Up until recently, only those who worked under a company could claim Employment Insurance (EI). The Government of Canada has recently amended this benefit so that Canadians and permanent residents who are self-employed can also apply for and receive EI special benefits.
The special benefits consist of maternity, parental, sickness, and compassionate benefits. Residents of Québec may be eligible for the latter two benefits only.
As with the regular EI program, certain eligibility restrictions and minimum self-employed earnings apply. If you are eligible and experience an interruption of earnings due to one of the stated reasons, you may receive up to 55% of your average weekly earnings, up to a defined annual limit.
2012 premiums for this benefit are $1.83 for every $100 up to a defined maximum, which is the same amount that employees pay. Premiums are calculated based on your tax returns.
To register for this benefit, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/msca, sign up for a My Service Canada Account, and register for EI special benefits for self-employed people.
Learn more by visiting the Service Canada Website.