Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits: What are they and how do you qualify?
The Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”) disability benefit program provides modest monthly payments to people who are under 65, who have contributed to the CPP for a minimum number of years and who have a “severe and prolonged” disability that prevent them from working at any job on a regular basis.
The amount of the monthly benefit depends on the amount of contributions to CPP that are made while the disabled person is working. The amount of the benefit also depends on the number of years that the disabled person contributed to the plan before becoming disabled.
Eligibility for the benefits is not related to financial need. The benefits are only payable if the person applying has a “severe and prolonged” disability. Eligibility for these benefits is an all or nothing situation. Either one qualifies or one does not. There are no partial benefits paid.
In order to apply a patient must have their physician fill out an eligibility form. The physician must agree that the patient is incapable of regularly pursuing any substantially gainful occupation and that the disability is of indefinite duration and will continue to prevent the patient from going back to work in the next 12 months or will result in death.
On occasion disabled people end up in a dispute with the government over whether they are entitled to CPP disability benefits. Should you find yourself in that situation it is important that you consult a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
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