Canada Pension Plan disability benefits: Overview

From: Employment and Social Development Canada


Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit is a monthly payment you can get if you:

  • are under 65
  • have made enough contributions into the CPP
  • have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work
  • have a disability that is long-term and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death

Find out if you might be eligible.

Two types of CPP disability benefits

Benefit name Age Must be
CPP disability benefit Under 65 Not receiving the CPP retirement pension
CPP post-retirement disability benefit From 60 to 65 Already receiving the CPP retirement pension for more than 15 months or become disabled after starting to receive the retirement pension

When you turn 65 your CPP disability benefit is automatically changed to a CPP retirement pension.

Children’s benefit

If you are getting a disability benefit, your dependent children may be able to get a monthly payment.

Benefit name Age Must be
CPP Children’s benefit Under 18 or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university The child of a person receiving a disability benefit

Find out more about the CPP Children’s benefit.

When you should apply

You have to apply for this benefit. You should apply for this benefit as soon as possible.

Benefit amount

The basic disability benefit payment is $510.85. We add to the basic amount based on how much you paid into the Canada Pension Plan while you worked. Find out more about how much you could receive.

When payments start

Your decision letter will give you the date and amount of your first payment.

How long for a decision

It can take up to 4 months for a decision to be made. The date your application form is received may affect the date your benefit begins. Do not wait for your completed medical form before sending your completed application form.

However, a decision on your application can only be made when you have sent both of the following:

  • a complete application form (including questionnaire and signed consent form)
  • a signed medical report

For eligible disabilities, we aim to make a decision on your eligibility within 120 calendar days (4 months).

If we confirm your condition is grave, we aim to process your application within 30 calendar days.

If we confirm you have a terminal illness, we aim to process your application within 5 business days.


Terminal illness

A terminal medical condition is a disease state that cannot be cured or adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in death within 6 months.

Grave condition

A grave condition is a rapidly progressive medical condition. A list of 32 conditions was developed based on extensive research by ESDC. These conditions have a high probability of meeting the CPP disability eligibility criteria.

  1. Acute Lymphoid Leukemia
  2. Adrenal Cancer
  3. Alzheimer's Disease: Early onset (less than age 60)
  4. Amyloidosis
  5. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  6. Anal Cancer
  7. Brain Cancer
  8. Chronic Kidney Disease (Stage 4 or later)
  9. Chronic Liver Disease
  10. Colorectal Cancer
  11. Esophagus Cancer
  12. Frontotemporal Dementia
  13. Gallbladder Cancer and Cancer of the Bile Ducts/Malignant Neoplasm of the Gallbladder and Extrahepatic Bile Ducts
  14. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)/ldiopathic Fibrosing Aleveolitis/ldiopathic Interstitial Pneumonia
  15. Huntington's Chorea Disease
  16. Progressive Polyneuropathy
  17. Kidney Cancer
  18. Liver Cancer
  19. Lung Cancer/Carcinoma of the Lung/Malignant Neoplasm of the Trachea, Bronchus and Lung
  20. Malignant Melanoma
  21. Malignant Tumours of Small Intestine, including Duodenum
  22. Multiple Myeloma
  23. Muscular Dystrophy (Adult onset)
  24. Ovarian Cancer
  25. Pancreatic Cancer
  26. Paranoid Schizophrenia, Chronic Undifferentiated
  27. Parkinson's Disease
  28. Post-inflammatory Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial (Non-idiopathic) Pulmonary Fibrosis
  29. Primary Cerebellar Degeneration/Unspecified types of Cerebellar Ataxia
  30. Stomach Cancer
  31. Thymus Cancer
  32. Vascular Dementia

Where you can get help

If you have general questions about the disability benefits or specific questions about your application, contact us .

If your medical condition is short-term or temporary

If your medical condition is expected to be short-term or temporary, you will not be eligible for CPP disability benefits. You may be eligible for other benefits such as Employment Insurance sickness.

Other disability resources

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