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The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits

CPP Dis ability Otherwise known as Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD)  (CPPD) benefits are designed to provide partial income replacement to eligible CPP contributors who are under age 65 with a severe and prolonged disability, as defined in the Canada Pension Plan legislation. There are two eligibility criteria for the CPPD program.

There are two eligibility criteria for the CPPD Disability program.

First, applicants must have made contributions to the program in four of the last six years, with minimum levels of earnings in each of these years, or three of the last six years for those with 25 or more years of contributions.

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Second, they must demonstrate that their physical or mental disability prevents them from working regularly at any job that is substantially gainful, and that it is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.

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There are two CPPD benefits:

  • the disability pension, provided to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and are not yet receiving a retirement pension, and
  • the post-retirement disability benefit, which is provided to individuals who are found to be disabled after the start of their retirement pension.

Additionally, children of CPPD beneficiaries are also eligible for a flat-rate monthly benefit up to the age of 18, or up to age 25 if attending school full-time

Service Canada’s delivery of CPPD benefits involves answering program queries through specialized call centres, via the Internet and at in-person points of service; collecting and processing applications and issuing payments; monitoring decisions and payments for accuracy; administering requests for reconsideration of a decision; conducting client authentication and identification; and preventing, detecting and deterring fraud and abuse

Courtesy of From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Who qualifies for CPP Disability

There are three main criteria you must meet to be eligible for CPP disability payments:

  1. You must be between the age of eighteen and sixty-four
  2. You must meet the contribution requirements
  3. You must be able to prove you have a “severe and prolonged” disability


You must be age 18-64 (inclusive) to be eligible to apply for CPP disability payments. If you are over 60, you must not be receiving CPP early retirement payments as you cannot collect both disability and retirement pensions at the same time. If you are receiving monthly CPP retirement payments, then you have a very short window of time to convert those over to CPP disability payments. 


CPP disability benefits are only available to “recent contributors” to the Canada Pension Plan. This means that you are only eligible for CPP disability if you were making recent contributions to the CPP at the time you stopped work due to disability.

There are two main scenarios. You must have contributed either: 

  1. For 4 of 6 years leading up to the date you could no longer work due to disability; or  
  2. For 3 of 6 years leading up to the date you could no longer work due to disability, if you have 25 years or more contributions.

If you don’t meet the above criteria at first glance, there are other possible ways to increase your contributions. These include credit splitting with a spouse, or being out of the workforce for an extended period to raise children. These are more complicated situations; if you aren’t sure where you land, you should seek professional advice.

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 How much could you receive under CPP Disability

For 2018, the average monthly CPP disability pension is $917.13 and the maximum monthly amount is $1,335.83. You will receive the basic monthly amount fixed for all recipients ($485.20), plus an amount based on how much you contributed to the CPP during your entire working career.

If you are receiving CPP disability benefits (disability pension or post-retirement disability benefit), your dependent children may also be eligible for a children’s benefit. In 2018, the flat monthly rate your child can receive is $244.64.

Read more about the CPP benefits amounts.


The, Application for Disability Benefits is now available online. Or, contact us to have a kit mailed to you. You must apply for a disability benefit in writing. If you prefer, someone else (a family member or friend) can complete the kit for you (but please make sure that you sign the application form for your benefit).

The kit contains information and instructions, including:

  • application forms related to you and your dependent children;
  • a questionnaire for details of your work history and medical condition;
  • a medical report to be completed by your doctor. If you have more than one doctor, choose the one who knows the most about your main medical condition;
  • a consent form that Service Canada staff may need to get additional information from other parties; and,
  • a Child Rearing Provision form to complete if you stopped working, or reduced the number of hours you worked while you took care of your children when they were under the age of seven. If this provision applies to you, this may help you meet the contributory requirements or increase the amount of the benefit you are eligible to receive.

Use the applications checklist to ensure the application is complete.

Courtesy of BMD

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