Automatic reinstatement of Canada Pension Plan disability benefits

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Automatic reinstatement is a financial safety net for CPP disability beneficiaries who self report their return to work or their volunteer and/or educational activities.

This means that, if you are unable to continue working because of the same or a related disability, you can ask to have your benefits automatically reinstated without having to go through the usual application process.

It allows Service Canada to quickly restart your disability benefits. You have 2 years from the date your CPP disability benefits stopped to make a request for reinstatement.

If your children are still eligible, their children's benefits will also be reinstated.

How does it work

Your disability benefits can be quickly reinstated if you self reported your return to work or your volunteer and/or educational activities, and:

  • your benefits stopped less than 2 years ago because you returned to work or because of your volunteer and/or educational activities
  • you cannot continue working because the same or related disability has recurred
  • you are under the age of 65
  • you are not receiving the CPP retirement pension

There may be times when you can work on a regular basis, followed by periods when you cannot work because of your disability. There is no limit to how many times you can ask for your benefits to be reinstated.


Marie contacts Service Canada to say she recently returned to work. Her benefits are stopped in March 2013 after a successful 3-month work trial. Unfortunately, her medical condition worsens, and in January 2014 she can no longer continue working.

The following timelines apply to Marie's situation:

  • March 2013: benefits are stopped because Marie reports that she has returned to working regularly
  • March 2015: latest date Marie is entitled to automatic reinstatement of benefits (2 years from the date her benefits were stopped)
  • January 2014: Marie stops working because of a recurrence of her disability
  • January 2015: deadline to request reinstatement of her benefits (1 year from the month she stopped working)

Juanita contacts Service Canada to report her volunteer activity of 30 hours per week for more than 4 months. It was determined that her volunteer activity showed that she was capable of pursuing substantially gainful work. Her benefits were stopped as a result.

Unfortunately, her medical condition worsens, and one year later she can no longer continue with her work activity.

Juanita may be eligible to have her CPP disability benefits automatically reinstated:

  • her benefits were stopped because she self reported that she was participating in volunteer activity
  • she is within 2 years of the date her benefits were stopped
  • she is unable to continue her work activity because of a recurrence of her disability
  • she is within 1 year of the deadline to request reinstatement of her benefits (1 year from the month her work activity stopped)

How to request an automatic reinstatement

You have up to 1 year from the month you stopped working, volunteering or going to school because of your disability to make your request.

Two forms need to be completed and sent to us:

  • you must fill out a form confirming that you cannot continue working because your disability has recurred, and asking to have your benefits reinstated
  • your doctor or nurse practitioner must fill out a form confirming that your disability has recurred

We will mail the forms to you when your benefits stop.

When payments start

Your CPP disability benefits are reinstated starting the month after you become unable to work due to your disability.

Benefit amount

The amount of your CPP disability benefits will not be less than the amount you were receiving before your benefits stopped. It will reflect all automatic annual increases and any increases due to additional CPP contributions you made while working. If your family situation has changed, your benefits may increase or decrease, depending on your circumstances.

Read more about the CPPD benefit amounts.

If you disagree with the decision

You may request a reconsideration of the decision that was made regarding your automatic reinstatement.

If you work more than 2 years and your disability recurs

If you have worked longer than 2 years and your disability recurs, you may be eligible for a fast-track reapplication — a simpler and faster process than filing a new application. Fast-track reapplication is available for up to 5 years after your benefits stopped. You must meet the same eligibility conditions for a fast-track reapplication as for a regular disability benefit. Contact the Canada Pension Plan for more information or to request a fast-track reapplication form.

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