NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 3000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

100 Lombard Street
Suite 303
Toronto, ON
M5C 1M3
Tel: 416-536-4827
Toll-free: 1-888-428-0362
Fax: 416-536-0859


March 21, 2020

Important Office Updates Regarding COVID-19 - March 21, 2020

Dear Members,

In an effort to continue to provide the membership with the most updated information, please see below more information regarding Employment Insurance, RRSP and other resources that are available to you.  Please note that we have created multiple hyperlinks within this notice for your convenience.


Regular EI Benefits
To qualify for EI benefits, you need to have lost employment through no fault of your own. That means if you quit, were terminated with cause or are on strike, you cannot get EI.

The benefits you receive depend on where you live, how much you've worked in the last year and the unemployment rate in your area.

We realise that many members may have applied for EI benefits prior to this pandemic. Should any information regarding extending your current EI claim or applying for consecutive EI claims be made available we will notify the membership.

More information about Regular EI eligibility and how to apply can be found at

EI Sickness Benefits
To qualify for EI sickness benefits, you need to show that: you can't work for medical reasons, your income has dropped by more than 40% for at least a week and you have built up 600 hours of insured hours in the last year or since your last claim (whichever is shorter).

In relation to the COVID-19 virus, the government has stated that those who are unable to work because they have been directed to self-isolate or quarantined will not have to wait the usual one week to receive EI sickness benefits.

Additionally, the sickness benefits can be accessed without the usual requirement of a doctor's note or other medical certificate. More information about applying for EI sickness benefits is available on our government's website.

Newly Announced:
On Wednesday, the government put into place the creation of an Emergency Care Benefit and an Emergency Support Benefit specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Care Benefits
The Emergency Care Benefit will provide up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:

-Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.

-Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.

-Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

Applications will require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility.

Unifor National sent out some information regarding EI as well. Please click the hyperlink to view the communication piece.

Emergency Support Benefit
The Government also introduced an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment. Application for the Emergency Care and Emergency Support benefits will be available in April 2020.

Canadians may select one of three channels to apply:

1. by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;
2. by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account;
3. by calling a toll free number* equipped with an automated application process (*number is not yet published)

It is highly recommended that if you are considering applying to these benefits, you set up, or access your My Service Canada and your CRA MyAccount accounts NOW and ensure that all your information is up-to-date to help expedite the process.

For more information about these emergency benefits and additional resources regarding the Government's economic measures, please visit Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.


Your Union has consistently supported The AFC, previously known as the Actors Fund of Canada over the years. The AFC provides financial and other compassionate support to those who work in the Canadian entertainment industry when an unforeseen emergency, such as this pandemic, causes urgent financial need. They offer confidential, short-term, charitable assistance with basic living and medical needs that cannot be otherwise met and other social services.

If you are in need of financial or other avenues of support, please contact the AFC. They will connect with you to find out more about your situation and advise on how they can best assist you.

For more information and to apply for emergency assistance, please visit their website here: The AFC: Get Help

Please visit the AFC's COVID-19 Guide to Emergency Financial Assistance at


For those enrolled in the benefits plan, please find attached the most recent statement released by Industrial Alliance regarding your Group Health Benefits and more specifically regarding travel insurance, drugs and other medical expenses incurred in the province of residence, and disability insurance.

During this pandemic, we encourage you to use Industrial Alliance's digital services to speed up the processing of your health and dental care claims. Please find attached information about registering for My Client Space, signing up for direct deposit and submitting claims online.

Industrial Alliance - How to Register for MyClient Space
Industrial Alliance - Digital Services


We understand that there may be concerns about your Group RRSP funds and the fluctuating market during this time. The Union has been in frequent communication with your plan administrators, Matheis Financial and they have assured us that they are available and dedicated to provide you help with your inquiries and concerns surrounding your RRSP funds and investments.

Matheis Financial Team: 905-837-2600

Information about your RRSP account can also be accessed on the Manulife Financial website. Instructions on how to register for online access is attached below.

For further information regarding Market Fluctuations, Manulife is featuring scheduled webinars on this topic that will be available on their website.

To participate in these webinars please visit:

Statement from Matheis Financial Group
Manulife Financial - Online Registration Instructions


We have been in discussion with Matheis Financial Group regarding the Critical Illness Plan and whether there will be any modifications made under this coverage, specifically for this pandemic.

Any updates we receive regarding the Critical Illness benefit will be shared with the membership.

We will continue with our lobbying efforts regarding concerns that may be more unique to those in our industry and we will continue to update you as information and resources become available.

Thank you.

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