Here are the basic criteria to qualify for the temporary Simplified Regular EI Benefits applicable only for all claim established after September 27th, 2020.

You may qualify to Regular EI benefits if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment;
  • lost your job through no fault of your own;
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter; Temporary COVID-19 relief
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).

*EI processing office will now only adjudicate your reason for separation from the last worked job and any others that are within 12 weeks prior to the beginning week of your EI claim. This means if you have a ROE with a voluntary or at-fault reason for separation (e.g. quit or dismissed), the hours may be applied to calculate your EI claim if it is beyond the 12 weeks period.

One time insurable hours credit

  • 300 insurable hours credit  for regular or work-sharing benefits
  • 480 insurable hours credit for special benefits (sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care or family caregiver)

This means you only need to accumulate 120 insurable hours of your own to be able to qualify for any category of EI benefits.

This temporary rule only applies to claim that will start after/between September 27, 2020 and September 25th, 2021. (The period limitation do not apply to fishing and self-employed benefits)


EI claimants who were on CERB/EI and does not have enough insurable hours to convert their claim to maternity, parental, compassionate care, family caregiver or work-sharing EI prior to September 27, 2020. This one time credit will be applicable to you.

EI weekly benefits amount

Current maximum EI weekly benefits is $573/week. As of September 27, 2020, all claim will have a minimum benefit rate of:

  1. $500 per week
  2. $300 per week for extended parental benefits

The benefit period is set to be 1 year only.

EI benefit weeks

A minimum 26 weeks of EI benefits will be granted to all Regular EI claimants. Current maximum weeks of 45 weeks still applies. There is no change to the number of weeks for all special benefits. 

Any money received from employer upon separation will not be calculated against your EI period, meaning it will not delay the start of your EI claim as before. (Official EI term: allocation) 

For claimants who have received at least 1 week of CERB payment, EI processing office will extend the qualifying period for an extra 28 weeks, to a total of 80 weeks (28w + current 52w) in the past, from the week your EI claim begins.

The 1 week waiting period will be waived for any Regular EI claim established between September 27th, 2020 to October 25th, 2020 (bridging right after CERB claim). The waiting period will also be waived for claimants qualifying for Sickness EI between the period of September 27th, 2020 to September  19th, 2021.

Receiving Training while on EI

You may attend any type of training between September 27, 2020 and September 25th, 2021 without any interruption on your weekly benefits.


You may find other interesting topics such as:

Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – (Oct 12th, update) – *new