You can work while you receive EI regular benefits, if your employer offers you work.
Here’s what you need to know:
- you have to initially serve your one-week waiting period (for EI regular benefits only);
- your regular benefit will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar of income you earn, up to your “earnings threshold”;
- your “earnings threshold” is 90% of your regular earnings while you were employed; and
- if you earn income beyond your “earnings threshold”, your regular benefit will be reduced dollar-for-dollar;
Here is an example:
You regularly earn $500 weekly during your employ of 40 hours weekly, which is $100 daily, gross. This is your “insurable earnings” for EI purposes.
EI’s rate for regular benefits is 55%.
So, you would be eligible to receive $275 weekly. If you earned $1,000 weekly, your benefit would be $550 weekly, and so on.
Your “earnings threshold” (i.e., 90% of your regular wage) would be $450.
Now, suppose that work an additional 8 hours weekly and, therefore, you earn an additional $100.
If so, per the one-half rule, $50 will be deducted from your regular EI benefit, leaving you with $225 from EI (plus the additional $100, directly from your employer), for a total of $325.
By working more, you can earn up to $450 weekly, or your “earnings threshold”.
You cannot earn more than your “earnings threshold” by working during your receipt of EI benefits, or your benefits will end.
Here is another example:
You work 40 hours weekly and earn $1,000, gross, in regular wages.
So, you earn $200 per day and would be eligible for EI regular benefits of $550 weekly.
Your “earnings threshold” would be $900 weekly (i.e., 90% of your regular wages).
If you work an additional 16 hours weekly, earning you an additional $400, your EI benefit will be reduced to $350, after deducting one-half of your additional $400 earnings.
In total, you earned $750 by working the additional hours ($400 additional earnings, directly from your employer, pus your $350 EI regular benefit).
You have not surpassed your “earnings threshold”, either.