Politics & Policies

Employment Insurance ‘Reform’ in PEI / Far fewer unemployed getting it

The percentage of unemployed people collecting employment insurance on P.E.I. fell dramatically in 2013.

Reforms to the EI system by the federal government came into effect one year ago Monday.

Figures from Statistics Canada show that through 2012 an average of 95.6 per cent of the unemployed on P.E.I. were receiving employment insurance. During the first 10 months of 2013 that fell to an average of 80.6 per cent.

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The changes raised the bar on looking for work requirements, and some claimants lost weeks worth of coverage.

The drop in EI beneficiaries represents about 1,100 Islanders who were able to collect EI in 2012 but not in 2013.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees blames the federal government’s EI system reform for the significant drop in the number Islanders receiving EI payments.

Lori MacKay, president of CUPE on P.E.I., said there have been so many changes some people don’t understand how they’re affected until their benefits run out.

“All the changes are kind of coming in quietly, and subtly,” said MacKay.

“It’s impacting people to the point where they’re not recognizing until it’s almost to the point where, I’m not getting my bills paid. So I think that’s one of the frustrating parts with these changes.”

MacKay said people who run out of benefits before they find work are spending their savings, going into debt, or relying on family to help pay the bills.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

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via Far fewer P.E.I. unemployed getting EI – Prince Edward Island – CBC News.

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