Throughout the course of your working life, you may find yourself relying on Employment Insurance (EI) once or twice. Whether it’s following the birth or adoption of a child or as the result of unemployment, having temporary financial assistance can be a big help.
So what happens if you find yourself under investigation for fraud while receiving EI? Given the serious implications, it’s important to understand what is involved.
Employment Insurance: Obligations and Responsibilities
While receiving EI benefits, there are certain responsibilities that you must uphold. Depending on the reason behind requiring EI, some of the requirements may include:
- Reporting all earnings before deductions and any other money received
- Keeping detailed records of job search efforts
- Proving qualification for EI maternity or parental benefits
- Reporting the refusal of any offers of employment
Sometimes, your employer or another third party can be responsible for handling EI on your behalf.
An Honest Mistake or Fraud?
Often, the circumstances surrounding a need for EI are stressful or complicated. Caring for a newborn baby, tending to a critically ill loved one, or experiencing the fallout of an unexpected job loss can leave a person reeling.
When you are preoccupied, forgetting to notify Employment and Social Development Canada about minor changes or omitting a piece of information can be a simple oversight. Unfortunately, the consequences of an EI violation are serious and it can be hard to prove that your misstep was unintentional.
Depending on the type of violation and value of over payment, you could be facing prosecution, fines over $5,000 and have to work additional hours to qualify for future EI benefits.
Accused of EI Fraud? Don’t Go At It Alone.
Regardless of why you are being investigated for EI fraud, know that there is help available. A lawyer who is well-versed in fraud cases can help provide you with the tools you need to minimize consequences and pursue the best possible outcome. Having a trusted advocate by your side can go a long way in providing peace of mind, especially during an already taxing time.