Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit – What you need before you start

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

4. What you need before you start

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits (includes the disability pension and the post-retirement disability benefit) are a taxable monthly payment that is available to people who have contributed to the CPP and who are not able to work regularly at any job because of a disability. CPP disability benefits are not designed to pay for such things as medications and assistive devices.

If you are aged 60 to 64

If you are aged 60 to 64 and you think you might qualify for a CPP disability pension, you may also want to apply for a CPP retirement pension and a disability pension at the same time. You cannot receive both benefits at the same time, but you may qualify to begin receiving a retirement pension while you wait for your CPP disability benefits (disability pension and post-retirement disability benefit) application to be assessed, which usually takes longer.

If you are already receiving a CPP retirement pension when your apply for disability benefits, you may be entitled to switch to CPP disability pension if:

  • your application for disability benefits is approved
  • you are still under the age of 65
  • you have been receiving your CPP retirement pension for less than 15 months at the time you apply for your disability benefits
  • you meet the minimum contributory requirements
  • you have been deemed to be disabled, as defined by the CPP legislation, before the effective date of your retirement pension.

If you are not eligible for the CPP disability pension under the criteria above, you may be eligible for the CPP post-retirement disability benefit to be paid in addition to your CPP retirement pension.

Note: If your disability pension is approved, you must pay back the retirement pension payments you received. Normally, we recover the retirement payments from your first disability payment.

If you are receiving the CPP disability pension when you turn 65, it will automatically be converted to a retirement pension. You will not need to apply. The resulting CPP retirement pension will be less than your disability pension. If you are receiving the CPP post-retirement disability benefit, it will stop when you reach age 65.

However, you can also apply for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Your spouse or common-law partner may also be eligible for the Allowance benefit if he or she is aged 60 to 64 (up to and including the month of his or her 65th birthday).

Helping someone apply for disability benefits or appeal a decision

It is possible to help or advocate for a person who wants to apply for CPP disability benefits (disability pension and post-retirement disability benefit) or appeal a decision. You can help simply by explaining the contents of an application form or by locating specific information.

As an individual who helps or advocates for someone, you should also seek the support of others who may help you, such as family, friends, physicians, other advocates, and other people with disabilities or groups representing them. They may be able to provide you with support and helpful resources.

Locating specific information

You may be able to help your family member or friend locate important information. For example, if the applicant was born in Canada but cannot find his or her birth certificate, you can contact the government office of the province or territory where the applicant was born.

If you are unable to obtain a birth or baptismal certificate, contact Canada Pension Plan. We may be able to accept other documents.

Contacting Service Canada on behalf of a CPP disability recipient

You can authorize a person to give information to and receive information from Service Canada on your behalf by signing in to My Service Canada Account (MSCA) or by completing the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form (ISP1603CPP). Both you and the person you are authorizing must sign the printed form and mail it to the Service Canada Centre closest to you. Mailing addresses are provided on the form.

This form does not provide authority for the person to apply for benefits on your behalf, change your payment address, or request/change the withholding of tax.

If an individual is incapable of managing his/her own affairs, another person or agency (a Trustee or someone with a Power of Attorney) may be appointed to act on the individual's behalf. contact Canada Pension Plan for the appropriate documentation.

Record keeping

When you are helping someone fill out forms from the CPP disability benefit application kit, make sure they keep photocopies of everything they submit. If you talk to someone from Service Canada, write down the name of the person and the date and time that you spoke to them. Keep all the information in one place. Always have the Social Insurance Number of the applicant when you call us.

Administering CPP disability benefits

If the CPP disability benefits recipient is incapable of managing their own affairs because they are suffering from a severe mental impairment caused by a mental or a physical illness, you will need to print the Certificate of Incapability form (ISP-3505CPP), have their medical professional complete it, and mail it to us at the Service Canada office indicated on their letter.

More information on CPP disability benefits

Learn more about how to apply for CPP disability benefit (disability pension or post-retirement disability benefit) or request a reconsideration of a decision.

Find out what else you need to know on behalf of someone receiving a Canada Pension Plan pension or benefit.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: