Frequently Asked Questions
I usually apply for Employment Insurance in the summer. Can I apply this year?
Occasional members (OT/DECE/ESP/PSP) and permanent members who are considered laid off for July and August can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) through Service Canada as usual this year. Once approved, they will automatically be moved to CERB. Bi-weekly reports will still need to be filled out. Once the CERB entitlement ends, members will automatically be transitioned back onto their EI claim if they have not returned to full-time work.
The number of hours to qualify for EI have been reduced as they are calculated based on regional unemployment rates. A search by postal code can be done on the Service Canada website to determine the number of hours needed in a member’s region.  
The CERB program has been extended to allow for two more 4-week periods of entitlement, for a total of six 4-week periods. If a member does not have enough hours to qualify for EI, they may still qualify for CERB. The details of qualifying factors and how it applies to various scenarios are outlined on the Government of Canada website. The eight week extension of CERB specifically allows applicants to receive the benefit if they are out of work due to COVID-19 or are eligible for EI or have exhausted an EI claim between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.  
Members who are unsure if their individual circumstances will allow them to qualify for EI or CERB over the summer should reach out to Service Canada.