The first step is: take a deep breath.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The money you receive from EI counts as income and is subject to tax, and you’ll have to pay income tax at your marginal tax rate.
The CRA will withhold some income tax, but it’s likely not enough to cover what you’ll owe. Take advantage of the extra cash flow while you’re not working and worry about your taxes in April.
Nope! If you could quit your job and go on EI for a while anytime you felt like it, the world would be a better place.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t get EI if you’re unemployed because you’ve quit your job. The rules say you have to have lost your job through no fault of your own.
Maybe! If you got fired without cause – i.e., laid off or fired without being given an official reason, you can most likely claim EI.
If you got fired for a cause, you wouldn’t qualify for EI. The good news (given the circumstances) is most employers will choose to terminate without cause even if there’s a performance issue or some other problem, rather than go to the trouble of proving a cause. A general rule of thumb is that if you were given notice or pay in lieu of notice, you can apply for EI.