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Filing for Fishing EI

June 2, 2020

Unfortunately, the federal government has yet to provide clarification on how the process for Employment Insurance for fish harvesters will function this year following Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement last month.

What we do know:

  • The government’s commitment is that Employment Insurance benefits for the 2020 season will not be less than earned in previous seasons. Meaning if your claim this year is less than last year, the federal government will payout amounts from previous years.
  • You still need to file for EI. File as you normally would, even if your earnings are less than this time last year. If you have enough earnings for a first claim, file it as usual.
  • If you do not fish at all this year, you will not be eligible for EI based on last year’s earnings. However, you are eligible for four months of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if you are laid off or not fishing due to health concerns.

We continue to urge Ottawa to release the details of this program as soon as possible so that harvester and their families are not facing uncertainty for the coming months.

To speak to a Service Canada agent, please call 1-800-206-7218.