How to File for Unemployment in Canada


Each employed Canadian citizen pays toward an unemployment insurance, which is known as EI or UI. The money goes toward a fund for the unemployed. The amount received by the unemployed individual depends on how much you earned while employed, how long you worked there and how many people are unemployed in your area. The unemployment insurance is managed by Service Canada, which determines whether or not you receive help and how much.

Things You'll Need

  • Application
  • Identification
  • Record of employment
  • Fill out the application. You can go online at the Service Canada Centre website (see Resources below), call the EI center at 1 (866) 783-5567, or go in person to the Service Canada Centre office in your area.

  • Request records from former employers. If you worked more than one job in the past 18 months, then you will need to contact these employers for records that detail how long you worked for them and how much you earned during employment.

  • Contact the Service Canada Centre if you are unable to retrieve your employment information. They will advise you what to do to receive your information and what is needed to calculate your unemployment rate.

  • Give detailed information on the application regarding whether you quit or were fired. Service Canada will determine whether or not you will receive the benefits. Be sure to explain your situation in full detail, and be careful in your choice of words. For example, if you say that you were fired since you stole equipment, then chances are you will not receive any help.

  • Do not delay claiming for your unemployment benefits. After 4 weeks of being out of work, the unemployment benefits will no longer be available.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you leave Canada while receiving unemployment money, report your leave to the Service Canada Centre. Otherwise, you could lose your benefits or be fined up to $1,500.

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