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How to apply Employment Insurance (EI) ?
  • Who can apply ?

To be entitled to receive EI benefits, you have to meet certain criteria.  

Regular benefits can be paid if you lose your job through no fault of your own, for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs and you are available for and able to work but you can’t find a job.

To be eligible for regular benefits you must show that:

you have been without work and without pay for at least 7 consecutive days; and
in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, this period is called the qualifying period, you have worked for the required number of insurable hours. The hours are based on where you live and the unemployment rate in your economic region at the time of filing your claim for benefits.


  • When to apply ?

Be sure to apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You do not need your Records of Employment to complete your EI application. If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.


  • Where to apply

To receive regular benefits you must submit an EI application online or in person at your Service Canada Centre, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed.   Click the following link to find Service Canada Centres


  • Number of hours of work required to qualify

Most people will need between 420 and 700 insurable hours of work in their qualifying period to qualify, depending on the unemployment rate in their region at the time of filing their claim for benefits. To find out this number...

A minimum of 910 hours in the qualifying period may be needed to qualify for example :

if you are in the work force for the first time;
if you are re-entering the work force after an absence of two years.

  • What information/documents are needed to apply?
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN).  
  • Your employers issue ROEs in paper format,  
  • Personal identification such as your driver's licence, birth certificate or passport, if you are applying in person;
  • Your complete bank information, as shown on your bank statement, or a personalized blank cheque from your current account.  
  • Your detailed version of facts if you have quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks;
  • Details regarding your most recent employment.


  • How much will you receive?


The basic benefit rate is 55% of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $43,200. This means you can receive a maximum payment of $457 per week. Your EI payment is a taxable income, meaning federal and provincial or territorial, if it applies, taxes will be deducted.


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