Employment Insurance (EI)

We provide assistance with legal issues arising from eligibility for employment insurance (EI) benefits.  If you have been denied benefits, please contact us immediately as any decision has to be appealed within 30 days.  We can also advise you with respect to other benefits that you may be entitled to (such as Ontario Works) while you are pursing EI.

Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial assistance in the form of benefits for some workers. There are different types of benefits:

  • Regular benefits are for workers who have lost their job. However, you may also qualify for benefits during lay-offs.
  •  Sickness benefits are for workers who are unable to work due to injury or sickness.
  • Maternity/parental benefits are paid to individuals who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are adopting a child or are caring for a new-born.
  • Compassionate Care benefits are paid to persons who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill  

EI is administered by the federal government through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).


To qualify for any EI benefits you must have worked a certain number of hours during a specific amount of time, called a qualifying period.  You are not eligible if you have quit a job without a good reason or if you have lost your job because of “misconduct.”

How to apply for Employment Insurance

You can apply online, over the phone, or at a local Service Canada office:

Apply Online

Telephone: 1 800 206-7218
Service Canada: 1-800-622-6232

Once an application is received it will take 28 days or more to begin collecting EI benefits.   If you are denied benefits, you must appeal within 30 days.  We can assist you with the appeal process and we may be able to represent you at a hearing.

You should also appeal decisions that affect your benefits such as a warning letter, a penalty or an overpayment.

You can obtain further general legal information about employment insurance by accessing the Your Legal Rights website.