Canada Pension Plan disability benefits: Overview
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.
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.
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.
Substantially gainful work
Substantially gainful work is a job that pays wages equal to or greater than the maximum annual amount a person could receive as a disability pension. In 2023, this amount is $18,508.36 (before tax).
Once you have earned $6,600 (before tax) in 2023, you must contact Service Canada. Your disability benefits may be impacted by your gross (before tax) earnings:
- if you earn below $6,600 (before tax), this alone should not affect your disability benefits
- if you earn between $6,600 and $18,508.36 (before tax), this may show that you are regularly capable of working and it may affect your disability benefits
- if you earn $18,508.36 (before tax) or more, this demonstrates you are regularly capable of working and you will likely no longer qualify for disability benefits
You need to advise Service Canada when you reach any of these amounts and you should call when you start working. This does not necessarily mean that your benefits will stop. When reviewing your file, we will consider the factors listed above (hours, regularity, etc.). By contacting us, we can provide you with information about our work-related supports and services.
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.
A grave condition is a rapidly progressive medical condition. A list of grave conditions was developed based on extensive research by ESDC. These conditions have a high probability of meeting the CPP disability eligibility criteria.
- Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Adrenocortical Cancer
- Alzheimer's Disease: (Early onset, less than age 60)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Anal Cancer
- Appendiceal Cancer
- Bladder Cancer (Metastatic, Stage IV)
- Brain Cancer
- Breast Cancer (Metastatic/recurrent)
- Cervical Carcinoma
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Colorectal Cancer
- Endometrial Cancer
- Esophagus Cancer
- Follicular Lymphoma
- Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
- Gallbladder Cancer
- Huntington Disease
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Malignant Melanoma
- Malignant Tumours of Small Intestine
- Multiple Myeloma
- Muscular Dystrophy (Adult onset)
- Ovarian Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Parkinson's Disease
- Post-inflammatory Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Primary Cerebellar Degeneration
- Progressive Polyneuropathy
- Quadriplegia and Quadriparesis
- Stomach Cancer
- Thymus Cancer
- Uterine Sarcoma
- 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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