Employment Insurance sickness benefit for those affected by COVID-19

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.

Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Important: If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application before contacting us. This will allow us to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.

If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. We will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.

  • Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
  • Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742

If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty breathing or you are in self-isolation or quarantine, do not visit or enter any Service Canada office.  As an alternative, you may access our services online or by calling 1 800 O-Canada.

For those not eligible for EI Sickness Benefit

If you are not eligible for EI Sickness Benefits, you may now be eligible for COVID-19-related Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit.


Important notice: Service Canada offices are changing how you can access their services

You should apply for Employment Insurance and Pensions online. You must submit Social Insurance Number requests by mail.

If you go to a Service Canada office, please note that measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of those we serve and our employees.

Upon arrival, you will be asked to wait outside of the office until we can safely serve you and you will be required to respect social distancing.

If you are able to access the service you require online or by mail, you will be asked to return home to do so.

Applying for a SIN

We are still accepting SIN applications but will no longer be accepting them at our in person Service Canada Centers. We recommend that those applying carefully review the instructions on our website.