • Oilfield & Industrial Services, Environmental Services
  • Road Construction
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Tax & Financial Analysis
  • In the Western Canadian Oilfield since 2013

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