Tax Tip: Employment Insurance Benefits & Self-Employed

Under the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, self-employed workers who are sick or injured and can’t work may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance sickness and compassionate care benefits. They may also be eligible if they need to stop working to care for a family member who is gravely ill.

If you have made a certain minimum amount of self-employed income over the past calendar year, you may be eligible to receive 55% of your weekly average earnings, up to a certain maximum. You can receive this benefit for up to 15 weeks if you become sick or injured and up to six weeks to provide care or support to a family member.

To be eligible, you need to register with Service Canada, and you must pay premiums for at least a year before you can make a claim. Premiums for self-employed workers are the same as those for employees.

More information on the Act can be found here.