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Can I still apply for Employment Insurance during COVID-19?

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Updated
13, 10-2020

If you became eligible for benefits before March 15, 2020 or after September 26, 2020, you should apply for EI. If you became eligible between on or after March 15, 2020 and Sept. 26, 2020, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), rather than EI. If you applied for EI on or after March 15th, your EI benefits will automatically be moved over to the CERB program. If you were receiving EI benefits prior to March 15th, then you will continue to be paid EI benefits until the end of your benefit period.


The CERB application process opened on April 6, 2020. The final day of the last eligibility period was September 26, 2020. You may apply for payments retroactive March 15 to Sept 26, 2020 until December 2, 2020. Service Canada is asking that people stagger their application by birthday, so as to avoid overwhelming the system. Check Canada Emergency Response Benefit to see when your best time to apply is. See HERE to apply for EI.

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