CPP Disability--A Monthly Benefit for Eligible Canadians

Image: Too ill to Work?
Image: Too ill to Work? | Source

If you are a Canadian, under 65, who has paid into CPP, you may be eligible for CPP Disability Benefits. This is a taxable monthly benefit issued to eligible Canadians.

The first thing to consider is your eligibility.

  • Under 65 years of age?
  • Stopped working because of medical problems?
  • If you've paid into the plan for the last 25 years, you only have to met the required contribution amount for the last 3 years.
  • Or, if you haven't paid into the plan for 25 years, you need to have made eligible contributions for the last 4 years out of 6 years.

Now, here is where things can become sticky. Normally, if you are working, your employer pays into CPP for you at a rate of 4.95.

If you are self-employed, you have to have paid into CPP at a rate of 9.9.

You have to meet the the contribution amount which is somewhat higher than the minimum earnings amount of $3500.00. To illustrate, you may have made contributions but if they were on the low side, you might not have paid enough into CPP to qualify for CPP Disability. The minimum amount that someone has to earn in one year, to be able to contribute to CPP is $3500.00 but to qualify for CPP Disability benefits, as of 2011, you would have had to have earned at least $4800.00. If your earnings met that amount or were higher, you would have paid enough into the plan to quality for CPP Disability.

Someone who has paid into the plan for the last four years out of 6 years, just has to ensure that they met the required contribution amount for the 4 years in order to qualify.


CPP Disibility at a Glance

  • Worked for the last 25? You just need 3 years of qualifying contributions to qualify
  • Work for the last 6 years? You just need 4 years of qualifying contributions to qualify

Income Snapshot

  • Below $3500.00--No contributions into CPP
  • Over $3500.00 but less than $4800.00--contributions into CPP for CPP Retirement Benefit but not enough for CPP Disability Benefit
  • Contributions of higher than $4800.00--you may have paid enough into the plan @9.9%.


Planning Ahead Can Ease Financial Strain

If your health is deteriorating and you are working full or part-time, it is a good idea to plan ahead to meet the contribution amounts needed for that four-year period out of six years working so that you qualify and can apply for CPP Disability.

Knowledge is power and knowing how much you have to contribute might just make the difference between receiving a benefit that would ease your financial burdens.

If you are self-employed, you may be able to pick up additional work to meet the yearly contribution requirements so that when the time comes, you will receive your disability benefit.

If you are a person who is struggling with health problems and trying to earn a living or enough to get by, knowing how much you need to contribute into CPP could spell the difference between receiving a disability pension or no pension.

Learn More

Pension Benefits for Retiring Canadians--find out what other benefits you are eligible for.

CPP Disability Benefit Amounts

As of 2011, each person receives a base amount of $433.37 + and amount calculated on your contributions throughout your working career.

The highest amount one can receive is $1153.37 and average amounts are around $807.81.

It can be seen that for someone who is disabled, it is well worth checking to see if you have made enough contributions to qualify for CPP Disability.


Your Children and Students May Also Qualify for a Benefit

If you have children, because you are disabled, a benefit is available to them, as well. These benefits are issued if your children are under 18 or if they are between the ages of 18-25 and are attending school fulltime, they would qualify for $218. 50. Applications for children's benefits are included in your application kit.


How to Get Started

Forms can be printed from the Services Canada website. Simply key in "CPP Disability" into the search bar and then download and print off the forms. Or, you can arrange to have an applicationg kit mailed to you.

There is much paperwork to be completed so that best approach is to do a little each day until you have everything filled out and your forms are completed.


When Do Payments Start?

CPP Disability payments commence 4 months after you became disabled, as determined under CPP rules.


Going to the CPP Disability Review Tribunal: A Self Help Workbook


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