EI for Airline Workers

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lostaviator
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EI for Airline Workers

Post by lostaviator »

With it sounding more and more like the government is getting ready to wind down the CERB and CEWS programs, I think it's safe to say a number of us are going to find ourselves on EI very soon. A lot of topics on here have been focused on those two programs, but I'm starting to look past them now and figure out how EI is going to work in our messy reduced hour environment.

I've done some introductory reading on EI and it raises a number of questions.

I was initially concerned with the insurable hour requirement as we obviously don't work 40 hours per week in our industry, but I did find CRA guidance for employees who work in an industry where their hours are limited by law. It sound's like the insurable hours are then calculated based on a percentage of what is considered full time in your line of work. So that made me feel better. Though, are our MOA hours considered 100%, or CARS's 100%?)

Next up, EI material says that the worker "must have worked that hour" for it to be considered an insurable hour. With many pilots in Canada working under some form of MOA being paid 55 hours, and many of us not flying a single hour, any thoughts on how this applies?

It would be REAL nice if the government would provide some form of calculator, but they seem to have adopted "you'll have to wait and see approach" to the EI claims process.

Any other EI program concerns that apply to our industry? This will be my first time being on EI (I'm being realistic here about our industry), and just looking for input from others who may have gone through this before. I don't think our industry has seen mass layoffs in two decades, so this will be new for a lot of people in the industry.
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co-joe
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by co-joe »

I don't think that will be an issue at all. The formula is basically how much money you made in the past however many weeks divided by the number of weeks. Then they apply that to their formula (55%), and it's basically if you made more than I think 54, 200 k a year, you get the max EI of I think $573 per week. But that gets taxed at a lower rate than normal so your take home is less, and you will owe tax on the difference at the end of the year.

What worries me is that it's based on your last year of employment, and if (like me) you've been on CERB for the past few months, that might bring your average down and thus your entitlement.

Then if the unemployment rate in your area is above a certain percent, you will qualify for some extra weeks on top of the normal allotment. AB has been in this category since 2016 ish. So we can bank on getting around 11 months of EI before you have to start cashing RSPs, or robbing banks or applying at Walmart or whatever.
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Mr. North
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by Mr. North »

None of us want to be on EI but few people take full advantage of the subsidies they offer for additional training. Can't recall the exact ratio but they paid 70-80% of my multi-IFR back in the day. Another friend of mine became an electrician and they funded his whole tuition. If I find myself back on EI you can bet I'll be taking a trades course of some sort! All you have to do is speak to your case councillor to get the ball rolling.
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lostaviator
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by lostaviator »

Mr. North wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:23 am None of us want to be on EI but few people take full advantage of the subsidies they offer for additional training. Can't recall the exact ratio but they paid 70-80% of my multi-IFR back in the day. Another friend of mine became an electrician and they funded his whole tuition. If I find myself back on EI you can bet I'll be taking a trades course of some sort! All you have to do is speak to your case councillor to get the ball rolling.
That's good information. I'll look into it. Even when things get back to normal, having a trade on the side is definitely not a bad idea.
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lostaviator
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by lostaviator »

co-joe wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:01 am I don't think that will be an issue at all. The formula is basically how much money you made in the past however many weeks divided by the number of weeks. Then they apply that to their formula (55%), and it's basically if you made more than I think 54, 200 k a year, you get the max EI of I think $573 per week. But that gets taxed at a lower rate than normal so your take home is less, and you will owe tax on the difference at the end of the year.

What worries me is that it's based on your last year of employment, and if (like me) you've been on CERB for the past few months, that might bring your average down and thus your entitlement.

Then if the unemployment rate in your area is above a certain percent, you will qualify for some extra weeks on top of the normal allotment. AB has been in this category since 2016 ish. So we can bank on getting around 11 months of EI before you have to start cashing RSPs, or robbing banks or applying at Walmart or whatever.
That was the other part I was thinking about (the number of weeks used in the calculation). Some of these MOA's will be at the 6 month mark before they expire, which really digs into the average. But I guess this would really only hurt someone on the first few pay steps at their carrier (around the 55-60k mark).
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loopy
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by loopy »

If you were laid off and applied for EI and not CERB as I did (late March) you're in the EI system but getting CERB initially. I fill out my EI report, but get CERB until it winds down. Then I get my full eligiability of EI with the calculations done fro the date my application was processed, 12months before I was laid off.
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co-joe
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by co-joe »

loopy wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:09 am If you were laid off and applied for EI and not CERB as I did (late March) you're in the EI system but getting CERB initially. I fill out my EI report, but get CERB until it winds down. Then I get my full eligiability of EI with the calculations done fro the date my application was processed, 12months before I was laid off.
See that's weird to me. I didn't get laid off till june though. By then you had to apply for CERB directly or EI but not both. A bunch of people applied for both and got stuck having to call in. Now I'm on my 3rd cerb application, whenever that runs out or the tap gets shut off, I assume Ill have to apply for EI with 4.7 Million other people still not working, and wait the 2 week hold back, then I'll have max 11 months of EI.

The only good news is that the max EI is about $400 a month more than CERB.
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chipmunk
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Re: EI for Airline Workers

Post by chipmunk »

No, it's not weird - those of us that were laid off in March are in this boat. Before the CERB portal on CRA was created (early April I think) we applied for EI via the normal EI/Service Canada portal. It was then automatically switched over to CERB payments in early April.
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