EI Special Benefits for Self-Employed People - How much you could receive

3. How much you could receive

The weekly benefit amount is 55% of your “average weekly earnings” from the calendar year before you submit an application for EI special benefits. Your average weekly earnings are your total self-employment income minus any losses, as calculated according to the Income Tax Act, divided by 52.

In 2016, the maximum benefit amount is $537 per week.

The amount of your benefits may decrease if you continue to work or if your business generates earnings while you are collecting EI special benefits.

Before weekly benefits can be determined, your eligible earnings will need to be identified.

If you are self-employed and are also receiving insurable earnings as an employee, you can choose to Apply for EI special benefits either as a self-employed person or as an employee, as long as you qualify for both.

If you are applying as a self-employed person, we will take into account your earnings from both self-employment and employment as an employee when we calculate your weekly benefit amount, as long as your earnings from both sources are eligible. You must provide your Record of Employment to show details of your earnings as an employee.

If you are applying as an employee, we will use only the earnings from your employment as an employee (including fishing earnings) to calculate your weekly benefit amount. We will not use any of your self-employed earnings. You must provide your Record of Employment (available from your employer) to show details of your earnings as an employee.

Income tax return information

If you have already filed your income tax return for the year before the year you submit an EI claim, we will obtain the amount of your self-employed earnings from the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you have not filed your income tax return for the year before the year you submit an EI claim, you will be asked to provide an estimate of your income from self-employment. Your benefit amount will be calculated based on the estimate you provide, and any necessary adjustments will be made after you file your income tax return. If your estimate is higher than your actual income, you may have to repay EI benefits.

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