Federal Court

Public Law

Social programs

Employment insurance

Determination of case turned on when benefit period commenced not when payments commenced

Applicant long-tenured employee was laid off after 13 years of work due to work shortage and submitted application for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits nine days later. Employment Insurance Commission informed applicant that if his claim had been extended under Bill C-15 legislation, he would have been entitled to additional 25 weeks of benefits. Applicant appealed to General Division of Social Security Tribunal and argued that he could have claimed additional weeks of benefits had he delayed application process. General Division summarily dismissed appeal. Social Security Tribunal Appeal Division dismissed applicant’s appeal. Applicant brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Commission did not owe applicant fiduciary duty. Appeal Division reasonably concluded that General Division did not err in finding that applicant had no reasonable chance of success. It was clear that starting date for benefit period was three days after layoff, pursuant to s. 10(1) of Employment Insurance Act. Appeal Division’s finding that applicant’s EI payments had been delayed due to his severance allowance was reasonable. Determination of case turned on when benefit period commenced, not when payments commenced. Applicant was aware of delay that his severance pay would cause.

Berkiw v. Canada (Attorney General) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 7575, 2018 FC 1228, Paul Favel J. (F.C.).

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