Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits

Complex application

Need you to file taxes and apply separately

Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit can provide you with up to 26 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $595 a week.

Medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine or any medical condition that prevents you from working.

You may be able to get this benefit if you:

  • Are employed in insurable employment (work under the authority of an employer in Canada).
  • Meet the specific criteria for getting EI sickness benefits.
  • Have normal weekly earnings that were reduced by more than 40 percent.
  • Have accumulated at least 600 hours of insurable employment during the qualifying period.

Social Insurance Number

For example:

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

Apply for EI Sickness:

  • Always apply for EI sickness benefits as soon as you stop working.
    • You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment.
    • If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.
  • Submit an online application to find out if you can receive EI sickness benefits.
    • It will take 60 minutes to complete.
    • To apply, you will need personal information like:
      • Your SIN.
      • Banking information to set up direct deposit.
      • Information about your previous employment.
      • You must also get a medical certificate signed by your doctor which indicates the expected period that you are not able to work. Be sure to keep this certificate in a safe place, since you might be asked to provide it later. When you complete your online application, you will be notified whether you need to submit your medical certificate.
      • Note: You are responsible for any fees your doctor or approved medical practitioner charges you for completing the medical certificate.


  • If you are not entitled to receive EI benefits, you will be contacted by letter or by telephone to explain why.
    • If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request a reconsideration.
  • If you are entitled to receive EI regular benefits, you should receive your first payment within 28 days of the date your application and all required documents are received.
    • Before you start receiving EI benefits, there may be one week for which you will not be paid - this is called the "waiting period."
  • You must keep a bi-weekly report about your work/earnings, training, and availability to work by internet or telephone.
    • You could lose your benefits if you don't do this.
  • Remember, EI sickness benefits are taxable, so federal and provincial taxes will be deducted from your payment.

Last updated: August 11, 2022