Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) said processing of Employment Insurance (EI) cheques has never been faster, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “As of November 30, the average number of days it took for a client to receive their first Employment Insurance benefit payment was 18 days compared to an average of 25 days over the same period in 2022,” said ESDC in a briefing note. Last year, ESDC said it processed more than two million EI claims. “Canadians are growing impatient as they wait months,” it said. “Workload is managed strategically, allowing officers to process claims for pay-affected clients first.”When it came to 85.5% of EI claims, it said Service Canada processed them within 28 days. However, it confirmed processing might take longer than 28 days, especially during peak periods or for the most complex files. For claims not completed in 28 days, it said the average processing time is between 29 and 35 days. Slow processing of them has been the target of numerous parliamentary committee investigations. “I consider this urgent,” said Bloc Quebecois MP Louise Chabot (Therese-De Blainville, QC). “There is nothing that can explain why there is a processing backlog that has reached such an incredibly high level.”Chabot said she knew of constituents who waited months for claims to be processed under the Employment Insurance Act. “We are facing an urgent situation for many people applying for EI who are suffering the dramatic impacts of delays in processing of their claims,” she said.Liberal MP Wayne Long (Saint John-Rothesay, NB) said all constituency offices are getting calls. “All of us are getting those calls,” said Long.“All of us.”Long acknowledged the investigations “have been through this many, many times.”“All of us know it,” he said. An ESDC report published on December 25 indicated the private sector had raised Canadians' expectations for faster and better service.READ MORE: Service Canada cannot match private sector's faster serviceWhile the private sector has evolved with new technology, ESDC said it has struggled with months-long backlogs for benefits such as Canada Pension Plan cheques. “The Government of Canada continues to work towards improving how it delivers services to the public,” it said.