Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits


Canada Pension Plan Act


The CPP provides disability benefits to eligible contributors and their dependent children.


To be eligible for disability benefits, a contributor must have been found to be disabled according to the terms of the CPP legislation and have made sufficient contributions to the plan(s). The contributor must also be under the age of 65 and apply in writing.

A contributor is considered disabled under the CPP if he or she suffers from a physical or mental disability that is both severe and prolonged. Severe means that the disability causes the person to become unable to regularly pursue any substantially gainful occupation. "Prolonged" means that the disability is likely to be long, continued, and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death.


Regular and Reserve Force service is considered employment for the purposes of the CPP.

It is necessary to apply for CPP disability benefits in order to receive them.

  • Amount of Benefits – The disability pension is a monthly benefit, which consists of a flat-rate component (an amount unrelated to previous earnings, paid to all beneficiaries) and an earnings-related component. The earnings-related component is equal to 75% of a retirement pension under the CPP, calculated as if the contributor became 65 years of age in the month when the disability pension became payable.
  • Support for Returning to Work  The CPP Disability program encourages beneficiaries to work to their potential and offers the following return to work support:
    • Automatic reinstatement - A financial safety net for people receiving CPP Disability benefits who try to return to work. If a beneficiary returns to work but is unable to continue working because of the same or a related disability, he or she can ask to have the benefit restarted without having to go through the usual reapplication process.
    • Vocational rehabilitation - For CPP Disability beneficiaries who meet the criteria and wish to transition to regular employment.
    • Participation in other than paid work activities - CPP Disability beneficiaries who are not yet ready to return to regular employment are encouraged to volunteer, attend school, and participate in training or skills upgrading. These activities do not affect continuing eligibility for benefits or the amount of monthly benefit.
    • Modest amount earnings - Beneficiaries can earn up to an annually determined modest amount ($4,800 in 2011) before having to advise CPP Disability of their work related earnings. This level of earnings does not result in cessation of benefits, however, it is a point at which supports and services are offered to help with work efforts.
  • Children's Benefits – A benefit is paid on behalf of the child of a CPP Disability benefit recipient. The monthly benefit rate for each child is a flat-rate amount.


  • The administration of CPP Disability benefits is the responsibility of Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). They may be reached by calling Service Canada toll free 1-800-277-9914.
  • For more information on CPP-Disability Benefits, visit Service Canada.
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