Canadians: Q re EI waiting period — The Bump
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Canadians: Q re EI waiting period

I've called service Canada a couple times to try to figure this out but the reps keep referring me back to the website that confused me in the first place, so I put this scenario to you and hopefully you can help

my last day of work will be April 27th. This will be within the April 15-28 pay period which I will receive on May 11th.

Additionally, I will be paid 10hrs worth of vacation pay on April 30th, which, due to pay periods, I won't receive until May 25th.

My understanding is that normally, the 2 week waiting period before receiving benefits would start as of April 27th - last day worked. However, since My work holds my paycheques back 2 weeks, EI will consider my 2ww starting after May 11th. meaning I won't start receiving EI benefits until roughly the first week of June.

What concerns me is that Vacation day on April 30th. The EI website indicates that if you receive vacation pay during you're 2ww, it will be deducted $ for $ from your first EI cheque. Ok, fine. But then after speaking with payroll/hr, due to that vacation day, my work won't send my ROE in to Service Canada until May 25th........

so when do I start getting benefits? When does my 2ww start? Are you as confused as I am? I'll certainly stick around to answer any clarifying questions you may have.
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Re: Canadians: Q re EI waiting period

  • Oh man, isn't it SO confusing??

    I wish I could first time around I thought I had it figured out and $ just started showing up in my bank account before I expected it to.... lol

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  • ok so your two week window would start on the first day where you are recieving no pay.even though you are not physically at work, but recieving pay(vacation leave) then you are still being paid, and they aren't going to pay you twice for the same day. or count it as the two week window.

    The two week window is two weeks were you would be recieving no pay from work for those days.

     I'm using a combo of sick pay and vacation from may 7th-june 7th. then my first day that i will be on leave without pay will be june 10th. June 10th is when my two week wait will begin since i'm not recieving any salary from work.

     i hope that makes sense. the whole thing is confusing. stressful! 



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  • I think your two week wait would start on May 1st in that case.  Even though you are being paid later than that, you aren't working during that time.  I called today, and explained that my sick time would bring me up to May 14th, so they said that I should apply then for my two week wait to start on the 15th.

    If it is money that you have already earned, it shouldn't interfere with your EI. I am a teacher, so will still get some of my regular paycheck (8/10ths) during this summer, in addition to my EI... but next to nothing next year during the summer, because EI will have run out and I'll only have worked 1 month (June) out of the year... so I'll get 1/10th of my regular pay during the summer.  So I'll try to save some this summer to make up for next summer.

    It is so confusing!  I was trying to get this straightened out most of today!.  I don't think you need to wait to for your ROE to apply.

    This is what the website says...

    "When should I apply?

    You should apply as soon as possible after you stop working, even if your employer has not issued your ROE yet. If you delay applying for benefits later than four weeks after your last day of work, you risk losing benefits."


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  • Your two week waiting period will take effect on the first day of no work. So May 1st. However, they won't begin processing your payment until after they receive your ROE. So the Two week wait is in reference to your EI pay - you will get paid for 50 weeks. Some of that may be a lump sum, depending on how long it takes your employer to send the ROE.

    My last day of work is May 11th (I am on vacation for a few weeks before that), so my two week waiting period begins May 12th, but it will be more than 2 weeks before my EI actually starts going into my bank account. I will still get a bit of a paycheque (we are paid 2 weeks in arrears). Once I start receiving my EI, my employer will then top up for 15 weeks (they pay 100% salary for the two weeks EI doesn't pay, and tops up to 90% for the remaining 15 weeks).

    One thing I didn't count on last time, was that I would OWE major taxes the following year, since EI didn't take enough off (and since I was due in May then too, I had worked half a year at my regular salary). So this time I am prepared for that.

    the whole thing is very confusing, and I am not sure Service Canada employees even understand it, which is why they just refer you back to the website. I don't know why they can't explain it in simpler terms.


  • I agree with the previous posters. Your waiting period begins the day after your last day worked. Even if you receive a pay cheque a week or two later (all pays are delayed by a week) this would not negatively affect your waiting period since you would not be working during this time.
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  • As PPs said, May 1st is the beginning of your 2 week waiting period. When your pay cheques come don't matter, you will not be actively working after April 30th.

    For me, I'm taking vacation May 22nd-June 4th. Then I go on mat leave. So even though I'm done work on May 18th, I'm still technically employed and being paid for my two weeks of vacation. So my official beginning on mat leave, and my first day as being unemployed, will be June 5th, which will mark the beginning of my two week waiting period.

    Just make sure that the date your employer puts as you last day on your ROE is the same as what you enter online.

    Is it possible for you to go into a Service Canada office with your information to show to an actual person, with an actual calendar, just to be sure? I'm pretty confident that I can apply just fine, but I'm thinking (since I'll have 5 weeks off before my due date) that I might just walk into a Service Canada office, tell them my dates, and just be sure that what I understand is what is accurate.

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  • My understanding is it is 2 weeks from the day you stop getting paid.  So you get paid, then 2 weeks later you get an EI paycheque (no disruption of 'income').  It doens't really matter when you stop working, but more to do with when your company issues your ROE.  So if your company issues your ROE the day you stop working, you'll start getting paid EI 2 weeks after that (and they'll deduct your vacation pay if you let them know about it - or you can just wait till tax time and declare it, for that amount it shouldn't matter).  However, if your company doesn't issue your ROE until after your vacation is paid out, then you won't get paid until 2 weeks after that.

    Your situation does sound a bit complicated - do you have an HR you could  ask.

    The 2 week waiting period is so that you essentially have no 'break' in pay......but depending on how your employer does things it can mean not getting paid for a bit. 

    I always take all my vacation vacation before I go on mat leave - so my company doesn't issue my ROE until my vacation finishes.

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  • I can clear it up for you. It would usually begin approximately 2 weeks after your last day worked (give or take for pay cycles). You can apply anytime after your last day of work, but the two week waiting period, for you, won't start until your vacation pay/time is up. So if you are getting paid out one week, add that to your wait.

    I messed up once trying to figure it out, and got it right the next time. I had 3 weeks accrued vacation, so I took it at 37 weeks. My official last day was at 40 weeks 1 day, then the two week wait period started. I didn't have to go back until the week before E's 1st birthday (she was born at 41 weeks). I messed up with T, took the payout, and between taking my leave at the allowed 8 weeks pre due date, the payout (2 weeks worth), and leaving during Christmas holiday, she was born (1st week of Feb) and then I got my first pay, the first week of March. But they also had just started the online thing, and were painfully slow.

    With S, I rolled over my vacation for when I came back, so no payout. My last day with her was Sept. 30, I applied online Oct 1 ( and the ROE was submitted by payroll electronically that day). My first deposit with them was 3 weeks later, very quick.

    ETA: I just looked at your scenario again. You need to talk to your payroll dept. In Alberta, when an employee terminates (doesn't matter if you're fired or on mat leave), they are required to give you your final pay within 10 consecutive days (not business days) of your last day of work, which with your vacation day would be April 30th. Add 10 days to that and you get May 10, then the two week waiting period is May 24

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