CPP Disability Benefit
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit is a taxable monthly payment that is available to people who have contributed to the CPP and who are not able to work regularly at any job because of a disability.
The CPP disability benefit is not designed to pay for such things as medications and assistive devices.
To qualify for a CPP disability benefit, you must:
- have a severe and prolonged disability
- be under the age of 65
- meet the CPP contribution requirements:
- four of the last six years, or
- three of the last six years if you have contributed for at least 25 years.
With very few exceptions, every person over the age of 18 who works in Canada outside of Quebec and earns more than a minimum amount ($3,500 per year) must contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). If you have an employer, you pay half the required contributions and your employer pays the other half. If you are self-employed, you make the whole contribution.
You should apply as soon as you develop a severe and prolonged or terminal medical condition that prevents you from working regularly at any job.
Do not delay in sending your completed application forms. You must apply for the CPP disability benefit in writing. The date your application is received affects the date your benefit begins.
If you are aged 60 to 64 and you think you might qualify for a CPP disability benefit, you may also want to apply for a CPP retirement pension. While you cannot receive both at the same time, you may qualify to begin receiving a retirement pension while you wait for your CPP disability benefit application to be assessed, which usually takes longer.
If you are already receiving a CPP retirement pension when your application for a disability benefit is approved, we will switch your retirement pension to a disability benefit if:
- you are still under the age of 65
- you were deemed to be disabled, as defined by the CPP legislation, before the effective date of your retirement
- you have been receiving your CPP retirement pension for less than s15 months at the time you applied for your disability benefit
- you meet the minimum contributory requirements.
If your disability benefit is approved, you must pay back the retirement pension payments you received. Normally, it’s recovered from your first disability payment.
If you sign your application for a disability benefit before you die, your application will be considered. Your estate and survivors may be eligible to receive CPP benefits after your death.
You must apply in writing. Print out the main application form (ISP 1151), the consent forms, and any other necessary forms from the application kit for CPP disability benefits, and mail them to
PO Box 250 Station A
Fredericton NB E3B 4Z6.
Before applying, consider the following:
- To help you complete your application, read the General Information and Guide, which is part of the application kit. This guide includes steps for completing your application, changes that may affect your benefits, a mailing checklist, and other useful information about disability benefits.
- If you are a parent or guardian, you could request the child-rearing provision (form is in the application kit) and the children’s benefit (a section of the main application form).
- If you are unable to fill out the forms, a family member or a friend can help you. Make sure that you sign where necessary.
Make sure you keep photocopies of everything you submit. If you talk to someone from Service Canada, write down the name of the person and the date and time of your conversation. Keep all the information in one place.
Q: Will my doctor charge me for completing the medical report that is part of my application?
A: We will pay your physician up to a certain amount for completing your medical report. Your physician is responsible for sending us invoices for payment. Should your physician charge more than our set amount, you are responsible for covering any extra costs above the amount we pay.
You will receive the basic monthly amount fixed for all recipients, plus an amount based on how much you contributed to the CPP during your entire working career.
If you are receiving a CPP disability benefit, your dependent children may also be eligible for a children’s benefit.
The CPP disability benefit is not designed to pay for such things as medications and devices. Contact your province if you need financial assistance.
If you have a terminal illness, complete the terminal illness application for a disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan. Your disability application will be reviewed within 48 hours after it has been received. Your application will be given priority so that benefit payments can start as soon as possible if approved.
If you are receiving disability income from other sources, such as a private insurer or a provincial social assistance program, you may still be eligible to receive the CPP disability benefit. However, these other sources may adjust their payments if you are approved for a CPP disability benefit.
Contact your insurance company or social assistance program for details relating to your particular case.
It takes approximately four months for a decision to be made from the date we receive your application and all the necessary documents.
A member of our staff will call you to explain how your application will be processed, the type of information we need from you, and answer any questions you may have.
As we process your application, a member of our staff will call you. Our medical adjudicators may also ask for additional information or ask you to see another doctor who will evaluate your medical condition. When seeking more information, we have very little control over how quickly we receive it.
If more than four months have passed and you have not heard from us and would like to know the status of your application, contact us at 1-800-277- 9914 or by TTY: 1-800-255-4786.
Can I do volunteer work or go to school?
- do volunteer work
- go back to school to upgrade or complete a degree, or
- take a re-training program.
Can I do paid work?
You can earn up to a certain amount without telling us and without losing your benefits.
If you earn more than the amount allowed, you must contact the Canada Pension Plan ( Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914 or TTY: 1-800-255-4786).
Q: What if I disagree with a decision?
A: You may request a reconsideration of any decision that affects your eligibility or the amount of your Canada Pension Plan disability benefit.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) children’s benefits provide monthly payments to the dependent children of disabled or deceased CPP contributors.
The child must be either:
- under age 18
- between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university.
There are two types of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) children’s benefits:
- A disabled contributor’s child benefit for the child of a person receiving a CPP disability benefit – a monthly payment for a natural or adopted child or a child who is in the care and custody of the person receiving a CPP disability benefit.
- A surviving child’s benefit for the child of a deceased contributor – a monthly payment for a natural or adopted child or a child who was in the care and custody of the contributor at the time of death. For the benefit to be paid, the deceased contributor must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP.
A maximum of two benefits can be paid to a child.
To be eligible, the child must be:
- the natural child of the contributor
- a child “adopted legally” or “in fact” by the contributor while under the age of 21
- a child “legally” or “in fact” in the custody and control of the contributor while under the age of 21.
A child may be eligible if the parent or guardian:
- has met the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributory requirements
- is receiving a CPP disability benefit or has died.
Once children turn 25, they are no longer eligible for these benefits.
For the benefit to be paid, the deceased contributor must have met the following contributory requirements:
- The deceased contributor must have contributed to the CPP for a minimum of three years.
If the CPP contributory period of the deceased contributor is longer than nine years, they must have contributed to the CPP in one of the following (whichever is less):
- one-third of the calendar years in their contributory period
- 10 calendar years.
The international social security agreements that Canada has with other countries may be used to satisfy these requirements. See lived or living outside Canada.
The monthly children’s benefit is a flat rate that is adjusted annually.
Dependent children, or their parent or guardian, should complete an application when any of the following happens:
- a parent or guardian has applied for a disability benefit (you do not have to wait for the benefit to be approved before applying)
- when a child comes into the care or custody of a parent or guardian who receives a disability benefit
- a parent or guardian dies
You should apply as soon as possible. If you delay, you might lose benefits. The Canada Pension Plan can only make back payments for up to 12 months.
If you are applying for a child under age 18, you must complete one of the following:
- the Application for Benefits for Under Age 18 Children of a Canada Pension Plan Disabled Contributor (ISP1152), for a child of a disabled contributor.
- sections 9 to 13 of the Application for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits (ISP1151) if you are applying for the disability benefit.
- the Application for a Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Pension and Child(ren)’s Benefits (ISP1300), for a child of a deceased contributor.
If you are a full-time student between the ages of 18 and 25, you must complete these forms:
- Application for a Canada Pension Plan Child’s Benefit (ISP1400), and
- Declaration of Attendance at School or University (ISP1401)
If you are between 18 and 25 years of age, you must be attending school full time at a recognized educational institution. You must complete the declaration form when you first apply for a benefit, at the beginning of every school year, and when you return to school after having left for a time. We may also ask you to complete the form at the beginning of each semester if you are on a semester system, or if your attendance starts in the middle of the traditional school year.
If you are caring for a dependent child of a disabled or deceased contributor and the child is under the age of 18, you should apply for the children’s benefit on behalf of the child. However, children under age 18 who are living on their own and can show they are capable of managing their own affairs may complete their own application.
If you are a dependent child who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a school or university, you should apply for the children’s benefit yourself.
If the child is under the age of 18, the benefit is normally paid to the person with whom the child is living. However, in some cases, the benefit can be paid to the child who has applied.
If the child is under the age of 18, the benefit is normally paid to the person with whom the child is living. However, in some cases, the benefit can be paid to the child who has applied.
If the child is 18 or older and qualifies because of full-time attendance at a school or university, the benefit is paid directly to him or her.
The children’s benefit is paid during normal school vacations, but will stop if the child has not sent us a signed school attendance form when he or she returns to school following vacation. The Declaration of Attendance at School or University (ISP1401) must be completed each year or semester and signed by both the child and a school official.
If the child leaves school and then later returns to school full time, the child must complete the Declaration of Attendance at School or University (ISP1401) again to reinstate the children’s benefit. It will be paid starting the month he or she returns to school. The children’s benefit will not be reinstated unless the child applies.
If a child of a disabled parent or guardian is eligible for a monthly benefit and an application has been submitted, the benefit starts the latest of:
- the month the contributor’s disability benefit starts, or
- the month after the child is born or becomes the contributor’s child.
If a child of a deceased parent or guardian is eligible for a monthly benefit and an application has been submitted, the benefit starts the latest of:
- the month after the contributor dies, or
- the month after the child is born.
The benefit stops after the month in whichever happens first:
- the child turns 18, or, if age 18 to 25, is no longer in full-time attendance at a school or university.
- the parent or guardian’s disability benefit stops.
- the month after a child is no longer in the care or custody of the sparent or guardian receiving a disability benefit.
- the child dies.
You (the child or the parent or guardian) must tell us about any changes that affect eligibility, such as a child is added to the family or is no longer in your care and custody.
It takes approximately eight weeks to receive your first payment from the date Service Canada received your completed application. If more than eight weeks have passed and you would like to find out the status of your application, contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 or via TTY at 1- 800-255-4786.
Q: What are my responsibilities while receiving the children’s benefit?
A: You must notify Service Canada if:
- you stop attending school (between the ages of 18 and 25)
- your attendance changes from full-time to part-time
- your “child” relationship to the contributor ends or changes
- you change your name or address.
Note: Benefits are not affected if the child marries, as long as all other eligibility requirements continue to be met.
The CPP defines recognized educational institutions as schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions that provide training or instruction of an educational, professional, vocational, or technical nature. The institution must also be recognized by the province in which it is located. If the CPP recognizes the school, and you continue to meet all other eligibility requirements, you will be eligible for benefits if attending a school outside Canada.
In certain situations, you may be eligible for a benefit when you attend school part time. For example, if you are taking courses at more than one educational institution, the course hours may add up to full-time attendance. Each situation is considered individually. Contact us at 1-800- 277-9914 or via TTY at 1-800-255-4786 for details.
Your eligibility to the disabled contributor’s children’s benefit ends the month of your parent’s death. However, you could then be eligible for the surviving children’s benefit as the child of a deceased CPP contributor.
Q: I work in the summer and contribute to the CPP. Does that affect my eligibility for a children’s benefit?
A: No. You receive a CPP children’s benefit because you are eligible as the dependent child of an eligible CPP contributor who has died or who receives a CPP disability benefit. The fact that you also contribute to the CPP does not affect your eligibility. The contributions that you make now will entitle you to other CPP benefits in the future.
Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. An individual may claim the disability amount once they are eligible for the DTC. This amount includes a supplement for persons under 18 years of age at the end of the year.
For more information, go to Visit the website or see Guide RC4064, Medical and Disability-Related Information.
You are eligible for the DTC only if we approve this form. A medical practitioner has to complete and certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment and must describe its effects.
To find out if you may be eligible for the DTC, use the self-assessment questionnaire on Information Sheet T2201-1, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. If we have already told you that you are eligible, do not send another form unless the previous period of approval has ended or if we tell you that we need one. You must tell us immediately if your condition improves.
If you receive Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or other types of disability or insurance benefits, it does not necessarily mean you are eligible for the DTC. These programs have other purposes and different criteria, such as an individual’s inability to work.
You can send the form to us at any time during the year. By sending us your form before you file your income tax and benefit return, you may prevent a delay in your assessment. We will review your form before we assess your return. Keep a copy of the completed form for your records.
You are responsible for any fees that the medical practitioner charges to complete this form or to give us more information. However, you may be able to claim these fees as medical expenses on line 330 or line 331 of your income tax and benefit return.
Once the CRA has received the completed and signed Form T2201, we will assess your application to determine if you are eligible to the DTC. We will then send you a notice of determination to inform you of our decision. If your application is denied, the notice of determination will explain why. For more information, see Information Sheet T2201-1, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, or go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca/dtc/.
Send your completed and signed form to the Disability Tax Credit Unit of your tax centre:
St. John’s Tax Centre
290 Empire Avenue
St. John’s NL A1B 3Z1
If you need more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/dtc or call 1-800-959- 8281.
To get our forms and publications, go to www.cra.gc.ca/forms or call 1-800- 959-8281.
Registered Disability Savings Plan
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.
You should consider opening an RDSP if you have a long-term disability and are:
- eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (disability amount);
- under the age of 60 (if you are 59, you must apply before the end of the calendar year in which you turned 59);
- a Canadian resident with a Social Insurance Number (SIN); and
- looking for a long-term savings plan.
You may contribute any amount to your RDSP each year, up to the lifetime contribution limit of $200,000. With written permission from the RDSP holder, anyone may contribute to the RDSP.
Several financial organizations offer the RDSP, Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond. To open an RDSP, contact a participating financial organization to complete a registration form.