Canada's Economic Action Plan



Canada

December 06, 2012 14:36 ET

Valid Social Insurance Number Required for EI Special Benefits

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2012) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that regulations regarding Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits have been updated to ensure eligibility to special benefits only for workers who are authorized to be in Canada.

"Our government is intent on making sure that the EI program remains fair and consistent," said Minister Finley. "The EI system previously allowed those no longer eligible to live or work in Canada to collect EI special benefits. Today, I am announcing that only those workers who are legally allowed to live and work in Canada are able to receive benefits."

Currently, individuals with expired Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) or work permits can qualify for EI maternity and parental or compassionate care benefits while outside of Canada. This practice is inconsistent with the core principle of the EI program, which is to provide temporary income support so that individuals can transition back into the Canadian labour market.

Effective December 9, 2012, eligibility for EI special benefits will be available to only those individuals who are authorized to work in Canada with a valid SIN. Specifically, individuals with expired SINs will no longer be eligible for these benefits.

The Government of Canada will continue to ensure that the EI program is there for Canadians who need it.

For more information on EI, visit www.servicecanada.ca.

IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Backgrounder

Workers not authorized to remain in Canada

Access to maternity and parental and compassionate care benefits will be limited to only those workers who are authorized to remain in Canada. Under this regulatory amendment, EI maternity and parental and compassionate care benefits will no longer be paid to individuals outside Canada whose Social Insurance Number (SIN) has expired. This measure will take effect December 9, 2012, and apply to new claims established on or after this date.

How it works

Jonathan from the Philippines is an agricultural worker with a six-month work permit. His work term ends and he returns home, where his wife has a baby. Since his work permit and SIN have expired, Jonathan is no longer authorized to remain in Canada. As a result, he would no longer be eligible for EI parental benefits.

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Office of Minister Finley
    819-994-2482

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    819-994-5559