Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit - Overview

From: Employment and Social Development Canada


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

1. Overview

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides disability benefits (disability pension and post-retirement disability benefit) to people who have made enough contributions to the CPP and who are disabled and cannot work at any job on a regular basis. Benefits may also be available to their dependent children.

  • CPP disability pension
    A taxable monthly payment that is available to people who have contributed to the CPP and who are not able to work regularly because of a disability.
  • CPP post-retirement disability benefit
    A new monthly benefit for CPP retirement pension recipients under the age of 65 who have made sufficient contributions to the CPP and are unable to work regularly because of a disability.
  • Children's benefit
    A monthly benefit for dependent children (under age 18 or between 18 and 25 and attending school full time) of someone receiving a CPP disability benefit.
  • Other disability resources
    Links to resources for people with disabilities.

What we mean by "disability"

To qualify for disability benefits (disability pension and post-retirement disability benefit) under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), a disability must be both "severe" and "prolonged," and it must prevent you from being able to work at any job on a regular basis.

  • Severe means that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work.
  • Prolonged means that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.

Both the "severe" and "prolonged" criteria must be met simultaneously at the time of application. There is no common definition of "disability" in Canada. Even if you qualify for a disability benefit under other government programs or from private insurers, you may not necessarily qualify for CPP disability benefits (the disability pension and post-retirement disability pension).

Our medical adjudicators will determine, based on your application and supporting documentation, whether your disability is both severe and prolonged. See how applications for disability benefits are assessed.

Note: Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

The Employment Insurance (EI) program offers temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers. This assistance includes providing sickness benefits to people who are unable to work because of sickness, injury, or quarantine.

Note: Are you a health care professional?

Health care professionals play a key role in the CPP disability benefit process. Find out what you need to know if you are a health care professional.

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