CPP Disability Benefits
I have been working as a clerk for 12 years and recently became stricken with breast cancer. I am unable to work. I have no disability insurance coverage through work. My doctor told me to apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP) Benefits. I have never heard of CPP Disability benefits. What are they?
The CPP Disability Benefit is a monthly benefit that provides disability coverage for working Canadians. The amount you receive from CPP is calculated individually based on the amount and the number of years you have contributed to the plan. It is a taxable benefit.
To qualify for CPP Disability benefits, you must be under age 65 and meet two conditions. First, you must have made enough earnings and valid contributions into the CPP while you were working. Second, you must meet the definition of “disability”. The definition of disability is a two prong test. The disability must be both “severe” and “prolonged”.
Generally speaking, “severe
” means that you are incapable of regularly pursuing any gainful occupation, not just the work you usually do, and “prolonged
” means that the disability is long term or likely to result in death. To qualify, you must meet both the severe and prolonged criteria.
The process begins with the filing of an application which includes the completion of various forms including a medical report form to be completed by a physician. If your application for CPP Disability Benefits is denied you may appeal the denial of benefits through various levels. As always, there are very strict time limitations within which your application for benefits and any appeal must be made.