If you are an employee, you are eligible for EI; but if you are self-employed, you were not. The EI Act has been amended to make self-employed individual access to the EI program, called EI special benefits.
What are the EI special benefits
Maternity benefits: They are for parent who gives birth and it available for up to 15 weeks.
Parental benefits: They are for any parent (father or mother) of the new born or newly adopted child/children. Each parent can receive the benefits and can be shared up to 35 weeks.
Sickness benefits: If you cannot work due to an illness, injury or need to be quarantined because of a disease, you can get the benefits for up to 15 weeks
Compassionate care benefits: It is for individual who must be away from work temporarily to take care to a family member who is very ill with a high risk of death. You can get the benefits for up to six weeks.
Who can register
If you are Canadian or a Permanent resident AND If you operate your own business
- If you work for a corporation and control more than 40% of the corporation voting shares
Exceptions are: barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, drivers of other passenger vehicles (certain conditions apply), fishers.
What conditions would qualify you for EI special benefits
- Register for the EI program
- You are not receiving income because of items discussed above in A
- Earned a minimum amount of self-employed earning during the calendar year preceding the year you submit a claim.
o The amount may change from year to year
o If you want to apply for benefits in 2013, for example, you would need to earn at least $6,342 in 2012
How much and when to pay
For every $100 you earn, you will contribute $1.88 up to a defined maximum. The amount may change every year. In 2013 the maximum is $891.12
- If you sign up in 2013, you will pay your premium by April 30 of the following year – 2014.
Regardless of the date you register, EI premium will be payable on the self-employed income for the entire yearWhat if I change my mind
- You have 60 days to cancel your registration.
After the 60-day period, you can end the registration at any time provided you have never claimed any benefits. However, you will still have to pay EI for the entire calendar year.
- Once you claim EI benefits, you will have to pay EI premium for your entire self-employment career.
When can you receive the benefits
Once you register, you must wait 12 months to claim EI special benefits. For example if you register today Feb 17, 2013, you can apply for the benefits on Feb 15, 2014.
We can help
We can help you register for the EI, discuss with you the benefits of to register or not.