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FINAL CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE 1. What is Career Transition Assistance for long-tenured workers? As part of its Economic Action Plan, the government announced two temporary Career Transition Assistance initiatives to help long-tenured workers renew or upgrade their skills while receiving regular EI benefits. In addition, eligible laid-off workers who received payments on termination of employment will not have to wait as long before they can receive EI benefits. This only applies if they use some of these payments to pay for eligible training. These initiatives came into force on May 31, 2009, and apply to EI benefit periods established between January 25, 2009 and May 29, 2010. For more information please visit: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/corporate/budget/2009/swu.shtml 2. What is a long-tenured worker? A long-tenured worker is someone who: • has contributed to the EI program (paid at least 30% of the annual maximum EI premiums) for at least seven out of ten calendar years; • has received regular EI benefits for no more than 35 weeks in the last five years; and • whose claim started on or after January 25, 2009, but no later than May 29, 2010. 3. Who can participate in Career Transition Assistance? Potentially eligible individuals who have applied for regular EI benefits will be notified by Service Canada via letter that they meet the criteria of long-tenured workers. The letter will explain what the initiatives are and how to apply for them. 4. What types of training are available? The type of training will be based on your individual needs and should relate to your plans for future employment opportunities. You must work with your local employment service provider to develop a plan identifying the most appropriate training to meet your needs. FINAL 5. What are the new Career Transition Assistance initiatives for long- tenured workers? There are two Career Transition Assistance initiatives - the Extended Employment Insurance and Training Incentive (EEITI) pilot project and the Severance Investment for Training Initiative (SITI). EEITI offers support to long-tenured workers taking long-term training as follows: • a claim for EI regular benefits could be extended for up to a maximum of 104 weeks (including the two-week mandatory waiting period) while the claimant is on training. • it could include up to 12 weeks of EI regular benefits after the training is completed to help facilitate job search. This will depend on the length of the training. To be eligible, the training must start after May 31, 2009, be full time, last for 20 weeks or more, and begin within a year of the start date of the person’s EI claim. SITI allows long-tenured workers who received payments on termination of employment and finance their own training, to get regular EI benefits sooner, instead of waiting for these payments to be exhausted before receiving EI. To be eligible, the training must be full time, last at least 10 weeks, or the tuition fees must be at least $5,000 or 80% of the termination payments, and begin within a year of the start date of their EI claim. 6. How do I apply for Career Transition Assistance? You are eligible if you qualify for regular EI benefits and have been identified as a long-tenured worker in a Service Canada letter. This letter will give you information on the initiatives and will refer you to your local employment service provider to discuss your training needs. Your employment service provider will determine your eligibility for these measures and help you develop a return to work action plan. 7. Can I participate in both Career Transition Assistance initiatives? Yes. People interested in either or both initiatives should bring the letter they receive from Service Canada identifying them as a long-tenured worker to their local employment service providers to discuss their training needs. FINAL 8. I’m relatively new to the workforce but got additional money (or payments on termination) when I was laid off. Can I use that money to get training to help me find another job? To qualify under either initiative you must have been identified as a long-tenured worker in a letter from Service Canada. If you are a long-tenured worker you can use some of the money you received when you were laid off – payments on termination - to finance your training while receiving EI. 9. How long do I have to decide if I want to participate? These initiatives came into force on May 31, 2009, and apply to EI benefit periods established between January 25, 2009 and May 29, 2010. For EEITI, if your EI claim started between January 25th 2009 and May 31st 2009, you have until August 22nd 2009 to be referred to training by your local employment service provider. If your EI claim started after May 31st, 2009, you have 20 weeks after your claim started to be referred to training by your local employment service provider.. For SITI, you must be referred to training by your local employment service provider during the period covered by your termination payments. If the period covered by your termination payments is five weeks or less you will have to be referred to training by your local employment service provider within six weeks of receiving the letter informing you of the allocation of your termination payments from Service Canada. 10. What happens if I missed the deadline to apply? Missing the deadline to obtain a referral to training will result in refusal of your participation. 11. I heard from my friend / neighbour / relative / newspaper about these initiatives. I would like to participate. What do I do? To qualify, you must be eligible for regular EI benefits and have been identified as a long-tenured worker in a letter from Service Canada. 12. Can I opt not to participate? There is no obligation to participate in either initiative. However, these initiatives are a great opportunity to upgrade your skills and help you find new employment. FINAL 13. What impact does this have on my EI claim? If your participation is approved you will continue to receive your regular EI benefits. This process should be relatively seamless. If you choose not to participate, your EI claim will not be affected in any way. 14. What can I do if my training is refused? Training must be approved by the local employment service provider of participating provinces and territories. Decisions regarding referral or non referral to training cannot be appealed. 15. What if I was told by Service Canada that I do not meet the criteria to be a long-tenured worker and I disagree? If you disagree with a decision concerning Employment Insurance, you have the right to appeal. There is no cost to file an appeal, but there is a 30-day time limit for filing the appeal after you are informed of the decision you disagree with. For more information on how to appeal EI-related matters, visit the Service Canada website at: http://www.ei.gc.ca/eng/referees.shtml 16. How long can I get benefits while I participate in these initiatives? Under SITI, the length of regular EI benefits is determined when your claim is processed and it is based on the unemployment rate in your region and the number of insurable hours you have accumulated in the qualifying period. Under EEITI, regular EI benefits can be extended while you are on training up to a maximum of 104 weeks (including the mandatory two-week waiting period). This extension could also include up to 12 weeks of benefits following training to facilitate job search.
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