Adjusting to life after an accident or illness can be difficult, especially after years of working for a living. If a disability has left you unable to work, you may be concerned about your ability to continue providing for yourself and your family. Fortunately, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) provides disability benefits for citizens who become disabled and no longer can maintain steady employment. Citizens of Ontario may be eligible for additional disability benefits through the province’s Ontario Disability Support Program.
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What are the Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefits?
The CPP provides disability benefits in the form of monthly payments to citizens eligible for the program. This money is intended to replace the income lost after sustaining a disability.
CPP disability benefits do not include stipends or additional assistance for purchasing medications or medical treatments. If you need financial help to pay for your medical treatment, you may be eligible for supplementary benefits through Ontario’s Disability Support Program.
Who is eligible for CPP Disability Benefits?
A person may qualify for Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits if that person:
- has a severe and prolonged disability;
- is younger than age of 65; and
- has contributed the required amount to the CPP program.
In order to be eligible for CPP disability benefits, you first must have contributed the required amount to the CPP program during your working career. This generally requires that you have worked for at least four of the past six years, or three of the past six years if you have contributed to the CPP for more than 25 years. If you have not contributed the required amount, you will not receive benefits, regardless of your level of disability.
If you have contributed the required amount to the CPP, medical adjudicators will review your application to determine if your disability qualifies for CPP disability benefits. In order for your disability to be considered severe and prolonged, your injury or disease must be expected to last longer than a year or result in death. You also must be incapable of working at any job on a regular basis. The medical adjudicators are trained nurses who will analyze your medical records and consider factors such as your age, the nature of your condition and your work history when making their decisions.
How much money will I receive in disability benefits?
Persons who are eligible for disability benefits are guaranteed a minimum base payment of $453.52 per month, in addition to a supplementary payment determined by the amount you contributed to the CPP system while you were working. As of July 2013, the average monthly CPP disability payment was $841.95 per month, while the maximum payment was $1,212.90.
The amount you have contributed to the CPP will be documented on your Statement of Contributions. This statement is available for your review at your request, and you can challenge any errors you might find. The additional payment above the base payment of $453.52 will be calculated from the figures shown on your Statement of Contributions.
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Why do I need a lawyer?
The calculations involved in determining what your disability payment can be complicated, and mistakes can be made. Entitlements are also frequently denied. The lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can analyze your disability claim and ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Call 1-800-JUSTICE® today to speak with the lawyers in our Ontario offices about starting your CPP disability benefits claim.