Canada Pension Plan disability benefits: Do you qualify

COVID-19

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

The information provided below should be used as a guideline. We encourage you to apply for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and allow a Service Canada representative to determine if you are eligible. Learn how we assess applications for the disability benefit.

Do you qualify for a disability or children’s benefit

CPP disability benefit

The disability benefit is a monthly payment you can get if you:

  • are under 65
  • contributed enough to the Canada Pension Plan
  • 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

CPP post-retirement disability benefit

If you currently get the monthly CPP retirement pension, you could receive the Canada Pension Plan post-retirement disability benefit if you:

  • are 60 to 65
  • contributed enough to 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
  • have been receiving the CPP retirement pension for more than 15 months or become disabled after starting to receive the retirement pension

CPP Children’s benefit

If you are getting a disability benefit, any of your dependent children can get a monthly payment if they are:

  • under 18, or
  • between 18 and 25 and attending school full time

Find out more about the CPP Children’s benefit.

Other circumstances

If you live in Quebec

If you live in Quebec, you would not apply for the disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan. You can apply for the Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit if one of the following applies to you:

  • you have worked only in the province of Quebec
  • you currently live in Quebec and have worked both in the province of Quebec and in another province or territory
  • you have worked in Quebec, currently live outside Canada and your last province of residence was Quebec

If you worked both in and outside Quebec

If you paid into both the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, you need to apply to the province where you live now.

If you worked outside Canada

If you worked in a country other than Canada, the credits you earned in that country may help you qualify for the disability benefit.

If you worked less to care for young children

If you have periods of zero or low income because you stayed home to raise your children, the child-rearing provision could help you qualify for the disability benefit.

If you are divorced or separated

Any contributions you and your spouse or common-law partner made to the CPP while you lived together may be equally divided after a divorce or a separation. This may help you qualify for the disability benefit. Find out more about credit splitting for divorced or separated couples.

If you missed applying for disability benefits in the past

If you are applying for the disability benefit, but stopped working a while ago, you may still apply for a benefit now.

You may be able to receive the benefit if:

  • you had contributed enough years to the Canada Pension Plan before you first became severely disabled
  • you have been continuously disabled from that date up to now

If you are in this situation, contact us.

If you were incapacitated

If you are or were incapable of forming or expressing an intention to make an application, contact us.

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