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How do I apply for EI benefits?

You need to fill out an application online. You can do this at a Service Canada Centre.

To find the form, go to canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ privacy-notice.

If you are not able to apply online or have trouble with the online form, contact Service Canada at 1-800-622-6232. For TTY, call 1-800-926-9105.

When you apply, you need the following information for all of your jobs in the last 52 weeks:

  • names and addresses of your employers
  • dates you worked for them
  • detailed reasons for why you left

You also need:

  • your Social Insurance Number and another piece of identification with your photo if possible,
  • your banking information so your EI payments can go into your bank account,
  • your mailing address, and
  • the dates and what you were paid for each of your highest-paid weeks in your qualifying period.

    CLEO’s resource Employment Insurance has more about this in the section How much will I get from EI?

You have to sign a statement that says when your baby is due or was born.

If you are adopting, the statement says when the child came to live with you or is coming to live with you. And it gives the name of the adoption agency.

The full list of what you need is part of the online EI application form.

Do I need my Record of Employment?

It is easier to apply for EI if you have your Record of Employment (ROE). You will need an ROE for every employer you worked for in the past 12 months.

If your employer sends your ROE to the government online:

  • they do not have to give you a copy, and
  • you do not need a copy to apply for EI.

But you can get a copy from Service Canada if you want one.

To see your ROE online, you need to have a MyServiceCanada account. You can access your account or set one up at servicecanada.ca.

It is easier to apply for EI with the ROE. But you should apply for EI right away, even if you do not have your ROE yet. You will need proof of your employment, such as pay stubs and T4 slips.

If you do not apply within 4 weeks after your employment ends, you will probably get fewer EI payments.

If you are having problems getting your ROE, call the Employment Insurance Telephone Information Service at 1-800-206-7218. For TTY, call 1-800-529-3742.

CLEO has a tool that creates a letter you can send to your employer asking for your ROE. Go to stepstojustice.ca/asking-for-roe.

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