Canada’s employment insurance program dates back to 1940.
- It provides temporary financial protection for Canadian workers experiencing job loss and, later, covering illness, maternity and compassionate care benefits.
- The EI program is funded by payroll deductions, and self-employed people can now pay EI premiums to access some of the potential benefits.
- You get a tax credit for the EI premiums you pay.
EI Benefits and Other Tax Considerations
Receiving EI benefits has little impact on other aspects of your tax return, since it is treated as any source of income. Since benefits are at a lower level than your job earnings, however, you may have different options for claiming benefits, particularly in a family situation with a spouse or common-law partner.
The Canada Child Benefit, for example, is made to qualifying families for children under 18. While your EI status doesn’t affect your ability to apply for the CCB, family net income is used to calculate your entitlement. Changes to income resulting from EI benefits may affect the amount a family receives.
CRA: EI Premium Rates and Maximums
- Brent Allen, CFP, FMA; Investors Group, London, Ontario