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Culled from happenlink...

If you drive to Buffalo, NY or wherever on a weekend, that's okay as those are not work days and hence you are not job searching. I went to Calgary for one week. I did attend interviews while in Calgary but advised SERVICE CANADA because I was leaving my home city and SERVICE CANADA assumes that a full job search must occur in your home city.

If you are going to Cuba for two weeks, TELL SERVICE CANADA before you go! If you go on vacation and do not tell Service Canada, you may lose your benefits. Believe it or not there was a young woman at this seminar who was ready to get on a plane to Cuba only weeks after her EI cheques started coming in. She did not project the image that she was serious about her job search. Give SERVICE CANADA your reason for travel. They may stop your benefits during the time of your trip, then restart them when you return. They may do nothing at all, other than make a note in your file. Err on the side of caution. Tell SERVICE CANADA about any travel you may need to take, especially if you are not driving or leaving the country.

If you need to take a break from the challenge of a job search, take a short road trip or a weekend getaway at a local hotel or resort. If you have the money to spend in Cuba then you have the money to spend locally, and you won't get into trouble.

Joshua Caplan

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I had this experience recently attending a funeral for a close friend of 28 years in New Hampshire, traveling on Friday Nov 20th. I lost that day's EI dollars. Saturday or Sunday would have been OK with full pay. If it was a close relative it would be OK full pay.

I could have gone for a review but that would have held up the EI for 2-3 weeks or more. I have better things to do.

Of course this was ONE of those EI rep's on the phone; you may have better success with these people. Perhaps see one of those semi-live ones at the office if they're not on break or on strike or on something?

Murray Etherington, P.Eng.

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I have to caution people who 'confirm' with EI via phone to take notes on who you spoke to, when etc. Always keep a paper trail! and if you leave paperwork with Services Canada, make sure you get a copy (they will do that if you ask) and have it date stamped. Personally, I see no reason why EI *should* pay someone who is not available for work, and going across the border for a shopping trip defiinately comes under that category.

Dawn Montgomery

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I went across the border on a Friday a couple of weeks ago. The subsequent
electronic EI report questionnaire "asked" a "new" question. Was I out of the country during any part of the reporting period on a week day? I answered "yes". I also answered the question "was I available for work" with a "yes" as well.

My EI form could not be processed until I spoke with an EI agent. Even though I live less than 45 minutes from the border and I had contact with a prospective employer and did my normal job board search, etc.(on that day), I was disqualified from receiving EI for that day.

Annette Coulas

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Regarding the crossing of the boarder and EI, always remember that the staff at EI have one mandate and one mandate only "reduce the amount of money they have to pay out". I faced the same question and even though I crossed at 3:00 pm on Friday they still deducted a day's benefit. They truly couldn't care less about us. They are just trying to reduce the money that they pay out, plain and simple, logic does not enter into the picture here.

Ross Hill

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I will add to this post if more comments are made on happenlink...
Bryan C Webb, P. Eng.
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