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Apply for Unemployment Insurance in British Columbia

Unemployment insurance in British Columbia is provided through the Human Resources and Skills Development Department. The temporary Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are provided for citizens who are displaced from their previous job, are unable to work due to health reasons, childbirth or parenting. If you are out of work due to a seasonal or mass layoff, you can apply for regular EI benefits.

Check your eligibility. Confirm that the reason that you lost your job was not due to poor performance, job abandonment or other negligible reasons. Verify that you have been unemployed for a minimum of seven days and that you or the company you worked for paid employment insurance premiums. Make sure that you sought but were unable to secure new employment and have worked the required number of hours for your Economic Region (see Resources) over the last 52 weeks.

Contact your last employer and request Records of Employment (ROE) if your employer keeps the records only in paper form. Acquire ROEs that cover the last 52 weeks of your employment with the firm. Keep in mind that if your employer submits ROEs electronically to Service Canada, you do not need to request the paper forms.

Fill out the application form. Visit the nearest Service Canada Centre (see Resources). Request an unemployment application. Provide identification such as your valid driver's license, passport or birth certificate if you are applying in person. Complete and submit the application at the center. Keep in mind that you can also complete and submit an application over the Internet. Provide your Canadian postal code (see Resources) to access the online application. Supply your social security number, bank account information so you can receive payment installments electronically, former employment information including your total salary, vacation and severance pay and pensions. Review and submit the application.

Complete Employment Insurance (EI) reports. Read the Benefit Statement the Human Resources and Skills Development Department mails you after you submit your application. Note your four-digit access code listed in the statement. Fill in online weekly reports during the period that you receive unemployment payment installments. Provide your access code to enter the system. Note the number earnings you received during the week, whether you received training and if you sought employment and were able to work. Keep in mind that you can also call in your weekly reports by dialing (800) 531-7555.



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