Employment Insurance benefits for self-employed people

 In APBS Blog

For years, self-employed individuals are not eligible to claim Employment Insurance based on the fact that he/she owns the business. Some had been lobbying for changes to allow them to collect EI which means they have to pay EI premium before they can collect.

Beginning in 2011, self-employed Canadians will be able to access Employment Insurance (EI). There are limitations to whom and for what purpose one can reap the profit. If someone closes his or her business, he or she is still not entitled to the benefit.

Below a list of special benefits:

  • Maternity benefits
  • Parental benefits
  • Sickness benefits
  • Compassionate care benefits

If you are self-employed and interested in collecting EI, you need to register with Service Canada. If you apply between January 31 and April 1, 2010, you will be able to collect as early as January 2011. After April 1, 2010, you will have to wait for 12 months before you can make a claim. However, once you opt in, you have to continue to do so until you cease to be self-employed. Translation, you register for EI, you do not get a chance to get out, you stay on until your status changes.

For 2010, the EI premium is set at $747.36, a self-employed individual’s remittance is $1,793.66 ($747.36 times 2.4) for the year; because self-employed has to pay for employer and employee portions. The maximum EI benefit is 60% if you reach the maximum of the employment earning as permitted by CRA. As with CPP, self-employed individuals pay for the employer and employee portions of CPP – the difference with CPP: it is compulsory. At the end, everybody is entitled to receive pension income depending on how much you submitted during your lifetime.

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