Most Canadians have heard of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) but all of a sudden become confused when they hear Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability. The government of Canada has generated a disability program to protect those disabled Canadian individuals who have made sufficient contributions towards their Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
To be eligible for the CPP Disability benefit, there is a criteria that has to be met and this criteria is, “You must suffer from both ‘severe’ and ‘prolonged’ disability and it must prevent you from being able to work at any job on a regular basis. ‘Severe means’ that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work, while ‘Prolonged’ means that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death”.
In addition to satisfying the above definition of disability, you must also be under the age 65 and further meet the CPP contribution requirements.
If you are above the age of 18 and earn more than $3,500, then you must make contributions towards CPP. If you are employed, then you pay for half these contributions and your employer pays for the remainder and if you are self-employed, then you must make these contributions towards CPP on your own.
To qualify for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability benefit, you must have contributions towards your CPP in:
a) Four of the last six years; or
b) Three of the last six years if you have contributed for at least 25 years
You may still be eligible for CPP benefits despite making no contributions or having very low earnings if you were the primary caregiver raising your children under the ‘child-rearing provisions’. Caring for young children can mean leaving the work force or working fewer hours. If your earnings stopped or were lower because you were the primary caregiver raising your children under the age of seven, then you can request the ‘child-rearing provision’.
The ‘child rearing provision’ is applicable to you if:
- You have children born after December 31, 1958
- Your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, worked fewer hours or a took a lesser paying job to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven; and
- You or your spouse or common law partner received Family Allowance payments or were eligible for the Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit)
The Government of Canada is generous to the disabled and understands that there can circumstances where you might not be able to apply on time due to your medical condition. There is a provision called the ‘late applicant provision’ under which you are eligible for the CPP disability benefit, even if you stopped working long ago but at present meet all the conditions of eligibility. You may be eligible if:
- You had enough years of CPP contributions when you first became severely disabled; and
- You have been continuously disabled from that date up to the present time.
The basic monthly amount fixed for all recipients is $471.43 in addition to an amount based on your contributions to CPP during your employment career. The average monthly CPP disability benefit for the year of 2016 was $933.82 and the maximum monthly amount was around $1,290.81.
At our firm, we do assist individuals in all of Ontario whose CPP Disability claim has been denied. However, we always recommend you attempt to apply for the benefit on your own and if denied, then we can assist you. If you are not comfortable applying on your own, then we would be more than happy to represent you and advocate for you. Please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-benefit/apply.html to apply for CPP Disability benefits on your own. Why pay us fees for something you can do on your own?
Now that you have applied, you will have to be patient as it can take approximately up to 4 months for a decision to be made by Service Canada. If you meet the requirements of the legislation, then your disability benefits will commence the 4th month after the month you are determined to be disabled. You can receive up to a maximum of 12 months of retroactive payments from the date your application was received by Service Canada.
The medical adjudicators take into consideration the following criteria when determining whether you are eligible for the benefit or not:
- The nature and severity or your medical condition;
- The impact of the medical condition and treatment on your capacity to work;
- The prognosis;
- Personal characteristics such as age, education and work history; and
- You work performance, productivity and how much you are earning.
Under CPP legislation, the medical adjudicators do not consider the availability of suitable employment in your region when determining whether you are eligible for the benefit or not. So when you are filling out your application for CPP Disability benefits, make sure you take all the above factors into consideration and be as expressive as you can in your application and be thorough when describing your medical condition.
If your application is denied, then you may request a reconsideration of your decision. You must request a reconsideration in writing within 90 days after you are notified in writing of the decision by Service Canada. Please be advised that reconsideration can take up to several months depending on whether you have submitted any medical information. If your application for reconsideration is still denied, then your next step is to contact the Social Security Tribunal for an Appeal.
*The above mentioned information on this page has been sought from the website of service Canada. To ensure that this information is accurate, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-benefit/apply.html for more information.
To understand the interplay between CPP Disability Benefits and your Long-Term Disability claim, please visit the ‘CPP Set Off’ sub-category under Long-Term Disability on our website.
At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if your CPP Disability claim has been denied either at the Reconsideration stage or before, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any tribunal costs. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15. Or in the alternative, we may charge a flat fee or a percentage amount at the time of the decision in writing or judgment. If we are retained for your denied Long-Term Disability Claim and consequently retained for your CPP Disability claim and upon being successful in obtaining this benefit for you, retroactive payments are made to the LTD insurer, then our legal fees for your CPP Disability claim will be charged at the time of settlement or judgment of your LTD claim.