EI for the Self-Employed

The federal government recently announced changes to Employment Services that affect self-employed individuals.  The benefits are not as extensive as for employees but are worth looking at.

Here’s a summary of the benefits:

  • Maternity – 15 weeks (available to birth mothers)
  • Parental – 35 weeks (taken by either parent or shared)
  • Sickness – 15 weeks
  • Compassionate Care -  6 weeks paid if the person is unable to work temporarily due to providing care to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.

Cost: for 2010 $747 per year

It should be noted that once you receive benefits from the program you are required to contribute to it for as long as you are self-employed

Eligibility: If you apply before April 1st 2010 you are eligible to receive benefits starting January 1st 2011, if you apply  after April 1st 2010 you are eligible 1 year after enrollment.

Application process:

There are a number of steps that need to be completed in order to enroll in this program.

This site provides details on how to apply  http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/online/mysca_byp.shtml#before

If you have not applied for EI in the past you will have to apply for an access code which will take about 10 business days to arrive. You will also need an epass account and also takes 10 business days for the documentation to arrive in the mail.

You apply for an access code on the service Canada website at http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/online/pac/pacinfo.shtml

To apply for an epass if you don’t already have one, visit the following link. https://blrscr3.egs-seg.gc.ca/TruePassApp/TruePassFrameset.jsp?visibleFrameURL=https://blrscr3.egs-seg.gc.ca/lcf_app_server/lcf?epass=

Once you have completed the above 2 steps Service Canada will mail you a confirmation which is needed to continue and that will take about 10 business days. Make sure you keep a record of your epass user name etc. for future reference.

Once you have the access code you will have to go on-line and register for EI, here is the link for that: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/online/mysca_byp.shtml#before, click log onto epass and follow the steps.

If you would like more information on obtaining EI and you are self employed please contact your small business accountant

Angus Shuttleworth Chartered Accountant