Employment Insurance Benefits

May 8, 2012

Important Notice

Are you currently substitute teaching or teaching under a temporary or probationary contract of employment?

If you answer yes, you may qualify for regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits when your employment ends. Qualifying for regular benefits under EI regulations is contingent upon the following criteria:

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

The Alberta Teachers’ Association assists teachers with questions about EI benefits on a regular basis and the most common concern is the required number of insured hours.


How many hours do I need? It 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.

What happens if my Record of Employment (ROE) does not have enough insured hours? Keep your own records of hours worked, including preparation time before and after school, supervision and extracurricular time after school and time spent marking assignments at home.

Who can certify that I worked these hours? Where possible, have your log book hours signed by a principal or other supervisor. The log book record is extremely helpful if an appeal to a denied EI claim is warranted.

Can I use my plan book in place of the log book noted above if I’m filling in for another teacher for a longer period of time? Yes, ensure that you record time spent coaching, planning, marking or fulfilling other assigned duties/professional responsibilities in the plan book.

Should I apply anyway? The ATA recommends applying regardless, as waiting too long to apply can be another reason your claim could be denied.

What if I’m turned down? Contact the ATA’s Teacher ­Welfare program area for ­advice on the merits of filing an ­appeal. In Edmonton and area, call 780-447-9400; from elsewhere in Alberta, call toll free at 1-800-232-7208.

For more information

For more information on employment insurance, visit the ATA’s website (www.teachers.ab.ca) and click on Employment Insurance, located under Salary and Benefits. Or call the EI General Inquiries line at 1-800-206-7218. Apply for benefits online through the Human Resources Development Canada website (www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/ei/application/applying_for_benefits.shtml).