If you are confused, call Service Canada. They were so helpful every time I called.
I echo AlwaysPraying: try to do as much as you can online, then just take the ROE or whatever else you need in to one of the offices. It's way faster.
Also, you can work (a very limited amount) during your parental leave portion of the EI claims, but there is a set limit on how much you can earn before it gets deducted dollar for dollar from your EI. And of course, you will get nailed with taxes if you don't get EI to take more than the usual 10% off. So if anyone is freaking out about how little cash will be coming in, that could be an option.
The undertaxing catches a lot of people. Especially those with employer top-ups. They don't realize that the EI is so undertaxed and is not calculated into the top-up, which is then also undertaxed, and they wind up owing more than the top-up was worth. I have a fair few friends this has happened to.
Oh, also - if you do your EI application online, you can also check to see if your employer can submit your ROE online. That is available as well, now, although not all employers are set up for it. That could save you a long wait in the Service Canada office.
Make sure to check and recheck online that it is actually processed, even the stupidest minor detail will put it in a "reject" bin and it takes ages to go through. I applied at 36 weeks, and I only started getting paid about 2 weeks ago!!!!! LO is 10 weeks!
Also get an epass, or whatever it's called. It is a number that can let you check on the status of your application and see how much money you will be paid etc. To get that you fill out some information and they will mail you a code within a week. Once I got mine, I checked to see that my roe was submitted, they took my claim and was told how much I was getting. It was really helpful. Again, if you need links, let me know.
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