Are you a Canadian citizen who has recently started working? If so, you’ll need to know how to fill out your EI report. EI reporting is required bi-weekly and it’s how you can tell Service Canada the number of benefits you should receive. But filling out your report can be tricky, so I’ll walk you through the process and provide some tips to make everything easier.
Without further ado, let’s get right to it!
What Is an EI Report in Canada?
An Employment Insurance (EI) report is a bi-weekly report that you’re required to submit to Service Canada and the Government of Canada. The purpose of Canada’s EI reporting is for employed, self-employed, and unemployed residents to provide information about their work and earnings. Then, they will use these details to determine whether you’re eligible for benefits.
The EI provides relief and is a viable replacement for primary income for several categories of workers, such as:
- People who can’t work due to pregnancy or sickness
- People who took leave to care for a newborn or adopted child
- People with a critical illness or injury
- People who are a caregiver for a critically ill family member
- People who were employed in insurable employment
- People who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 or natural disasters
- People who haven’t had a salary for 7 consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
- People who are capable of working every day
- People who can prove they’ve been actively seeking work
Therefore, if you’re receiving benefits, you need to send a report every two weeks to prove that you’re still eligible for the next round of payments. You can do this in three ways:
- By using EI online reporting through the reporting portal website which you can access via your My Service Canada Account
- By using the Telephone Reporting Service and calling the EI reporting number (1-800-531-7555)
- By sending it in the mail
Unsurprisingly, the fastest and most efficient way of sending in your report is by using EI Internet reporting. But before you start filling out your statements, you’ll need to keep a few things in handy, like:
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- A stable internet connection
- Your residential address and postal code
- Your banking credentials
- Your employer’s name, address, and phone number
- Your salary before tax for the last week you worked
- Your Access code you received via mail
So what exactly should you write on your bi-weekly EI online report? Well, it should contain the following information:
- Dates and hours you’ve worked
- Your earnings before any deductions
- Hours you’ve spent at school or training
- Any training allowance you’ve received or have yet to receive
- Whether you were available for work
- Other money you’ve received or have yet to receive
How To Fill Out Your EI Report in Canada?
Now for the juicy details, how should you fill out your report? I’ve broken up the process into nine simple steps to ensure easy comprehension and a smooth procedure.
Step 1: Enter the reporting portal
The first thing you’ll need to do is enter the internet reporting service for your EI. An alternative to googling the portal is using your My Service Canada login. It will take you to a page that allows you to submit your online report by providing your SIN, access code, and province. You can also do an EI status check through the same app.
Step 2: Read everything carefully
Next, you’ll be greeted with a page that offers relevant information about the EI report. Make sure to read everything carefully and familiarize yourself with the instructions before proceeding. Consequently, this will help ensure that you complete the report accurately.
Step 3: Provide your postage information
On the next page, you’ll be asked whether you’ve changed your mailing address or banking information for Direct Deposit purposes. You can click either “No” or “Yes” depending on your circumstance. If you have changed your information, you’ll need to provide your new details to ensure EI reporting services can send you your payment.
Step 4: State whether you’ve left the country
Now, you’ll be asked whether you’ve left the country during the last two weeks. You must tell the government which days you didn’t work to avoid overpayment you’ll need to repay. Accordingly, you can select “No” or “Yes.” If you did leave Canada, you’ll need to provide the relevant information, such as how many days you were away.
Step 5: Indicate whether you’re self-employed and state your income
The next page will ask you whether you’re self-employed. If yes, you will need to provide your work and income details. Additionally, you’ll see another question on the same page, asking you whether you’ve worked or received any earnings during the period of the EI report, including unpaid work, farming, etc.
Step 6: Indicate whether you’re at school or training
Here, you’ll need to fill in details regarding any schooling or training you’ve undertaken during the week and note the amount of allowance you received. This is also a “Yes” or “No” question, so you should answer accordingly and follow further instructions.
Step 7: State your work availability
This section of the report requires you to indicate whether you’ve been available to work during your EI weekly report and were just unable to find a job. Therefore, if you were sick or taking care of someone ill, you’ll need to mention that here.
Step 8: State whether you have other money
Finally, the last section will present you with a “Yes” or “No” question, asking you if there’s any other money you haven’t already reported. This payment can be related to employment or anything else you might have missed, like wage-loss insurance and worker’s compensation benefits.
Step 9: Verify your answers
Once you have completed all the sections of the EI online report, you’ll be given a chance to review your answers. For your convenience, all your answers will be listed, so you’ll need to make sure they’re correct and you haven’t misclicked. Once you click “I Accept”, the service will submit your report and you won’t be able to change anything.
When Should You Submit Your EI Report?
As I briefly mentioned, EI reporting in Canada is done every two weeks. If this isn’t your first time filling out the report, you can check your last confirmation notice to discover the date on which you can file your next report. Processing usually occurs from Sunday to Thursday and your payment should arrive in about two or three days, provided there aren’t any holidays.
In addition, note that you can’t file your report before the date indicated on your confirmation notice. However, you can send the report within three weeks after your due date. If you miss sending it in during that time, your Employment Insurance benefits may be affected, so keep an eye out for that.
In short, EI reporting is required for anyone receiving Employment Insurance in Canada. To avoid any problems, it’s essential to fill out your report with detailed information about your employment and income and submit it when specified.
If you don’t submit your EI report, you won’t receive any employment benefits.
You can find your EI report by logging into your My Service Canada Account, where you have all the details about your benefits. If you don’t have an account, you should create one and keep up-to-date on your reports.
If you filed your EI report online on a Friday or Saturday, you will generally receive the money after 2 or 3 business days, so either Monday or Tuesday. However, if you filed by mail, it might take longer for you to get paid.
Employment Insurance is considered taxable income, so you’d need to report your benefits on your tax return and might be asked to repay some of them. For example, if your income was over $70,375, you’ll have to repay 30% of your net income or the total regular benefits, depending on which one is less.
To claim EI, you will need at least 420 hours of insurable employment in the last year.
Service Canada may review your EI application for over 4 weeks, thus you will be without any income for up to a month or longer.