top of page
  • Writer's pictureColautti Landry Partners

I can't get EI. Will I still get paid if I stay home?

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

Updated March 25, 2020

We are receiving a flood of questions from individuals who do not believe they will qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for a number of reasons. This includes concerns that they will not meet the minimum number of working hours, or because they are self employed, a freelancer, or in the "gig economy." Obviously, you're understandably worried.

In short: Funding was approved by the senate mere hours ago, so we lack specific details, but significant announcements have been made this morning that support is coming, including a new Canada Emergency Response Benefit.


First Phase of Economic Action Plan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Finance Bill Morneau have announced the first phase of their Economic Action Plan, providing $52 Billion in direct support to Canadians and businesses, and $55 Billion in deferred tax revenue. This funding was passed by the House of Commons yesterday, and approved today (March 25) by the Senate. The $52 Billion in direct support is broken down into a series of programs including the following:

(1) Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The federal government has repacked the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit into one single Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Here’s a quote from the Government’s press release:

“This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.”

To read more about the CERB, including whether you qualify, who can apply, and other particulars, read our newest Article by clicking here.

(2) Boost to the Canada Child Benefit

There will be a temporary boost to the Canada Child Benefit over the coming months. Families receiving the Canada Child Benefit will receive an extra $300 per child, starting in their May payment.

(3) Boost to GST credit for low and modest income households

Temporarily increasing the GST credit payment for a total average of $400 for single families and $600 for couples.

(4) Increase in Funding for Shelters

$200 Million has been earmarked for support shelters for the homeless, sexual assault centers, and family shelters.

(5) Tax Filing and Payment Deferral

All tax filing is being deferred from April 30 to June 1 for individuals. Canadians who discover they owe taxes will be allowed to postpone tax payments until after August 31, 2020. However, unless you expect to owe taxes it may be beneficial to file earlier to receive your refund.

For more information on any of the above programs, click here to go to the Government of Canada's website.


Funding this size requires Parliamentary Approval

You are probably wondering why you will not be receiving these payments immediately, especially if you're already off work. Funding (budget) announcements of this size require Parliamentary approval. Last week Parliament was shut down to help stop the spread of the virus. It appears Parliament will be recalled to hold an emergency session to debate and vote on the proposed funding packages.

MARCH 25, 2020 UPDATE: Parliament held an emergency session yesterday, and all the proposed spending (and tax deferrals) outlined above was approved by the House of Commons. The Senate ratified this spending today. This puts the roll out of the benefits on track for "early April" as indicated by the Prime Minister last week.

CLP Law remains available to answer any questions or concerns. Feel free to reach out to us by logging in and commenting below, via email, phone, or through our website's online contact form.

519-966-1300 | | 961 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor ON, N9A 4J5

Related Questions and Posts:

  1. Do I qualify for EI? How does EI work with self-isolation, quarantine, and staying home with the kids? Click here to find out more.

  2. Do I have to pay my mortgages and bills if I lost my job, or if I'm in self-isolation, quarantine, or staying home to watch my kids? Click here to find out more.

  3. Can my employer fire me if I have to stay home to self-isolate, quarantine, or watch my kids? Click here to find out more.

  4. I am a business owner. What supports will I have to stay open and meet payroll? Click here to find out more.

3,978 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Andrew Colautti
Andrew Colautti
Mar 24, 2020

Hi there, thank you for your comment and question. First off, I am sorry to hear of your son's difficulties. Kindly note that we are unable to provide legal advice over these questions and answers. Having said that, I can refer you to some general information. Here is a link to the "Digest of Benefits" for EI entitlement. Under headings1.5.0 and 1.5.1 they discuss the extension of the benefit period, and the grounds for extension. You can read that here (you may have to copy-and-paste the link into your browser): Alternatively, if your son is unable to qualify for EI, he may qualify for the Emergency Support Benefit, which is discussed in this article above. Kindly note that the House of Commons…


Mar 24, 2020

Question. My son's Ei has just expired. He was on a seasonal layoff from late November . Unfortunately he was unable to find a new job . 2 offers are now closing . Will ei extend regular benefits to those people or what option does he have . Which of the programs being offered should he apply for. He originally only had 15 weeks. December and January were tough months to find a full time job and now this .

bottom of page