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Government of Canada announces greater flexibility to the EI system

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Government of Canada announces greater flexibility to the EI system

Canada NewsWire

GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to improving the Employment Insurance (EI) system so that it is able to help with the realities of the modern workforce.  When hard-working middle class Canadians become sick or go on maternity leave, they often depend on EI for support. However, those that wished to manage their return to work have had limited flexibility to do so without jeopardizing their benefits.

Today, the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced that effective immediately the EI Working While on Claim (WWC) rules have been extended to EI maternity and sickness benefits, including for eligible self-employed persons.

WWC allows EI claimants to earn income while receiving EI benefits and helps them to transition back to employment. To better meet the needs of Canadians, the Government of Canada is introducing the following improvements to WWC:

  • the 50 cents for every dollar earned rule becomes a permanent part of the EI program; and
  • the WWC rules are extended to now apply to sickness and maternity benefits

Quote

"Our government is committed to modernizing the EI system to better reflect the needs of hard working middle class Canadians. Extending the Working While on Claim to EI maternity and sickness benefits will provide workers with greater flexibility and help them keep more EI benefits if they are able to work."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts

  • If you work or receive earnings while receiving EI, you can keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90 percent of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit rate. Any earnings above that amount are deducted dollar-for-dollar.
  • These new permanent measures mean over 800,000 EI beneficiaries will continue to be able to supplement their EI benefits with work income by accepting part-time work.
  • An alternative earnings rule is temporarily available until August 2021 to claimants who chose under Pilot Project 20 to revert to the rules of a previous pilot.
  • For more information on this alternative option, and to learn more about these improvements, read the included backgrounder or visit the WWC web page.

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Backgrounder

How Working Affects Your Claim

If you work or receive earnings while receiving EI benefits and have served the waiting period, you can keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90 percent of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit rate. The 90 percent amount is called the earnings threshold. Any money earned or received above this threshold is deducted dollar-for-dollar from your EI benefits.

If you work a full work week, you are considered to be employed and you will not receive any EI benefits for that week, regardless of the amount you earn. However, this will not reduce the total number of weeks payable on your claim.

Example

John was laid off when the grocery store where he worked shut down. His weekly earnings at the grocery store were $500, so his weekly EI benefit rate is $275 (55 percent of $500). He has found a part-time job at a restaurant, where he works three days a week and earns $300 per week.

As a result, his $275 in EI benefits are reduced by $150 or 50 cents for every dollar he earns at the restaurant ($300÷2=$150); bringing his total EI benefit to $125 ($275–$150=$125).

In the end, John takes home $125 per week in EI benefits plus his part-time wages of $300, for a total of $425.

Temporary alternate earnings rule

In addition, temporary provisions have been introduced to grandfather claimants who have chosen, under the just concluded pilot project, to revert to rules of a previous pilot project, which allowed them to keep the greater of $75 or 40 percent of their weekly benefit rate without any deduction from EI benefits. Any amount earned above the $75 or 40 percent will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from benefits.These claimants will continue to have the option to elect to the alternate earnings rule for up to three years, until August 14, 2021.

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2018/16/c2786.html

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