EI for the self employed

Canada now has employment insurance for self-employed

Starting January 2011, self-employed Canadians will be able to claim and receive Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits. This is not a benefit for a lack of work such as being laid-off or fired as this would not apply to a self-employed person.

There are four types of EI special benefits:

  • Maternity benefits;
  • Parental benefits;
  • Sickness benefits; and
  • Compassionate care benefits.


Who is eligible?
The criteria for eligibility is:

  • Self-employed; and
  • You are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada; and
  • You have entered into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission through Service Canada.


How do you apply?
You can enter into an agreement the Commission through Service Canada starting on January 31, 2010.

You will have to register online using My Service Canada Account anywhere you can access the Internet, including at a library or a Service Canada Centre near you.

When you enter into this agreement, you confirm your interest in participating in this program and in paying EI premiums on your self-employment income.

If you have a My Service Canada Account, you can register using your existing user code and password. If you have not previously used the My Service Canada Account, you can apply at any time for a personal access code on the My Service Canada Account Web page. Once you apply, it will take about 10 days to receive your personal access code in the mail. We have provided the links for these sites below.

Deadlines
If you are self-employed you can enter into an agreement starting January 31, 2010.

If you get set up between January 31, 2010 and April 1, 2010, you will be able to make a claim for EI special benefits as early as January 2011. Anyone who enters into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission after April 1, 2010, has to wait 12 months before making a claim for EI special benefits.

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