Federal Resources & Employment Insurance

  • BDC loan program to help small business during the COVID-19 outbreak:


  • Coping with COVID-19 for business – Free webinar session on March 25th:


  • Banks concerning mortgage payments and other credit instruments:


Employment Insurance Due to Layoff


Vettorel laid off nearly all of his staff over the weekend in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he made the soup because he didn’t know what else to do, and so there was something for staff as they picked up their records of employment (ROE) from the restaurant, a vital document for applying for employment insurance (EI).

Vettorel says the best thing small business owners can do is lay off their employees sooner rather than later, because they cannot collect EI until they get that record of employment.

If you’re not going to be paying them, you owe it to them to lay them off immediately, because otherwise they have no recourse,” he said. “Once they’re laid off, then they can start applying for EI.

  • Block by Block instructions on how employers fill out an Record Of Employment (ROE)


The COVID-19-related changes to the EI system announced this month will speed up access to sickness benefits, but they won’t change who qualifies for EI in the first place.

According to the Government of Canada, you qualify for regular EI 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
  • Are ready, willing and capable of working each day
  • Are actively looking for work.

For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.

Apply for regular EI here, using a record of employment and other personal documentation. Note: It can take up to 60 minutes to fill out the online forms.

For more information on the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit, check out the Government of Canada website


It can take up to 60 minutes to fill out the online forms.

Sickness Benefits

According to the government, those who are unable to work because they have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine will not have to wait the usual one week to receive EI sickness benefits.

Additionally, the sickness benefits can be accessed without the usual requirement of a doctor’s note or other medical certificate.

More information about applying for EI sickness benefits is available on the government’s website.

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week.

How do you apply for EI?

If you’re in a quarantine or sickness situation, Service Canada has waived the regular one-week waiting period and set up a special COVID-19-related hotline at 1-833-381-2725.

You can apply online for sickness EI here. You’ll need proof of employment documentation


Emergency Care Benefit

Newly announced Wednesday were the creation of an emergency care benefit and an emergency support benefit.

The emergency care benefit will provide up to $900 every two weeks, for up to 15 weeks, to help Canadian workers who cannot go to work, do not have paid sick leave and do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.  This would include: the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined or who have been directed to self-isolate; those taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other sick dependents; EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay to care for their children. The emergency support benefit will offer payments of undisclosed amounts to unemployed workers who are not eligible for EI.

Applications for both benefits will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.

General Information Line is 1-800-206-7218 – They are requesting urgent calls only – They have general info recordings but it is very difficult to get to an actual person.

Sickness Benefits (15 weeks for those quarantined/self-isolated):

  • 1 week waiting periods are waived
  • No medical notes required
  • Separate toll free line

Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)