Canada Pension Plan disability benefits: After you apply

After you apply

If you disagree with the decision

If you disagree with the decision, you may ask to have the decision reviewed. You must request this review in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.

Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in making the original decision on your application.

More information on how to request a review of the decision

There are 3 ways you can make your request for reconsideration:

  1. submit your request online using My Service Canada Account (MSCA), or
  2. complete and submit the Request for Reconsideration of a Canada Pension Plan Disability Decision form (ISP-1145), or
  3. prepare and submit a written request to review the decision and include:
    • your name
    • your address
    • your telephone number
    • your Social Insurance Number or Client Identification Number
    • a detailed explanation of why you do not agree with the decision
    • any new information that could affect the decision
    • your signature and the date

If you complete your request on paper

Sign and date your written request and submit it:

  1. electronically by signing into My Service Canada account, or
  2. by mail to the return address on the decision letter, or
  3. in person at a Service Canada office

Reconsiderations can take several months to complete, depending on the case. Service Canada will review your application and any new information you submit in support of your request and send you a (new) decision by mail.

If you disagree with the new decision

If you disagree with the new decision, you can contact the Social Security Tribunal to appeal.

Your first payment

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

CPP disability payments are taxable income

Taxes are not automatically deducted each month. You can ask that federal income tax be deducted from your monthly payment by:

If you do not ask for monthly tax deductions, you may have to pay your income tax each quarter.

While on CPP disability benefits

Reviewing your case

From time to time, cases are reviewed to ensure that only eligible people receive disability benefits.

If your case is being reviewed, you may be asked to provide current medical and other information. Because everyone's medical condition and capacity to work is unique, each case is looked at individually.

Once all the necessary information has been collected, a decision to continue or stop disability benefits is made. We will inform you of this decision in writing.

Volunteer and educational activities

If you are going to school and/or if you are volunteering, you must inform Service Canada if you:

  • are doing any of these activities for a combined total of 15 hours a week or more, and
  • have been doing these activities on a regular basis for 4 months or longer

School can include college, university, a trade or a technical training program, and can be in person or online.

The amount of time you spend going to school or training includes the time you spend in all activities related to attending school. These activities can include studying, researching, writing papers, completing assignments and more.

You must also notify Service Canada if you complete a school, university, trade, technical training or rehabilitation program.

Service Canada recognizes the importance of volunteer work, education and training. Many of our beneficiaries can participate in volunteer work and education/training and continue to receive their CPP disability benefits.

However, in some cases this could signal your ability to work and could impact whether you still qualify to receive CPP disability benefits.

Examples

Volunteering over 15 hours a week for more than 4 months

John has been receiving CPP disability pension since November 2015. John has started volunteering as a cashier at a cafeteria and selling clothing. He volunteers 5 days a week, for 5 hours a day since January 2019. His duties include pricing, handling money, cooking and cleaning.

John needs to report this activity to Service Canada. John’s benefits may be impacted if it is determined his activity demonstrates work capacity.

Combination of volunteering and educational activity totaling over 15 hours a week for more than 4 months

Michael has been receiving CPP disability pension since 2015. Six months ago, he started providing free business advice to the business community. He offers his services online for 3 to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes Michael takes mini virtual courses to improve his service offerings.

Michael needs to report this activity to Service Canada. Michael’s benefits may be impacted if it is determined his activities are demonstrating work capacity.

Volunteering under 15 hours a week for more than 4 months

Margo has been receiving CPP disability pension since June of 2019. Since then, she sometimes volunteers at a community centre nearby. Her duties included, shredding old documents, photocopying pamphlets and putting them out for display. She spends anywhere from 5 to 10 hours per week at the centre, on a drop in basis whenever she can.

Margo does not need to report this activity to Service Canada. Although she has participated in volunteer activity for over 4 months, the activity is under the reporting threshold of 15 hours per week.

Working and earning money

You can earn up to a certain amount per year without losing your disability benefits. For 2022, this amount is $6,400 (before taxes). You must contact Canada Pension Plan as soon as you make more than $6,400 (before taxes).

If you delay in contacting us when you start making over the allowed amount, you might have to pay some money back.

We may be able to help you return to work through the CPP Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Re-starting disability benefits for the same disability

If you self report a return to work but are unable to continue working because of the same or a related disability, you can ask to have the benefit automatically restarted without going through the usual reapplication process.

This is also true if your benefit stopped because of your self reported volunteer and/or educational activities.

Examples

Working part-time while on CPP disability

Joseph returned to work on a part time basis in January 2022. He earned $6,470 (before taxes) by June 2022. Joseph must call Service Canada to let them know he has earned $6,400.

Additionally, he needs to tell them:

  • the date he returned to work
  • the hours he worked per week/month
  • his hourly wages
  • if the job is full time, part time, seasonal or self employed

Service Canada staff will contact Joseph to see how he is doing.

Working while receiving CPP disability and making less than $6,400 a year

Jean works 2 hours a day 3 days a week at the information desk of the local library. She is paid $15.00 per hour. She likes to interact with people and to feel a part of the community. She earns $4,680 per year. It is all the work she can tolerate with her medical condition. She does not need to report this work activity to Service Canada.

Working while on CPP disability and making more than $6,400 a year

Robert would like to try to return to the workforce. He is no longer able to do his job as a roofer but his company has offered him light work as an estimator. He returned to work in March working 30 hours/week at $25.00 per hour. Robert needs to contact CPP once he reaches $6,400. Earning more than $6,400 may affect his benefits.

When your benefit could stop

The disability benefit is meant to replace some of your employment income for as long as your disability stops you from working at any job on a regular basis.

Your disability benefit will stop if you:

  • you are capable of working on a regular basis
  • you are no longer disabled
  • you turn 65
  • you die

When a disability benefit is cancelled, any related children's benefits are also cancelled.

When you turn 65

When you turn 65 the disability benefit will automatically be changed to a Canada Pension Plan retirement pension. If you are getting the post-retirement disability benefit, it will stop.

Your retirement pension will be less than your disability benefit. However, you can also apply for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Your spouse or common-law partner may also be eligible for the Allowance benefit if they are 60 to 64 (up to and including the month of their 65th birthday).

When someone dies

If you're reading this following the loss of a loved one, please accept our condolences.

When someone dies, please inform us as soon as possible to avoid overpayment. Find out how to cancel CPP benefits on behalf of a deceased person.

The estate and survivors may be eligible to receive other CPP benefits:

Page feedback
Did you find what you were looking for?

If not, tell us why below:

What was wrong?

You will not receive a reply. Telephone numbers and email addresses will be removed.

Thank you for your feedback.

Date modified: