Canada has a comprehensive system of employment insurance programs and financial support programs to help Canadians find employment and keep them financially stable if they get laid off or their hours are reduced. This article will explain what Canada’s employment insurance and financial support programs are, how they work, who they help, and whether you qualify to access the benefits they offer. Don’t wait until you find yourself without work to learn how these programs can help you and your family; read on to learn about them now!
What is Canada Employment Insurance?
Canada offers its citizen’s employment insurance, which is a program designed to help Canadians who have lost their jobs or are unable to work because they’re ill or caring for a family member. The program provides financial support in the form of cash benefits while you look for new employment. It also helps cover expenses like healthcare. Eligibility requirements vary depending on your location and your situation. If you’re interested in applying, visit Service Canada online for more information on eligibility criteria, registration periods, types of assistance available, and benefit amounts.
Canada Employment Insurance Accessibility
Canada has a variety of financial support programs for those who have lost their job without being at fault. These programs are funded by employers, workers, and the government. This type of insurance is sometimes referred to as pay-as-you-go insurance because the funds are collected while people are employed.
Workers contribute premiums that can go into a private fund or be pooled with other participants. Once they become unemployed, they receive benefits from the program to compensate them until they find work again. The duration and amount of these benefits depend on how much money was contributed during employment time.
If you have been unemployed for at least 12 consecutive weeks, you may be eligible for EI benefits. You can apply, through Service Canada online or by calling. However, if you were employed in the past 52 weeks and received less than 15% of your earnings from self-employment or business (less than $6,000), you are not eligible for EI benefits. In these cases, you might want to consider filing a claim with the CRA under the Insurable Earnings Program or contact Service Canada to find out about other financial support programs.
Who is Canada Employment Insurance Available for?
Canada employment insurance is available for any Canadian citizen who has lost their job or had their hours reduced. There are three types of benefits: regular benefits, special benefits, and sickness benefits.
- Regular benefits; are paid when you have contributed to the plan for at least 360 days in the last five years. Regular benefits are available to anyone who has been employed in insurable employment while they were in an EI-eligible category.
- Special benefits; are paid if your unemployment was caused by a sudden and unexpected event. Special benefits are available to those who have had a valid claim in the past 12 months or who have accumulated 500 hours of insurable employment since January 1, 1977.
- Sickness benefits; can be paid if you’re unable to work because of an illness that makes it unsafe for you to continue working.
To qualify for EI, you must have worked at least 600 hours in the past year. As of July 2016, the maximum amount of benefits payable is $543 per week for up to 50 weeks. Your benefits are gradually reduced as your income increases. There is a five-week waiting period before you can receive EI benefits unless you were recently unemployed through no fault of your own or involuntarily laid off due to a lack of work.
How Long Can I Receive EI Benefits?
If you’ve been unemployed for at least one week, you may be eligible for EI benefits. If your unemployment has lasted up to 15 weeks, you can receive up to 55% of your average insurable earnings in a maximum period of 45 weeks. If your unemployment has lasted longer than 15 weeks, you may be eligible for EI benefits until the day before your 65th birthday. In most cases, the waiting period is one week long.
Other Financial Support Programs in Canada
The Government of Canada offers a number of financial support programs for Canadians who are in need. These programs include the following:
1) Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation – This organization provides housing loans as well as grants for homeowners, renters, builders, and developers. The CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance, which protects lenders against losses if homebuyers default on their mortgages.
2) First Nations Homeownership Program – A joint initiative between Industry Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), this program helps Aboriginal people purchase homes on-reserve.
3) Economic Action Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Long-term Prosperity – Funded by Budget 2013 with $1 billion over two years, this measure is part of a wide range of measures that aim to promote growth while creating jobs. There are three components under this plan: funding for skills training; strategic investment; and tax measures.
4) The Lifeline Credit – Eligible low-income customers may be eligible to receive up to 10% off their monthly regulated utility bill or fixed charges from these providers: electric utilities, natural gas utilities, water utilities, and district heating utilities.