Employment Insurance (EI) for Self-employed People

Complex application

Need you to file taxes and apply separately

You do not need to apply for this benefit, but you need to file your tax return to get it.

The government will use the information in your tax return to decide if you will get the benefit.

Self-employed Canadians can access Employment Insurance (EI) for self-employed people benefits by entering into an agreement, or registering, with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

There are 6 types of EI special benefits:

You can register, with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission through Service Canada if you:

  • Operate your own business, or if you work for a corporation but cannot access EI benefits because you control more than 40% of the corporation’s voting shares.
  • Are either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

Social Insurance Number

For example:

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

  • Register online with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to participate in the EI program.
  • To do so, you will need a My Service Canada Account which you can access online from home, at any Service Canada Centre using one of the many Internet kiosks available, or at a public Internet access site in your community, such as a public library.
  • From the “On-line Services and Forms” menu on the right-hand side of the page, click on “Access My Service Canada Account” and follow the instructions. After you register, we will mail you a personal access code within 10 days.
  • If you already have a My Service Canada Account, simply login using your existing user code and password, and select the “Employment Insurance for the Self-Employed” option on the main page to begin the registration process.
  • You have to wait 12 months from the date of your confirmed registration before applying for EI special benefits.

Last updated: February 22, 2023