Fixing the Hole in Employment Insurance: Temporary Income Assistance for the Unemployed
Michael Mendelson and Ken Battle,
Many unemployed Canadians are ineligible for Employment Insurance, so that welfare becomes their only alternative. But welfare rates are low, especially for single employable recipients. Further, applicants must exhaust their financial assets, and the paternalistic requirements of welfare are stigmatizing. As a consequence, it is difficult to bounce back from welfare into the economic mainstream. The solution most often proposed has been to loosen the rules for Employment Insurance; however, we show in this paper that many unemployed workers would still be left in the cold even if we did that. Something is needed between Employment Insurance, with its relatively higher benefits but limited reach, and welfare, to which anyone in need can apply but only for inadequate benefits. We propose a new temporary income measure to fill the gap between Employment Insurance and welfare – the Jobseeker’s Loan.
ISBN - 1-55382-550-0
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Michael Mendelson appears before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to speak on the subject of Employment Insurance and the difficulties associated with regional organization of EI benefits.