Automatic reinstatement of Canada Pension Plan disability benefits

If you stopped receiving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits because you returned to work, the CPP offers you a financial safety net in the form of automatic reinstatement.

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.

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:

  • your benefits stopped less than two years ago because you returned to work;
  • you cannot continue working because the same or related disability has recurred;
  • you are under the age of 65; and
  • 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.

Example:

Marie contacts Service Canada to say she recently returned to work. Her benefits are stopped in March 2013 after a successful three-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 (two 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 (one year from the month she stopped working).

How do I request an automatic reinstatement?

You have up to one year from the month you stopped working because of your disability to inform us that you would like your benefits reinstated.

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.

These forms are mailed to you when your benefits stop.

When will I start receiving payments again?

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

Will the amount be the same?

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 CPP benefit amounts.

What if I disagree with a decision?

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

What if I stay at work longer than two years and my disability recurs?

If you have worked longer than two 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 five 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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