COVID-19 - Support for workers and unemployment resources

What support has the government announced for workers?


Access to Employment Insurance 

  •  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#improved_access_employment_insurance 
  • Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
  • If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.
  • Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:
    • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
    • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
    • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Important: If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application before contacting the department. This will allow them to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.


  • If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. We will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.
    • Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
    • Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742


If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty breathing or you are in self-isolation or quarantine, do not visit or enter any Service Canada office.  As an alternative, you may access our services online or by calling 1 800 O-Canada.


Apply for Employment Insurance 


 Canada Emergency Response Benefit

  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb 
  • If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.
  • The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
  • How to apply
  • Applications will start being accepted on April 6.
  • Prior to April 6, individuals who are without work and are eligible for EI can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.
  • Important! If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, find out how you can get ready to apply for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA wants to provide the best service possible to everyone. To help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please visit this site to find guidelines on applications.
  • Eligibility
    • The benefit will be available to workers:
      • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
      • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
      • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
      • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
    • The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
    • The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.
    • More info here:  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb 


Information for Alberta employees and employers



image11