© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Jeremy Avery, here at his home in Fort Augustus, has started getting EI benefits after his initial claim was rejected.
Jeremy Avery of Fort Augustus left job in Alberta to return home for his daughter
A Fort Augustus man who was denied an employment insurance claim after he quit a job in Alberta to be with his daughter in P.E.I. will be able to collect the benefits after all.
Jeremy Avery said it felt good to finally have his claim approved, but it was frustrating at the same time.
“It would have been nice if it was done right away or I had a little more information from the start,” he said.
Avery had been living in Alberta for about two years and was working as a mechanical and commercial plumber when he decided to move back to P.E.I. in December to be closer to his three-year-old daughter.
Initially, Avery’s daughter and mother were living in Alberta with him until the couple split up. His daughter and her mother moved back to P.E.I. in May.
In most cases, people aren’t eligible for EI benefits if they leave their job voluntarily, but the regulations provide circumstances that can be considered just cause for quitting a job. That includes accompanying a dependent child to another residence.
Avery’s claim was denied 29 days after he filed his application for benefits, with Service Canada saying it was because 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 with that assessment and appealed the decision.
Service Canada said it received his formal request for reconsideration on Jan. 30 and the decision was made Feb. 20.
A statement from Service Canada said Avery was contacted after appealing the decision and his reasons for leaving his job in Alberta were clarified.
“He provided additional information which supported that, for the purposes of Employment Insurance, he had just cause for voluntarily leaving his employment,” the statement said.
Avery said he has received back pay for the time he wasn’t getting his claim after the initial rejection.
He is still looking for work, but said he hasn’t had much luck yet.
“I’m hoping once warmer weather comes around the next couple of weeks there will be some more stuff opening up,” Avery said.