Canada Pension Plan disability benefits: Overview


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

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.

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.

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 grave conditions was developed based on extensive research by ESDC. These conditions have a high probability of meeting the CPP disability eligibility criteria.

  1. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  2. Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  3. Adrenocortical Cancer
  4. Alzheimer's Disease: (Early onset, less than age 60)
  5. Amyloidosis
  6. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  7. Anal Cancer
  8. Appendiceal Cancer
  9. Bladder Cancer (Metastatic, Stage IV)
  10. Brain Cancer
  11. Breast Cancer (Metastatic/recurrent)
  12. Cervical Carcinoma
  13. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  14. Chronic Liver Disease
  15. Colorectal Cancer
  16. Endometrial Cancer
  17. Esophagus Cancer
  18. Follicular Lymphoma
  19. Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
  20. Gallbladder Cancer
  21. Huntington Disease
  22. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
  23. Kidney Cancer
  24. Liver Cancer
  25. Lung Cancer
  26. Malignant Melanoma
  27. Malignant Tumours of Small Intestine
  28. Multiple Myeloma
  29. Muscular Dystrophy (Adult onset)
  30. Ovarian Cancer
  31. Pancreatic Cancer
  32. Parkinson's Disease
  33. Post-inflammatory Pulmonary Fibrosis
  34. Primary Cerebellar Degeneration
  35. Progressive Polyneuropathy
  36. Quadriplegia and Quadriparesis
  37. Schizophrenia
  38. Stomach Cancer
  39. Thymus Cancer
  40. Uterine Sarcoma
  41. 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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