Employment Insurance (EI) for Self-employed People

Complex application

Tax filing required

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