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Employment Insurance

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Can I earn money while I am getting EI?

Yes, you can work while getting EI, but half the amount you earn will be taken off your EI benefits.

This applies as long as you do not earn more than 90% of the average insurable earnings your benefit was based on. Any money you earn above that 90% will be fully taken off your benefits.

The rules about this have changed over time. Under the old rules you could earn up to $75 a week or 40% of your weekly benefit, whichever was more. Any earnings above that were fully deducted from your benefit payment.

If the amount you earn while on EI is small, you should call Service Canada to see if the old rules might be better for you. If you decide to use the old rules, you cannot change back to the new rules again.

"Average insurable earnings" is the amount EI considers you were making before you lost your job. For more information, see How much will I get?

If your earnings are the same as, or more than, your average insurable earnings, your EI benefit for that week will be zero. This means that your EI benefit can never make your total income in any week go higher than your average insurable earnings.

Also, when you work a full work week, you will not get any benefits for that week, no matter how little you earn.

You must report all of your earnings in your reports. If you are caught not reporting all of your earnings, the whole amount you earned will be taken off your benefits. You will probably also get other penalties. See What happens if I give information that is not true for more information.