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ATA Teacher Employment Services

Canada’s employment insurance (EI) program provides temporary income to unemployed workers while they look for employment or upgrade their skills. For teachers, EI could come into play for those without a contract.

Substitute and contract teachers

Keeping a work log may help you qualify for regular EI benefits when your employment comes to an end. Qualifying for regular benefits under EI regulations is contingent upon the following criteria:

  1. Your employment contract as a teacher has ended and you are not in receipt of an employment offer for the next school year or benefit premium contributions for the summer.
  2. You have not worked for at least seven consecutive days.
  3. You have the required number of insured hours accumulated in the past 52 weeks to qualify for EI.

The number of hours required depends on your teaching status and location within the province. It also depends on whether you are new to the workforce and if you’ve filed a previous EI claim. Check the EI website for the required number of hours in your particular circumstance. Generally, you require approximately 600 hours of employment; however, this can change depending on your individual circumstances.

Unless you are extremely short on hours to qualify (100 or more), the Alberta Teachers’ Association usually recommends applying regardless, as waiting too long to apply can be another reason your claim could be denied.

The EI program also provides benefits for specific life events such as

  • illness,
  • pregnancy,
  • caring for a newborn or newly adopted child,
  • caring for a critically ill or injured person, and
  • caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death.

Service Canada provides the following services:

  • Timely and accurate EI benefit payments and services
  • Support for EI clients through each stage of their claim
  • Benefit information
  • Responses to enquiries
  • Assistance to employers
  • Claims processing and direction to appeal decisions
  • Client authentication and identification
  • Prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud and abuse ❚

What to do

Apply for benefits online through the Government of Canada website:

Contact Teacher Employment Services at 1-800-232-7208 for assistance with questions that are not readily available on the Government of Canada website.