Employment Insurance Benefits for Self-Employed People

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Important Notice For Businesses – Under new Employment Insurance (EI) measures that come into effect in January 2010, if you are a self-employed person, as defined in these new measures, you will be able to voluntarily enter into an agreement with Service Canada to be eligible for EI special benefits. For more information about these new measures, go to Service Canada. If you enter into such an agreement, you will be required to calculate and pay EI premiums on your tax returns for the applicable years.

Beginning in January 2011, self-employed Canadians will be able to access Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits. There are four types of EI special benefits:

* maternity benefits;
* parental benefits;
* sickness benefits; and
* compassionate care benefits.

Eligibility information

You may be eligible to access EI special benefits beginning in January 2011 if you:

* are a self-employed person; and
* are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada; and
* have entered into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission through Service Canada.

Application information

As a self-employed person, you will be able to enter into an agreement with the Commission through Service Canada starting on January 31, 2010.

To enter into an agreement with the Commission, you will have to register online using My Service Canada Account anywhere you can access the Internet, including at a Service Canada Centre near you.

By entering into this agreement, you will confirm your interest in participating in this measure and in paying EI premiums on your self-employment income.

Please note that if you have previously used My Service Canada Account, you can register using your existing user code and password.

If you have not previously used My Service Canada Account, you can apply at any time for a personal access code on the My Service Canada Account Web page. Once you apply, it will take about 10 days to receive your personal access code in the mail.

Dates and deadlines

Self-employed persons will be able to enter into an agreement beginning January 31, 2010.

If you enter into an agreement between January 31, 2010 and April 1, 2010, you will be able to make a claim for EI special benefits as early as January 2011. However, if you enter into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission after April 1, 2010, you will have to wait 12 months before you will be able to make a claim for EI special benefits.
Additional information

News releases

* December 16 – Minister Finley announces that the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act was passed by Parliament
* November 3 – Minister Finley announces the extension of Employment Insurance special benefits to the self-employed
* November 3 – Minister Blackburn announces the extension of Employment Insurance sickness and compassionate care benefits to self-employed residents of Quebec

Other related programs or services

Employment Insurance

I need more information on EI special benefits for self-employed persons

Source: The Services Canada Website

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