Coronavirus: Here’s how to apply for EI and the new COVID-19 emergency benefit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a sweeping economic aid package to help Canadians impacted by the new coronavirus pandemic, including direct financial support for workers who wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for employment insurance benefits.

The new measures, which still need to be approved by Parliament, would create an emergency care benefit for workers who are in quarantine or asked to self-isolate at home due to COVID-19 and don’t get paid sick leave.

They also include billions in additional funding for those who are laid off or face reduced work hours because of the virus.

“Canadians should not make health decisions based on their financial needs,” Trudeau said Wednesday. “No matter who you are or what you do, this is a time when you should be focused on your health and that of your neighbours, not whether you’re going to lose your job, not whether you’re going to run out of money for things like groceries and medication.”

While the emergency benefits won’t be rolled out until the coming weeks, here’s a look at how they’ll work.

How to apply for the new EI sickness benefits

Under the new rules, Canadians who have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine can apply for EI without a medical certificate, as would normally be required along with employment records.

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