Step-by-Step Canada Pension Plan disability Guide
The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is a system developed to ensure that each citizen of Canada gets a certain reimbursement in case of retirement, disability or death. This guide focuses on a specific topic regarding the CPP; and that is disability.
However, the process isn't simple. The government needs assurance that spending its valuable tax money as pension is the best place to invest the money. Even though the CPP Disability Benefits is technically meant to be easily perceivable, there are a bunch of intricate details that every person hoping to apply needs to understand thoroughly.
In this guide, we're here to help everyone understand how they can also entitle themselves to benefits under the Canadian Disability Tax Laws. We'll explain everything from the definition of CPP Disability Benefits to how you apply for them. This guide will help you make the daunting process much easier. Moreover, by implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you will not only be able to make your case, you will be significantly increasing you chances of getting accepted.
The CPP, as mentioned above, is a huge step by the Canadian Government to ensure that no citizen has to face poverty due to any circumstances. The CPP is meant to increase the standard of living for each citizen because during your employment, you were automatically paying a certain percentage of your salary straight to CPP. This participation is
mandatory and it can come back to help you if your ever face conditions that force you to leave your place of employment.
Generally, the most confronted department of CPP is the retirement one, but as we said earlier, we're here to talk about disability laws in the CPP. A brief summary would be that as long as you have contributed to the system and proven your disability, you will get CPP Disability benefits.
The CPP Disability Benefits aim to help the disabled folks lead a normal lifestyle. This includes certain added benefits for children. Legally, it is called the Children's Benefit. If you qualify for the Disability as well as Children's Benefit, you will receive funds for both yourself and your children. In 2016, each child under the Children's Benefit was receiving $237.67. It is important to note that this number increases each year.
We're going to provide a descriptive list of every disease that qualifies you for tax benefits as per the CPP. This list is detailed, but there are other diseases that are recognized by CPP Contributors.
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Back Injury
- Bowel Disorder
- Congestive Heart Failure
- High Blood Pressure
- Hip Replacement
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Huntington's Disease
- Knee Replacement
- Macular Degeneration
- Myocardial Infarction
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Hearing Loss
- Parkinson's Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sleeping Disorder
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Transient Ischemic Attack
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Walking Impairment
- Heart Disease
There isn't a precise definition of Disability in the laws and regulations of Canada. So, if you have any one of the above-mentioned diseases, there's no guarantee that you'll be selected for Disability Benefits. These diseases are just a list of the ones that are recognized by the CPP Contributors. So, before you hand in your application, talk to your doctor and make them fill out a thorough medical report. Your only job isn't to prove the existence of it, it's also to prove its severity. Attaching a descriptive medical report will greatly increase your chances of getting selected.
The eligibility criteria selects which individuals qualify to receive disability benefits with the CPP. Basically, there are three criterion that allow you to qualify for the disability benefits.
The Contribution Requirements mark the tax money that was paid from your salary to the CPP system during your employment. In order to be considered, the following two requirements must be met.
- A contribution of 4-6 years to the CPP is necessary to request Disability Benefits.
- A contribution of 3-6 years to the CPP is necessary is you have contributed to the system for at least 25 years.
According to the Disability Requirements, you should have a some way to prove a "severe and prolonged disability" that prohibits you from returning to your previous place of employment.
The Disability Benefits are provided to any individual between the ages of 18-65. Disability Benefits from the CPP aren't provided after the age of 65 because that is when the CPP Pension starts.
The Application Forms for Disability Benefits need to downloaded from the internet. They are provided by the Canadian government. There are quite a few forms included in this list and most of them are necessary and are a part of the Disability Benefits Application Package.
General Information and Guide Form
CPP Application for the Disability Benefits Form
Questionnaire Related to Disability Benefits
Consent Form for Service Canada to Obtain Personal Information / Physician's Copy
Consent Form for Service Canada to Obtain Personal Information / Service Canada's Copy
Medical Reporting Form
Child Rearing Provision Form
Information Sheet Related to the Child Rearing Provision and Form
From the above list of eight forms, there are five forms that are absolutely necessary to be considered for Disability Benefits. They are:
It is important to note that the Form ISP2519 is the information from your doctor and it is, by far, the most important form in that list. Most doctors tend to skip over the details and just state that you are suffering from a "prolonged or severe disability". This doesn’t make the Service Canada like you because they prefer applications that go to huge lengths to prove their disability. Such an application that doesn’t explain a disease will probably be rejected. It is much better to ask your doctor or medical practitioner to be as descriptive and detailed as possible. Help them understand the important of that form and how it can affect the acceptance or rejection of your application.
If a disabled person has been taking care after a children without any contribution to the system prior to their disease, they may still be eligible for Disability Benefits. However, you will have to fill out a Child Rearing Provision Form that is Form ISP 1640 in the list mentioned a little earlier.
Service Canada has hundreds of requests to go through at a single time and their extreme thoroughness does sometimes create delays. Generally, the average processing times for Disability Benefits are 90-120 days. The processing time will also depend on the technicality/complexity of your case. After a period of three to four months, Service Canada will definitely get back to your with their initial decision or their follow-up questions.
No, there isn't a guarantee that your case will be accepted by Service Canada. The folks there hold the right to reject any application due to any reason. This may be due to invalid or insufficient information on some of the forms. Or Service Canada might not be convinced that your disability is one that prohibits you from returning to your older place of employment.
If you're rejected on the first go, you can ask for a reconsideration and Service Canada will happily help. The staff assigned to your case won't have anyone that was involved in the original rejection of your application. So, you can go above and beyond to prove your disability in a totally new way because these people will not have any access to your previous application forms.
The request for a reconsideration has to be processed within 90 days of the original decision. You will be sending a written request to Service Canada's office in that time frame. When you're sending a reconsideration request, please ensure that you include the following information:
- Name, Address, Phone Number and Social Insurance Number
- A detailed description stating the reasons as to why you think the original decision is false and should be put to reconsideration.
- Any additional information you believe Service Canada should have.
Service Canada aren't the type of people that will run after you for information, that is something you're going to have to do. They have hundreds of cases to deal with everyday and you can't expect them to follow-up with every individual just to have some extra information. That is why you need to be proactive and provide all the information in advance. Just sending them a letter for reconsideration and waiting for them isn't going to work. Talk to your doctor again and ask them to write a their report from scratch and in a different way as opposed to the original form. You could talk to the Medical Adjudicator to provide exquisite details on why your request was denied. This way, you might be able to understand where you application lacked persuasion, and then you can work on those weak spots.
If you're having a second go at getting Disability Benefits, then a few extra tests might tilt the scales in your favor. It is important to remember that Service Canada likes you depending on the amount of information you provide them. And, extra medical tests might just be the very thing that gets your application approved. A few tests that you'll want to pursue are:
- Vocational Expert Assessments
- Transferable Skills Assessments
- Functional Ability Assessments
- Examinations by Medical Specialist
The best way to go about additional tests would be to have your doctor create reports about them as well. It would be best if the doctor rewrites his entire report instead of just writing about the new tests. It won't be a bad idea to debunk a few of the points the Medical Adjudicator had to reject your application. You can be as elaborative as you want and your report can up to a couple dozen pages. Service Canada likes reading material, so don't bother holding back at all.
We'll list out the typical Canada Pension Plan payments for 2017. These payments are not for the year of 2018 but they will offer a rough estimate of what you can expect.
Pension or Benefit Payment Type
Average Monthly Payment
Maximum Payment Amount
CPP Disability Benefits
Survivor's Pension – <65
Survivor's Pension – 65+
Benefit for Children of Disabled CPP Contributors
Benefits for Children of Deceased CPP Contributors
Combined Survivor and Retirement Pension Benefits
Combined Payment for Survivor's Pension and Disability Benefit
CPP Benefits aren't available to people that haven't contributed to the system. However, there are certain exceptions made for people that were unable to contribute because of illness, child rearing or a similar reason.
Yes, receiving Disability Benefits from the CPP does not remove the obligation of having to file an annual tax return.
CPP Benefits technically last until your recovery. By recovery, we mean a point where your disability isn't a factor in your life anymore and you can easily return to your old place of employment. If Service Canada receives news that your illness can improve, they will be reviewing your case every 6 months. However, if they don’t expect your illness to improve, you will receive Disability Benefits till the age of 65, after which the CPP Pension starts.
The answer would be, pretty often. Canada has an extremely high disability denial rates in the OECD. Over 60% of applicants get rejected on their initial applications.
There are very strict rules as to what you can do while receiving Disability Benefits. You are allowed to do volunteer work and return to a school or university to complete, or enhance your educations. Also, you can be employed without having to report your income to Service Canada only if the yearly income falls short of $5,400. If you're earning more than that, you will have to notify Service Canada and your benefits will definitely be reviewed.
In case of a terminal illness, complete the Terminal Illness Application Form (ISP2530) and send it to Service Canada. The processing of such requests are much quicker and you will receive a verdict within 5 days.
If you were a stay at home mom or dad, then you will also fall in the category of people that qualify for Child Rearing Benefits. It doesn’t matter whether you contributed to the system, CPP will allow you to apply for Disability Benefits.
If you worked overseas, your contributions to any foreign pension plan will still be counted and you will qualify to receive CPP Disability Benefits.
Yes, the rules allow you to split the CPP Disability Credits collected by the partners during the time of their marriage. The splitting means that they will have to transfer their credits so that each partner has equalized credits.
Yes, there are certain scenarios that make it possible for you to qualify for the CPP Survivor's Benefit and the Disability Benefit. If this is the case, the payments will be added into a single payment.
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