Area of Law: Employment Law
Answer # 611
How much does EI pay?Region: Ontario Answer # 611
If you qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, in most circumstances, you will receive 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up-to a maximum amount. Whether you have been fired or are away from work for an extended period, for reasons such as maternity leave or illness, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities. To get help, call a lawyer now.
Effective January 1, 2024, the maximum insurable earning amount has increased from $61,500 to $63,200. This means that an insured worker will pay EI premiums in 2024 on insured earnings up to $63,200. The maximum weekly EI benefit rate has increased from $650 to $668 per week.
Eligibility is based on how you lost your job, and how long you were working before your job ended.
EI benefit payment amounts are calculated based on your highest weeks (known as “best weeks”) of earnings over the past 52 weeks (or since the start of your last claim). The “best weeks” calculation does not apply to people receiving fishing benefits or self-employed benefits.
For regions of Canada with the highest rates of unemployment, EI benefits are calculated using the best 14 weeks; while EI benefits in the regions with the lowest rates of unemployment are calculated using the best 22 weeks. For other regions, depending on their unemployment rate, the number of weeks used to calculate benefits will be somewhere between 14 and 22.
Visit canada.ca for more information on how the amount of benefits you can receive is determined.
There are circumstances in which your benefits may be reduced or increased.
When can EI benefits be reduced?
The amount of your EI benefits may be reduced if:
- you have collected a certain amount of EI benefits in the past,
- you earn other money while collecting benefits,
- you collect money from:
- a wrongful dismissal lawsuit,
- your own business,
- retirement income from a government or employment pension, or
- severance pay.
Even if you receive these payments after you have finished collecting benefits, you may be required to pay back all or part of the benefits you collected.
There are some types of earnings that will not reduce your benefits. These include income from private RRSPs and disability pensions.
Working While on Claim program
Under the Working While on Claim program, you can work and receive pay and still receive EI benefits. Under the program, for every dollar you earn when working, you can keep 50 cents of your EI benefits, up-to 90% of your previous weekly earnings.
You do not need to apply for Working While on Claim, you only need to continue to declare your earnings when you file your EI report. For more information on the Working While on Claim program, including what EI benefits you are eligible to continue to receive, visit canada.ca.
Family Supplement – low income families
If you are considered to be part of a low income family, you are eligible to receive extra EI benefits through the Family Supplement. You are considered to be low-income if:
- your net family income is not higher than $25,921 per year,
- you have children, and
- you or your spouse received the Canada Child Benefit
How much you will receive is based on your income and the number of children and their ages. This amount will automatically be added to your EI payment. If you and your spouse claim EI benefits at the same time, only one of you can receive the Family Supplement.
Taxation of EI benefits
It is important to note that EI benefits are taxable, meaning federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will be deducted from your payment.
A criminal record will appear on an employment police check and will affect your ability to get or keep a job. To erase your criminal record, learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.
Whether you have been fired or are away from work for an extended period, for reasons such as maternity leave or illness, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities. To get help, call a lawyer now.
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