SEFPO Pensions et prestations

EI Fact Sheet #5

EI Fact Sheet #5


Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

Who is eligible for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits?

To be eligible, a person must be unable to work due to sickness, injury or quarantine.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You are required to have worked for 600 hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. You may qualify for sickness benefits even with less than 600 hours. If you are already receiving regular benefits and you become ill while you are on that claim, you may receive EI sickness benefits;
  • You earnings have reduced by at least 40%;
  • You are required to prove you are unable to work by providing medical documentation which supports that you are disabled and indicates how long the disability is expected to last.

How long can I receive Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits?

Sickness benefits may be paid for up to 15 weeks to a person who is unable to work because of sickness, injury or quarantine.

How do I apply for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits?

You must apply for benefits online. Please visit to apply.

You should apply as soon as possible, but not more than 4 weeks after your last day of work, or risk losing benefits.

Your employer must provide you, upon your request, a Record of Employment to submit.  Alternatively, the employer can submit the Record of Employment directly to Service Canada electronically.

A medical certificate must be completed by your treating physician.  You do not submit the form to Service Canada unless and until they request it. Therefore, keep the form in a safe place.

What are my ongoing responsibilities when I am receiving Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits?

  • Report all periods you could not work because of illness;
  • Obtain a medical certificate that confirms how long you are sick and unable to work;
  • Provide all required information and documents;
  • Report any absences, either from your area of residence or from Canada;
  • Report all employment; and
  • Report all employment earnings before deductions for the week(s) in which you earn them, as well as any other money you may receive.

What is the waiting period?

Before you start receiving EI sickness benefits, there is a waiting period for which you will not be paid. The waiting period is like the deductible that you must pay for some types of insurance. You usually serve the waiting period at the very beginning of a benefit period.

Prior to 2017 the waiting period was two weeks. Effective January 1, 2017 the waiting period is only one week.

Waiving the waiting period for EI Sick Benefits

If you have been on an employer paid sick leave program prior to applying for EI Sick Benefits you can request that EI waive your waiting period.

How do I appeal a decision made by Service Canada regarding my eligibility for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits?

If you disagree with an EI related decision you have the right to appeal. Information on how to file and prepare for an appeal can be found at

For additional general information regarding Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits please contact Service Canada at or call 1-800-206-7218.

If you wish to contact the Pensions and Benefits unit, please email us at

This publication contains general information and is intended as a reference only. It is not intended as a substitute for independent legal advice regarding your particular situation.