What are Employment Insurance benefits?

Created in the 1940’s, the federal Employment Insurance (“EI”) program is administered by Service Canada on behalf of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Generally speaking, employment insurance benefits provide short-term financial assistance for workers who are unable to work because they have been terminated (i.e., EI Regular benefits), are sick (i.e., EI Sick benefits), leave the workforce for pregnancy and child-rearing reasons (i.e., EI Maternity and Parental benefits), or leave the workforce for compassionate care reasons (i.e., EI Compassionate Care benefits). Like most government administered benefit programs, entitlement to EI benefits is not automatic. Workers must “earn” their benefits by working a threshold number of hours and may become disentitled to benefits in a variety of ways depending on the particular type of benefit sought. For example, employees who become unemployed because they “voluntarily” quit their jobs or because they have been terminated for just cause (e.g., for serious misconduct) are regularly denied regular benefits. EI claims are typically filed with Service Canada. When an employee’s claim for EI benefits is denied, the employee can ask the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) to reconsider the decision. If the reconsideration request proves unsuccessful, the employee can appeal to the General Division of the Social Security Tribunal. If that appeal is unsuccessful, the employee can appeal to the Appeal Division of the Social Security Tribunal. If that appeal is unsuccessful, the employee may want to consider judicial review and/or appellate opportunities in the Courts.

What should you do if you have serious concerns about filing an employment insurance claim or if you employment insurance claim has been denied?

If you have serious concerns about an employment insurance claim, you should book a consultation with one of Franklin Law’s employment insurance lawyers. While an employment insurance claim should be filed as quickly as possible after an employee’s earnings have been interrupted, filing a poorly worded or inaccurate claim can have disastrous and long-lasting consequences that may be difficult to fix, especially when the employer provides Service Canada with a completely different version of events. Many workers come to Franklin Law long before they try to claim benefits. Concerned that Service Canada may be persuaded by inaccurate information that their employer has provided, they ask us to write letters to Service Canada or speak to Service Canada representatives on their behalf to clarify the manner in which they were wrongfully or constructive dismissed or otherwise had no choice but to stop working. Other workers seek out our services after their EI claim has been denied and ask us to represent them in a reconsideration request or appeal. Whatever your reason, Franklin Law is ready and able to assist, advise and represent you in any employment insurance-related matter.