Valid Social Insurance Number required for EI special benefits

Ottawa, ON — 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 Canadaare 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. 

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