EI Benefit Changes September 2021 – Employment Insurance Canada update

A picture of calculator and budget book to denote calculating the EI benefit changes as of September 26, 2021.

There are some EI benefit changes as of September 26, 2021 that are now in effect. Here is a list of them below.

EI Benefit Changes September 26, 2021

Workers will now have a uniform hours requirement of working 420 hours to qualify for EI benefits. This will be in place for one year until September 22, 2022.

The weekly floor of the amount you can receive for EI benefits will decrease from $500.00 per week to $300.00 week. This floor will apply to EI benefits made between September 26, 2021 and November 20, 2021.

The duration and value of benefits will once again be calculated using regional unemployment rates that were temporarily replaced over the last year by a uniform unemployment rate of 13.1 per cent.

There will be simplified rules regarding vacation pay and severance to help EI claimants receive benefits sooner.

There will be a one week waiting period for all new EI benefit claims as of September 26, 2021 after it was waived over the last year.

If you are currently on a EI claim before September 26, 2021, these changes will not affect the value or duration of your EI claim.

No Changes to Seasonal Workers

Seasonal workers in 13 regions will still be eligible for an extra 5 weeks of regular EI benefits until October 2022.

The pilot project provides the extra weeks to seasonal workers who started a claim between Aug. 5, 2018 and this coming Oct. 30, provided they had three claims for regular or fishing benefits in the last five years, and at least two started around the same time of year.

Conclusion

The EI benefits changes as of September 26, 2021 reflect the government transitioning out of pandemic relief and back to a normal EI program. However, it cannot fully go back yet as we are still dealing with Covid-19. We will see if these changes will be enough for unemployed Canadians during this time or if there has to be further changes. With covid-19, you never know.