Island man says denied EI claim after moving to be with daughter

Ryan Ross
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Jeremy Avery, here at his home in Fort Augustus, was denied an employment insurance claim after he quit a job in Alberta to be closer to his three-year-old daughter.

When Jeremy Avery left his job in Alberta and moved back to Prince Edward Island he did it so he could be with his three-year-old daughter.

But while he tried to find work his employment insurance claim was rejected because he quit his job to move home.

Avery said it was around November when he made the decision to move after he missed his daughter's birthday.

"It kind of hit me hard," he said.

After living in Alberta for about two years where he worked as a mechanical and commercial plumber, Avery moved back to P.E.I. on Dec. 11.

It took more than a month for him to find out his claim was rejected.

When people leave their employment voluntarily they normally aren't eligible for EI benefits, but there are exceptions.

The need to accompany a dependent child is one of those exceptions.

Avery moved to Alberta with his daughter and her mother, but when the couple split up they came back to P.E.I. in May while he stayed out west.

After spending months away from his daughter, Avery said he felt obligated to move back to P.E.I. to be with his daughter.

"Work's work but family's family," he said.

Avery said he had a good job and worked hard at a small company that had only a few employees, but while he enjoyed his work it was hard being away from his daughter.

"It was tough."

He also said he knew he wouldn't be able to find the same opportunity in P.E.I. and with the possibility looming that his ex-girlfriend and daughter might move back to Alberta at some point he was willing to sacrifice in the short term.

Things changed when he learned his ex-girlfriend decided to stay in P.E.I. when she landed a good job.

"My plan is eventually to go back out, but I had to come home and work things out because I was in fear that there's the possibility that things could go bad and I could lose my daughter," he said.

Avery said he felt bad for leaving, but he felt moving to be with his daughter was a reasonable excuse when it came to filing an EI claim.

"I never planned on living off of it for a year or even six months."

Since moving back, Avery said he has looked for work, but hasn't been able to find any and submitted his EI claim on Dec. 17.

Avery said he called to speak to someone about his claim a few times and on Jan. 24, which was 29 days after he filed, he was told to check in another few days because it hadn't been looked at yet.

That's when his father called their MP Lawrence MacAulay, who Avery said called Service Canada on his behalf.

Avery said he got a call about 15 or 30 minutes later to tell him his claim was denied because his reason for leaving his job wasn't a valid reason.

"I wasn't too happy because in my mind I felt the reasoning was pretty legitimate."

It also upset him that it took his MP calling about the claim for him to get a decision, Avery said.

"It just doesn't seem like they put much effort into looking at the situation or reading into it at all."

Service Canada has an annual target of paying out 80 per cent of claimants within 28 days of filing a claim for EI benefits.

Employment and Social Development Canada was contacted about Avery's claim and provided a statement, which said processing staff was working on it the day MacAulay called.

"The timing of the decision and the call to Mr. Avery was based on current workload volumes, rather than the MP enquiry," the statement said.

The statement also said Avery spoke to someone from Service Canada on Jan. 24, at which time he told them there was no urgent situation that necessitated his immediate return to P.E.I. and that he planned to move back to Alberta within six months.

Avery disagreed.

"I told them that I'd have to go back soon if I don't get any money straightened out," he said.

When claims are rejected an applicant has 30 days to file for a reconsideration, which Avery said he did last week.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Service Canada

Geographic location: P.E.I., Alberta

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Recent comments

  • ssmith
    March 06, 2014 - 15:46

    The worst part of being a small island is that Islander's run the EI and Welfare program now, not the federal government. They just give the money to the province for both programs...so what if the person denying your claims does not like you or your family! Huge issues on a small island. Seen it happen with comments in files like, the mother does not like our system, the person has issues with the way we dealt with their file....wake up people, we need to start helping each other now. There is no recourse of action - how do you prove the person with your file does not like you!

  • Japhna jones
    February 05, 2014 - 09:49

    WHY oh WHY is always PEI? ROC sick and tired of paying for their entitlements .

  • Marco Lapegna
    February 04, 2014 - 22:18

    While the story may be say and all, I don't think he has a compelling argument. He should be able to get back every dollar he put in but after that why should taxpayers be on the hook? In the 60's some immigrants would not see their family for years. As a mechanic in Alberta I'm sure he can afford to come home at least a few times a year. This is also a tale about why you should not have children out of wedlock. Something else that seems common in PEI.

    • Gen
      February 05, 2014 - 21:37

      Why does marriage have anything to do with this? Do you think he would still work full time across the country from his wife and daughter if they were married? What opportunity is in Alberta in his ex-partner's field? Maybe none. We don't know, and whether they are married or not is irrelevant. Also, he's a plumber, not a mechanic.

    • Marco Lapegna
      February 06, 2014 - 20:57

      I'm saying that when a pregnancy is planned, the likelihood of the couple staying together is increased. Seems likely by the story that this pregnancy was not planned. And yes the partner could easily move to Alberta, if you can't get a job in Alberta there must be something seriously wrong with you. The truth is a lot of Islanders are going to have to move. The economy is not strong enough to support the current population.

  • Don MacInnis
    February 04, 2014 - 19:33

    The Harper government or I should say "Little Stevie's boys". All this man does is make things hard on the Atlantic provinces. He already hurt people who in a few years are going to have to be 67 before they get a pension.. This man should be very nervous to come here.. He may soon start a revolution in Canada. All this man does is help the rich class who do control government. One could say that is corruption in the highest degree. Canada has become a politically corrupt country..

  • Hallejulah
    February 04, 2014 - 18:56

    To Lindsay! You are so correct.

  • spud
    February 04, 2014 - 18:50

    Could the ex girlfriend give her side of the story for us to judge.

  • Ben
    February 04, 2014 - 18:42

    Who does this guy think he is? A fisherman? That is their money. Get back to work so all the fellows "building traps" and hanging out at the rink all day can get the pogey.

  • sickofjr
    February 04, 2014 - 17:14

    Its funny 2500 PEI Fishermen choose the time that they go on EI every year even though many of them have licence to fish other species right up to dec 15 . They can even choose to quit fishing lobster early and draw their summer EI claim . I think its about time EI was a level playing field for every Canadian . Fishermen get two EI claims in the same year for decades just by paying $840.00 in EI premiums but receive $514.04 per week for up to 42 weeks . Check out the special rules on the fishing EI website . The benefit period for a summer claim can start as early as the week of April 1 and must end no later than the week of December 15. The benefit period for a winter claim can start as early as the week of October 1 and must end no later than the week of June 15. The benefit period can be extended to a maximum of 52 weeks if you are claiming EI special benefits such as sickness benefits. Can you name any regular working person that ever recieved 42 weeks of benefits . Hard working Islanders are being discriminated against for not getting fishing stamps .

  • Time For Change
    February 04, 2014 - 15:44

    Most people seem to get it - any system, be it EI, Old Age, Welfare, etc....needs to have checks and balances because there are too many people abusing. It's unfortunate for the rest of us, as Atlantic Canada, and PEI in particular have a stigma of being these serial abusers. The government needs to make a change, and stand behind it. Have very clear legislation defining eligibility, length, amount, etc...and that should be it. Once you are declared eligible, in order to receive your benefits, you should need to meet certain criteria - 'volunteer' work, active job search, etc. And as suggested, it should be treated like insurance, repeated claims should raise your premiums.

  • Al
    February 04, 2014 - 14:56

    Ei Has been terrible. For pei. People. Always. found work before. Ei. Now we all want something from. The taxpayer For free. Ei or welfare. Same thing

  • busta
    February 04, 2014 - 13:46

    all you ppl are fools..... have you ever been faced with the fact you may loose your daughter? or the fact you can not live without your children going into depression and ending up in mental distress. it is this mans right to be paid out what he has paid in. as a person who works in alberta and lives here you ppl could and will never understand how much we actually pay into extra taxes, cpp, ei etc. we deserve the same rights as every other person in canada and ei is screwing familys canada wide and ppl like you guys are causing more mental anguish but bashing them on here get a life and support your local canadians

    • candrayo
      February 04, 2014 - 18:19

      You tell em Bust!!!! Imagine paying into a fund you can never collect….Military do it all the time. However Busta…please remember this is the Island educational system at it's finest here! They try not to teach us too much here on the Island….we might wise up to the "authorities" in town and the gig would be up for Ghiz and his "kind". Doesn't 44 +comments against one guy trying to do right by his family and only a few on trivial things like "OUR WATER" "OUR MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM"……etc, kind of tells the tale on the Island educational system in my mind. I am sure this makes those in power really happy to see you attacking one of your own as opposed to one of them or ALL of them. Got to love politics!

  • Venessa
    February 04, 2014 - 13:23

    I think it's awesome that he moved back home to be with his daughter!! How many young men actually want anything to do with their child(ren) after they and their spouse break up??? My opinion is, if we have to pay into the EI fun from every paycheque, then I better be damn able to use it! It shouldn't matter the reason for leaving a job.... Bottom line is if we HAVE to pay into it, then they should HAVE to pay it back out.... ...... Isn't that how insurance works??? Come on................................... I just don't see the point in paying it if you can't use it!!

    • SLIPPY
      February 04, 2014 - 16:28

      I too applaud this mans reasons, but that is not how insurance works. The fact is, abuse of the "system" on PEI has been a long standing problem. People who take out ten dollars for every dollar they put in, year after year. If we consider it "insurance" any insurer would quickly drop you if you tried to pull that.

  • Blair
    February 04, 2014 - 13:08

    Wow!!! I can't believe all of the nasty comments towards this young man, I mean come on people he wanted to be near his daughter, I know he could have stayed out west and made all of that ( so called ) good money, instead he opted out to move back to PEI, AFTER a certain time. EI is a joke same as the old age pension, they are just the governments way of collecting money from us so they can spend it on other things, ( like giving it away to other countries), you people need to take a long hard look at what we have today 1. Government who is defrauding the people( watch the news) 2. EI has x million of dollars surplus. 3. More people and families are having to look towards social services. 4. Employers now realize that EI is working for them, they are able to fire and let go any time they want with-out regard for the people they let go. These are just a few things that we go through on a daily basis. As for EI, let me tell you a little story, back on pei I was a driver for a courier company that worked for Canada Post, due to a garbage can blowing in front of my van and causing $2000 worth of damage I was let go. I filed for my EI and got it, with=out any questions asked. My girl friend worked at a coffee shop, well let's say we decided to move to Newfoundland to be close to her father who is ill with cancer, this was just before my clam went through, she quit her job moved to Newfoundland with me and our family, just to be told her clam was denied, the reason was not valid and she did not take other measures, meanwhile I moved with her and my clam went through no questions asked, after her appeal she got her EI. Moral of this story, EI has no set rules, they are guidelines for rules, they have people who sit behind their screens and decide whether or not to grant EI, these people have no real idea what or why the person quit or got fired, they make a call to the previous employer and ask, Behold if you were fired what do you think is going to be said, I have heard and saw with my own eyes what EI is doing. So in saying, this young man came home to PEI to be with his daughter only to be faced with your cruel comments telling him he should go back and keep his good paying job, no EI for you, their are rules? I as a father myself commend this young man for making his decision to return to his daughter, regardless of the comments.

    • You Are Nominated
      February 04, 2014 - 14:47

      Here is a thought. Why don't we just put you in charge of the money. You can distribute the money to ever Islander who is down on their luck. Just Islanders though, not all of the other Canadians who have paid into it because the fund wouldn't last a month. Don't call it insurance any more because what you are describing is not insurance. And lets keep referring to it as "our money". We don't want people to know that as Islanders, we contribute only a fraction of what we draw out. If other Canadians who actually put most of the money into the fund find out what we are doing they might want to impose crazy rules like you don't qualify if you quit your job.

  • lindsey
    February 04, 2014 - 13:05

    There are lots of people working out west while their families are here... I am curious why he thinks he should be the exception to the rule when there are lots of others separated from their families?

  • Blair
    February 04, 2014 - 13:05

    Wow!!! I can't believe all of the nasty comments towards this young man, I mean come on people he wanted to be near his daughter, I know he could have stayed out west and made all of that ( so called ) good money, instead he opted out to move back to PEI, AFTER a certain time. EI is a joke same as the old age pension, they are just the governments way of collecting money from us so they can spend it on other things, ( like giving it away to other countries), you people need to take a long hard look at what we have today 1. Government who is defrauding the people( watch the news) 2. EI has x million of dollars surplus. 3. More people and families are having to look towards social services. 4. Employers now realize that EI is working for them, they are able to fire and let go any time they want with-out regard for the people they let go. These are just a few things that we go through on a daily basis. As for EI, let me tell you a little story, back on pei I was a driver for a courier company that worked for Canada Post, due to a garbage can blowing in front of my van and causing $2000 worth of damage I was let go. I filed for my EI and got it, with=out any questions asked. My girl friend worked at a coffee shop, well let's say we decided to move to Newfoundland to be close to her father who is ill with cancer, this was just before my clam went through, she quit her job moved to Newfoundland with me and our family, just to be told her clam was denied, the reason was not valid and she did not take other measures, meanwhile I moved with her and my clam went through no questions asked, after her appeal she got her EI. Moral of this story, EI has no set rules, they are guidelines for rules, they have people who sit behind their screens and decide whether or not to grant EI, these people have no real idea what or why the person quit or got fired, they make a call to the previous employer and ask, Behold if you were fired what do you think is going to be said, I have heard and saw with my own eyes what EI is doing. So in saying, this young man came home to PEI to be with his daughter only to be faced with your cruel comments telling him he should go back and keep his good paying job, no EI for you, their are rules? I as a father myself commend this young man for making his decision to return to his daughter, regardless of the comments.

  • Rough
    February 04, 2014 - 12:37

    Let's just face it people. There is nothing in Prince Edward Island other then family. Winters are aweful and it being a seasonal industry doesn't help any either. People have gotten accustom to having the government parent them in the winter off of the tax paying dollars. And quite frankly it's not fair. Far to many people live off of the system and it's quite sad. The governments problem was that they let it go on for to long. And now people are outraged . I think everyone should move out west work and make pei a retirement Mecca. The government can't afford to pay off it's own debt let alone take care of it's co inhabitants.we all know that ei is not possible to get when you go back from Alberta so why ppl try is beyond me. The people that live there can hardly get it. The government is more corrupt then ever and it will only get worse no matter how much they say it will get better at election. If they where realistically concerned about the people they would drop a cut of their own salary to make an impaction improvement .. That is all I could go on for days

    • intobed
      February 04, 2014 - 18:29

      That kind of an attitude towards PEI will not get you many votes in the next election Steve.

  • Troubled Times
    February 04, 2014 - 12:19

    What does he expect.... he QUIT a job where he was in good standing? Why would he not of taken time off? OR if it was affecting him that much he could of simply received a doctors not e for time off due to mental strain. Sorry I don't feel bad for this case

  • RG
    February 04, 2014 - 11:44

    While I believe his reason for coming back to PEI is a great one, I kind of agree with the claim being denied. There was no urgency that forced him to come back exactly at that time. He could have made some phone calls, sent emails, do whatever he needed to do to get a job lined up in PEI before he left. While that's not easy to do, it's still something he could have done before returning. He decided to not pursue this option and just quit his job by his own choice, which doesn't qualify you for an EI claim.

  • Exceptions
    February 04, 2014 - 11:33

    EI does make exceptions..It's called Just cause..Several years back, my marriage was struggling because my spouse was forced to migrate West because of the lack of employment here.Our marriage suffered because of the separation. People are too quick to judge in this case, this young man is not lazy, nor is he looking for a free ride..It's very sad that these new EI rules see families struggling.He states he came home to mend things with the mother of his young child..My husband was disqualified as well for quitting his job..He appealed that decision and won..Like the young man stated family is family..I personally hope EI reverses their decision..This young man has not made a career from frequently drawing EI.

  • cindy
    February 04, 2014 - 11:09

    This is so typical of our FREE Country to reject its own people on a means to live. He did pay into the E.I. system did he not? Give the poor man hes 80 % . If the man came from another country he would get more the E.I. A place to live, A home to live in, schooling. Come on something has to be done with the running of our country who My grandfather , Uncle's. & cousins fought so hard for! WAKE UP!

  • Great
    February 04, 2014 - 10:52

    Where in all the EI changes did it say you could quit and still get benefits?! While I don't agree with ALL the changes to EI- it is cases like this one that makes it hard to state our case here in the Atlantic region!!

  • Carmen
    February 04, 2014 - 10:34

    I'm sorry, but I agree with the decision, to deny the Claim, as he "quit" his job. A good paying job, but what I get from this infomation... there are flighs, to and fro daily, and he has every Legal right to see his daughter... I'd much rather be on PEI, with 'all' of my family, but my married family and my 'great' paying job, are here... so.. this is where I am... Perhaps securing some employment, before moving, would have been in order.

  • In same boat
    February 04, 2014 - 10:27

    I've had to appeal my EI decision also. Made a mistake calling in 2 weeks backwards in 2012 and still waiting for the appeal decision. 3 kids and went from low income to no income and 2 months in now. cupboards are pretty bare, cant find a job, insurance lapsed on my car, 2 mortgages behind, electricity bill is piling up, hauling furnace oil home by the can when I can find somebody to borrow money from. I guess its time to throw in the towel and call social assistance. And to all the nay-sayers...you could be in the same situation someday. The government is deducting our pay cheques for EI insirance and running away with that money. At Christmas time, everybody is so charitable trying to help people in need, the rest of the year, most ya'll could care less if the general population has food on their tables. People against the people, and its exactly why we as Canadians have no rights, and the issues are alot broader then just the EI system.

    • hmm
      February 04, 2014 - 11:12

      Get a job. Stop borrowing from people :)

    • There are jobs!
      February 04, 2014 - 21:31

      We have no rights as Canadians?? Really? Wow! Maybe you should take a look around and see how lucky you are to be Canadian. Your lucky you even have an option for. Social assistance, People need to learn what hard work is. People in other parts of the world would be happy to have a roof over their heads and clean drinking water. Yet your here say your poor me story. Sure it sucks your having a hard time. But sorry Hun life could be much worse. So before you say we have no rights as Canadians you should think of all the rights we do have! By the way kinda funny for all the things you say you don't have you have the internet ?

  • Janice
    February 04, 2014 - 10:23

    i read this artical i do believe this young man did the right thing by coming back to PEI (short term) he returned to make arrangements with the mother of his daughter and make proper arrangements for his daughter, so there would be no possible reprocussions to him being away. some people say that the young people today walk away to easily from thier responsibilities and then you see this young man thinking of his responsibilities and you jump on him for doing what the right thing... society is really messed up..

    • HeaveHarper
      February 04, 2014 - 11:16

      Well said Janice. I believe there are rules regarding moving a child to another province. The ex-girlfriend would require his permission. I hope he gets it sorted and has his little daughter in his life again. As the saying goes 'You can't win for losing'.

  • Mabel
    February 04, 2014 - 10:00

    There is a social mentality (what social program can I get) on PEI, because I worked I am entitled to get EI. There are rules. Rules are there, if not, we all would quit our jobs and go on EI. I am so sick of this mentality!! I would love to quit my job and go to BC. to be close to my family. This kid needs to get a life!! There needs to be many more changes to this sick system. There is definitely an attitude of "poor me" on PEI. I will run to government for help and if that does not work, I will run to the newspaper! The Guardian needs to rethink the stories they choose.

    • Blair
      February 04, 2014 - 11:22

      Mabel, I think you need to look a little closer at the issues this Country is facing, not only the EI, their are a lot other things going on in this Country. We as a social media tend to see things as they are, and just that, try looking a little harder behind the scenes, this man came back for his daughter, nothing else, he is being denied for that reason ( in my books or any human being) wanting to be near and involved in your family's life in the first and foremost in anyone's life, just my option. My wife was denied her EI as well when we moved fromPEI to Newfoundland, she decided to be with her father who is ill with cancer, after appealing the decision she won her case. The Canadian government right now under Harper is tightening their grip on all of us, after watching all of the different changes in Canada over the years, the so called EI reform is just another way for the crooks to dupe Canadians out of money they not only pay into for security, but to be there when we need it, now only to be told the reasons of the past are no longer valid as of today. We need to send people a message, we are Canadians, we take pride in who we are, what we are, we are the first to offer help to those in need, so instead of passing judgement on this man for wanting to be with his daughter, just remember their are many daughters out there without any dads.

  • Marla
    February 04, 2014 - 09:50

    Am I reading the same article as you folks. As I read the article. He had a choice, stay out west good job and possibility of loosing his daughter, OR move home to get things sorted out, and be with his daughter. No where does it state he just up and decided to quit on whim. Most of you are saying suck it up!. Well I hope none of you have children, probably yes you do and both parents are in the picture. Thats a different ball game all together. So lets break it down: They were leaving out west. Both parents and daughter. Parents split up. Mom and daughter move back home. Dad stays out west. NOW how do we know that maybe the Mother was threatening the father that he could possibly loose his daughter. I am assuming like most of you. He had a hard decision to make. Stay or possibly loose his daughter. People are quick to make assumptions in situations. Looks like a good Dad wanting to be with his daughter. And make sure he doesn't loose her. But, we jump down his throat for that! Maybe, you all should rethink your priorities!!!!!!!!!!!.....

    • He Quit
      February 04, 2014 - 10:42

      No one is jumping down his throat for choosing to be with his daughter. If the facts area as you speculate he had a hard decision to make. He deserves credit for making a tough decision. He might even deserve sympathy. He does NOT deserve EI. Perhaps he should go to the media and complain about not getting the old age pension. He doesn't qualify for that either.

    • Blair
      February 04, 2014 - 13:11

      I agree with you Marla, 100%.

    • I agree... but I don't
      February 05, 2014 - 14:51

      I agree with you Marla that he had a tough decision and there is likely more going on then we are (and should be) privy to here. But unfortunately I just simply don't think this should be an EI issue.

  • Suck it up
    February 04, 2014 - 09:13

    I don't feel bad for this guy one bit! My father had to work away from his family for years. You do what you have to to support your family. I'm sick of all the poor me stories. Suck it up!

  • Same Rules Apply
    February 04, 2014 - 08:44

    Same rules apply now as it did 20 years ago . You do not decide , the employer does . EI is insurance to help you out if your employer lay's you off for lack of work . That's the way it's all ways been . Its not there if you just decide that you don't want to work at your present job anymore . This happened to me a number of years ago when I told my boss off and quit , I couldn't get EI back then so I see no change in the rules when it comes to this . All that appears to be happening is the Gov. seems to be enforcing the rules which they should have been doing all along . The view from here .

  • Billy
    February 04, 2014 - 08:42

    What is the fuss here and news?? He quit his job ! No entitlement. It is an insurance and there are rule, just like any other insurance. Gail Shea or even Ghiz had nothing to do with this..

  • ALL OR NONE
    February 04, 2014 - 08:39

    Where do you draw the line? He quit because he missed his daughter. What about the hundreds or maybe even thousands of Maritimers that are working out west to support their families? Should they all come home and draw EI because they miss their children. What is good for one is good for all.

  • Townie
    February 04, 2014 - 08:38

    He quit his job. It was his choice. EI is there if you loose your job. Rules are in place for a reason.

  • Unfortunate, but...
    February 04, 2014 - 08:33

    I feel for this man, on one hand, because it would be difficult to be away from your children for so long, especially during these important years of development. However, perhaps a bit more planning could have been done before actioning the move? Instead of applying for benefits when you've voluntarily given up a job to move to a location where it comes as no surprise that well paying jobs are scarce, maybe save up a bit more money to see you through the transition period, or wait until you've secured a job before moving. Otherwise, in my opinion, you should be willing to "do what it takes" in the short term, which may mean a minimum wage job outside your field... possibly even two, unfortunately.

  • KL
    February 04, 2014 - 08:21

    Employment insurance needs to be privatized as an option that workers can choose. The government needs to get out of the business entirely in my opinion.

  • Boo Hoo
    February 04, 2014 - 08:20

    EI is an insurance program. If you drive your car into a brick wall on purpose you don't qualify for auto insurance. If you quit your job you don't qualify for EI. I have an enormous amount of respect for people who work in seasonal industries and go west in the off season to make ends meet. As for those who get a job and decide to quit I don't really care if you are in Fort Mac or on PEI. I pay into the EI fund the same as you and I don't want you depleting it. Why would you go to the media to complain about not getting something you don't qualify for? As for Lawrence Macaulay, put your money where your mouth is. If you want to support people who quit their jobs because they are homesick go ahead. You pay for it. I sympathize but I am can't afford it.

  • Lloyd
    February 04, 2014 - 08:16

    I feel bad for the pregnant lady. Mr. Avery quit his job and is not deserving of benefits, His situation is bad maybe he should have have taken a short leave of absence and fixed his problems up. No one rule is you can,t quit your job and expect benefits.

  • Point's to ponder
    February 04, 2014 - 08:09

    When you actually think about it , most people in the work force are already "ineligible" to receive EI. The "eligibility" for EI is quite clear...You will only receive benefit's if you qualify , and the only people who will qualify are those who are laid off from work . You will not be eligible if you are fired (even at no fault of your own , and those case's do exist) and you will not be eligible if you quit. So based on that right there , most people who are employed are already "ineligible" before they even lose their job, as the only "eligible" people are those who work in a seasonal or temporary short term position's . Think about it, that means that the majority of job holders are not and never will be eligible for benefits . We are forced to pay into a system that's designed for our failure to be eligible , and when you actually need their assistance ( it's your taxpaying right) you will be denied . It seems a bit unconstitutional I think to be forced to pay into a system that your already ineligible to use . EI is supposed to be an insurance, it's what they call it , and we all pay for that insurance , even though we know we are never going to be allowed to use it . It's for the select few only . If it's not going to cover ALL Canadian's who "pay their insurance fee's" and not disqualify almost everybody automatically , then how fair is the system really? And how much do we the people feel like we are paying for a "valid" service? I for one don't think I am . I feel I am paying a tax instead of an insurance fee , and at my present employment , I am already ineligible if I ever lose my job and I know that . I will not be "laid off" from this position. I can only quit, or get fired . So I feel I'm being forced to pay into a service I will never get . That is a tax, and in no way any kind off insurance . I don't think the Canadian government should be able to force us to pay into such a "lie" of a service . And that clause about being fired is so wrong. It's putting way to much power into the employer's cause , and not or own . Think about that one for a minute , it's backwards. Also , think about this , there are more people in this country paying into the "tax" fund than ever before , and the taxes' only get higher. Yet we're told the Government doesn't have the money , my question then is where the heck is it going?? We the people aren't receiving it, then where does it go? I read earlier this week about how Ottawa was sending some 800 million dollars out to foreign relief , which is defiantly a good cause, I'm not against that . But then we the people are the ones suffering ,not just here , all over Canada. So if they can send that much money abroad , on such a regular basis, then how can they not have the money they need, to provide the insurance that we the people are paying for.. It's time for our Government to stop doing the things they do , and do the right thing , provide the insurance we are paying for . And are most of you people aware , that they have also changed the Welfare system to match the current EI system , meaning you wont receive any welfare benefits( which is supposed to be what saves you when all other systems fail) if you have been fired , or quit , or laid off without enough insurable hour's . You will only receive welfare benefit's now if you fit into the EI claimant status. And some people need to stop and think about it all . Not do what I've been seeing on here for far too long...attack the people who are in a rut , and say too bad, move out west. That is not a viable solution for most people, and people should not be forced to leave their home when they pay into so many "insurance's" . Our government is not for the People , they are all about themselves only . It's time for change. Help us Robert!

    • No Point At All
      February 04, 2014 - 09:30

      Your post is so full of BS I don't know where to start. The only correct thing you said was "and the only people who will qualify are those who are laid off from work". Bingo!!! It is an insurance program for people who get laid off from work. If you have a job that in your words you "will not be laid off from" count yourself lucky. Nobody expects to be laid off but if you are you qualify. The notion that you should get your money back if you pay in to an insurance program and are lucky enough to not have to use it is just plain silly. As for Mr Avery, you quit a good job to relocate. If you expected to quit your job and continue to get paid you were stupid! Consider it a good lesson and either apply for welfare or get back to work.

  • Frustrated
    February 04, 2014 - 08:00

    I am 36 weeks pregnant and my doctor put me off work at the end of Dec. I filed for EI and they still haven't made a decision. I obviously can not work and have paid into EI for years and they are trying to make a decision? That doesn't make any sense to me. I called last week and was told it would be finalized by Monday. Service Canada account still says a decision is waiting to be made. The frustrating part is I called about 40 times yesterday and keep getting a recording saying the call volume is high and they can not transfer me to a rep. I am getting that same message this morning. I think it is time to reconsider their decision process. Frustrated.

    • townie22
      February 04, 2014 - 08:53

      the same thing happened to me, started phoning Service Canada on a Monday and finally got through on Friday after waiting on hold for 40 minutes. so, this is what our Veteran's can now look forward to? that is just SO wrong, and i don't blame the staff, we know who made the staff cuts.

    • mark
      February 04, 2014 - 10:14

      Your case is different. You CAN get the EI for maternity leave. You CANNOT get EI for quitting your job!!!! You can also get paternity leave for the husband as well.

  • News?
    February 04, 2014 - 07:39

    Of course he was denied! You don't quit a good job and then expect to collect on the tax dollars of people who are still working! What a ridiculous thought. I can understand a desire to be a more active parent, but you don't get to collect unemployment just because you chose to quit a job. I can't believe this is even a news story. Why on earth would this boy not have enough common sense to realize that EI is for people who actually need it because they cannot find a job. It's not for people who decide not to stay at their job. It's of parents work out west on rotations, he would have been able to be an active parent if he was home every few weeks. What type of example is he setting for his child by trying to leech off the government?

    • You're wrong
      February 04, 2014 - 08:36

      Apparently there are exceptions to "no EI for people that quit." Also EI isn't tax money - it's insurance money.

    • Not Insurance
      February 04, 2014 - 09:52

      I'd agree with you calling it insurance money if the system worked like insurance. If your house burned down every year then your premiums would go up. Unfortunately, those that draw EI year after year do not have their premiums raised. Which would be nice because maybe if that were the case, those that never draw EI could have their premiums lowered. Either way, EI is a tax on the working to subsidize the underemployed of the those that are happy working a few months of the year. Using the word "insurance" is just political spin to make it more tolerable to make it sound better.

  • resignshea
    February 04, 2014 - 07:22

    A BIG THANKS SHOULD GO OUT TO GAIL SHEA FOR DOING NOTHING FOR HER PROVINCE WHEN IT COMES TO EI AND THE VETERANS, AND ALL THE JOB CUTS .. GAIL SHEA HAS HER TIME IN FOR THE LUCRATIVE PENSIONS MOVE WEST SHEA AND BE WITH YOUR DICTATOR WE DONT WANT YOU ON OUR GENTLE PROVINCE ,

  • Dianne Pye
    February 04, 2014 - 05:48

    The system is wrong. They take the damn money off our cheques, whether we want it or not, but when a time comes for some to need to use it, they tell you that you are not entitled to YOUR money. Something is seriously wrong with the rules and regulations.

  • Guy MacDonald
    February 04, 2014 - 05:40

    This is fundamentally wrong! We pay into employment insurance premiums our entire lives so that when we fall on hard times we can have some assistance to get over obstacles. This is exactly what social systems are designed for. The system is broken. I am sadden when I see so many legitimate situations be denied because the government has a black and white interpretation with no room for grey. This is not reality! Everyone has their story and there should be room for consideration for each case. If not, then have the option to opt out paying premiums because you're going to be shafted anyways. The appeal process is a fig leaf and a joke. You wait 2 months for the same decision. Why provide false hope and wait their 30 day period for a denial message which they could have determine in seconds base on their guidelines.

    • UPWESTER
      February 04, 2014 - 10:37

      EI is not an income supplement program! He had a good job, which, by the way, are hard to find, and he just quit it. He says he wants to be close to his daughter, what about his girlfriend? I think this fellow needs to grow up and if he is so concerned about his daughter, he should still be out west earning a living so he can support her, instead of trying to get EI.That sadly is the culture here. Every one thinks they are entitled to EI forever. They are not.

    • Gen
      February 05, 2014 - 21:57

      @UPWESTER who says he wanted EI "forever"? In fact, he clearly stated that it may only be for a few months that he needed insurance. Saying "he just quit it" is not really fair - he stayed in Alberta for 7 months working, and when he found out that there would be no possibility of the child's mother and his child moving back west, he decided he couldn't live 5000 kms away. I think he made the right choice.