The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a monthly taxable benefit from the federal government that replaces an individual’s income when they reach 65 years old.
Those who qualify for CPP may also be eligible for the CPP disability benefit if they have sustained a mental or physical disability prior to their expected retirement age.
The process for applying for CPP disability is long and frustrating. Being denied your CPP disability benefit can be frightening and discouraging but there are options available to potentially rectify this issue. If denied, an individual can appeal the denial or be able to qualify for another disability program in their province.
Qualifying For the CPP Disability Benefit
In order to qualify for the CPP disability benefit you must:
- Be under the age of 65
- Have made enough contributions into the CPP
- Have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any substantially gainful work
- Have a disability that is long-term and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death
As defined by the CPP legislation, your disability must be “severe” and “prolonged”, and you must have contributed to the CPP in four of the last six years of three of the last six years if you have been contributing for at least 25 years.
In 2022, the basic payment amount is $524.64. An additional amount is added to the basic amount based on how much you have paid into the CPP while working. The maximum monthly payment amount in 2022 is $1,464.83.
What Are Your Options?
If your claim is denied and you disagree with the decision, you may ask for the decision to be reviewed. The request to have the decision reviewed must be done in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter. When making the written request it should include your contact information, reasons for requesting a reconsideration, and any new information including medical evidence and supporting documentation that may be relevant to your claim.
Appealing the Decision
Once you receive your reconsideration and if you do not agree with the decision regarding your disability claim, the decision can be appealed to the General Level of the Social Security Tribunal (SST). The request for an appeal to the General Level of the SST needs to be made in writing and within 90 days of the date of the reconsidered decision. This request can be done in writing by letter explaining the reason for the appeal to the SST. The request can also be done through the Request for Reconsideration of a Canada Pension Plan Disability Decision form (ISP-1145) which can be found on the SST website. The request for appeal should include supporting documents to support the request for reconsideration including medical reports, evaluations, and proof of attempts to work. There is no fee to appeal to the SST. A lawyer can represent you during this appeal process.
You will usually get your decision within 30 days after the hearing.
If you receive a reconsideration from the General Level of the SST and you do not agree with the decision, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Level of the SST. To appeal at this level, you must first request permission to appeal. To request permission for an appeal at this level, you must fill out the Application to Appeal Division – Income Security form which can be found on the SST website. The request needs to be made within 90 days of the date of the reconsidered decision. A lawyer can represent you at this level.
You will usually get your permission to appeal decision within 30 days after appealing. The final decision will be provided within 60 days after your hearing.
Contact Us Today
Appealing your denial can be a frustrating and hopeless process. It may seem that despite submitting substantive medical evidence and supporting documentation, your disability claim continues to be denied.
If your CPP disability claim has been denied, retaining a lawyer who understands the nature of your medical condition and has experience litigating these claims is the next step. We have the experience and knowledge to help you with your claim.
Article by: Stephany Ginzburg