Ontario Self-Employment Benefit


The Ontario Self-Employment Benefit provides unemployed people who are or have recently been eligible for Employment Insurance with income and entrepreneurial support while they develop and start their business.

Who can apply?

Job seekers who are unemployed can apply to participate if they meet one of the following conditions:

  • They established a claim for Employment Insurance benefits or their Employment Insurance benefit period ended within the past three years.
  • They established a claim for Employment Insurance maternity or paternity benefits and were paid benefits within the past five years, and are re-entering the labour force after having left it to care for newborn or newly adopted children.

For the purpose of determining whether an individual qualifies as a participant, the date the completed application is received by Employment Ontario is the date when he or she is considered to have requested assistance.

Other criteria may apply.

How can I get more information?

Call the toll-free Employment Ontario hotline at 1-800-387-5656, TTY (telephone service for the deaf) 1-866-768-1157 for more information about how to access Ontario Self-Employment Benefit services in your area. Newcomers to Ontario can ask for this information in the language of their choice.