OTTAWA — The federal government is temporarily waiving a one-week waiting period for employment insurance benefits.
The decision essentially means that applicants will be able to start their claims and receive benefits immediately should they apply for aid starting Jan. 31.
The rules are set to be in place until Sept. 25, which is when a slew of temporary EI measures and three so-called recovery benefits are scheduled to expire.
The rules will apply to regular EI and fishing claims, as well as those who apply for special benefits like maternity and parental leave.
The government had already waived the waiting period for EI sickness claims established on or after Sept. 27, 2020 for a period of one year.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says in a release that temporarily waiving the waiting period for all applicants should ease financial stress by providing income support sooner.
The latest federal figures show there are nearly 2.3 million people receiving EI benefits.