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Taking time off work: For new and expecting parents

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How do I apply for EI benefits?

You can apply online at www.canada.ca or at a Service Canada Centre. To find the Service Canada Centre where you live, call 1‑800‑622‑6232 or visit the website listed above. You can also ask for a paper application form if you need one.

Before you go to the Service Canada Centre in your area, you should call to find out if you need to make an appointment. You might be asked for your postal code to find out which location you should go to. When you go, you should bring:

  • your Social Insurance card and another piece of identification, with your photo if possible,
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit,
  • the names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for leaving for all your employers in the last 52 weeks,
  • your detailed version of the facts, if you quit or were fired from any job, and
  • the dates and what you were paid for each of your highest paid weeks in your qualifying period (usually the past 52 weeks). See CLEO's resource Employment Insurance for more information.

If you do not speak English or French, bring someone who can translate for you.

You will have to sign a statement saying when your baby is due or was born. Or, if you are adopting, it will say when the child you are adopting was placed with you or is going to be placed with you, and the name of the adoption agency.