About two in every three Canadians have just enough money in their savings to help them through three months of living expenses in case they lose their primary income source.
It’s not just an alarming stat for one-third of Canadians; even people with emergency funds might have trouble sustaining themselves for long. This is why programs like Emergency Insurance (EI) are so crucial.
EI acts as a viable replacement for your primary income. If you are receiving it, you need to fill your EI report online or via phone regularly to continue receiving your benefits.
EI Report Online
If you are receiving EI benefit payments, you need to file a report every two weeks to inform Service Canada that you are still eligible for the next round of benefit payments. The most efficient way of doing it is by filling out your Service Canada EI report online.
If you’ve worked during the two weeks you are reporting for (even if you didn’t get paid yet), you will need to write the exact number of hours you’ve worked for and the full amount you have received or will receive before deductions.
You can also fill your EI report via phone, where you will have to provide the relevant details to the system from the other end of your phone call. However, this is only applicable for people who don’t have access to the internet.
What You Will Need to Fill Out Your EI Report Online
There are a few things you will need to fill out your EI report online. You need to keep them handy when you are about to submit your report:
- Access to a stable internet connection;
- A device to access the internet and fill out the report (ideally, a computer or laptop, but you can also do it on your phone);
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to help you log on to the portal;
- Your Access code, which you can get via mail (hardcopy), not online. If you have lost your access code, you will need to visit a Service Canada office or call them at 1-800-206-7218. You cannot fill your EI report online without your access code; and
- The phone numbers of your employers if you’ve worked during the two weeks.
How to Fill Your EI Report Online (Step-by-Step Guide)
Filling your EI report online is relatively easy if you have all the requisite information at hand. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Enter the Reporting Portal
You can access the reporting portal via your My Service Canada Account, or you can search for “Internet Reporting Service EI” and click on the following result:
Once you do, it will take you to a page where you can submit your EI report online.
After providing the three requisites—your SIN, access code, and province—you can now move to the next step.
Step 2: Acknowledgement
The next page offers essential, relevant information about the EI report you are about to fill, including the frequency of filing your report and payment dates.
It’s highly recommended that you go through the information provided before moving forward. You will have to acknowledge that you have gone through the information by clicking “I Accept”.
Step 3: Address and Direct Deposit Information
Here, you have two options:
- If you haven’t changed your address but instead retained the same direct deposit information that they used to send you the last payment, click “No” and proceed to the next step.
- If you have, you will need to update your account and provide Service Canada with the latest information so that the next EI payment reaches you without any complications.
You need to reconfirm your choice by clicking “I Accept” before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Did You Leave the Country?
The government needs to know whether you were in the country for the working days that it’s paying you EI for.
If you left the country for any number of days during the week you are reporting for, you won’t get paid for those days.
Be truthful in your reporting, as a few days of docked pay is a minor issue compared to the consequences of deceiving the government about your presence in the country.
If you didn’t leave the country during the week, click “No” and continue.
If you left the country, provide the relevant information. Take note that the days are most important.
Confirm your answer by clicking “I Accept” in the acknowledgment step to move ahead.
Step 5: Self-Employment Income
Just like regular wages, the self-employment income you’ve earned in the week may impact the benefit payment you receive.
- Click “Yes” or “No” based on your self-employment status. If you were self-employed, you would need to provide relevant work and payment details.
- Click “Yes” or “No” depending on whether you worked or received any other payment during the period. If you worked during the week for which you will be paid at the end of the month, you need to mention it. You can’t click “No” simply because you haven’t been paid yet.
It’s important to note that if you are reporting your earnings, you must write the pre-tax earnings, rounded to the full dollar amount. If you have joined a proper job for which you haven’t been paid yet, multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours you have worked.
Step 6: Training
If you were in school, trade school, or any training program, you need to click “Yes” to provide information about two things:
- The total training or schooling hours you attended during the week, and
- The amount of allowance you received, excluding commute, relocation, and dependent allowance.
Step 7: Availability
The government needs to ensure that it’s paying you for a valid reason, i.e., that you can’t find a job even though you are willing, capable, and available to work.
If you weren’t available on any of the working days because you were taking care of someone or weren’t capable of working because you were sick, you need to report it on your availability tab.
Step 8: Other Money
Any other money received during the week needs to be mentioned if: 1) it’s related to employment, and 2) you forgot or missed to mention it in the self-employment income question.
These earnings may include:
- Group wage-loss insurance, and
- Worker’s compensation benefits.
However, payments like:
- Lottery winnings
- Inheritance assets
If you haven’t received any eligible income, you can click “No” and proceed further. If you have, you will need to provide income details, including the amount, the payer, and the nature of the payment.
Step 9: Final Confirmation Statement
Once you’ve answered the final question, you will need to go through all the answers you have given and verify that they are correct.
It’s advisable to take your time on this page because once you click “I Accept,” your report will be submitted, and you won’t be able to change anything.
Once you’ve completed your report, you will receive a confirmation notice and the date on which you can file your next report. Make sure to stick to that if you want to keep receiving your EI benefits.
We hope these simple steps will help you fill out your next EI report online without any difficulty. The process will become much easier if you gather all the relevant data before starting your report. It’s vital that you fill out your EI reports promptly.
If we’ve missed anything or you want to suggest something else that we should add to this simple guide on how to fill out your EI report online, please comment and let us know. Share this article with your friends who might need help with the process of filling an EI Report online.
NOTE: (All the images from Step 2 onward have been taken from this source)