Overview of CPP Disability Benefits: Are You Eligible?

One of the scariest situations is becoming disabled and unable to work. You might want to provide for your family, but your disability can stop you from being able to perform your job. No one likes the idea of being unable to do what he or she used to do in the past.
 

The good news, though, is that if you have a disability that might keep you from working, you might be eligible for CPP disability benefits.
 

Who’s Eligible for CPP Disability Benefits?

Not just anyone can draw on CPP disability. First of all, you need to be under the age of 65 when you became disabled and not yet receiving a CPP retirement pension. It’s important to understand that CPP disability benefits are only available to those who aren’t retired and who can’t draw on their retirement benefits. If you are eligible, you will need to turn to your retirement benefits for your income replacement.

After you meet the basic age and pension requirements, you also have to have made enough contributions to the Canadian Pension Plan. So, if you want to draw on the disability benefits later, you need to be working right now, paying into the system. CPP disability benefits are meant as a safety net for those who have already been contributing to the system, and who have been engaged in regular work.

In order to meet the test that requires you to pay into the CPP, you need to have made sufficient contributions in four of the last six years. You can also get approval if you havemade CPP contributions for at least 25 years (as long as three of the last six years have seen contributions). You case is reviewed individually, so other items might be considered, including your ability to work over time. You need to show that you have made what CPP contributions you can if you want to qualify for the benefits.
 

If you are unsure about whether or not you are making the right amount of CPP contributions, you can contact Service Canada. You can find out what level you should be at in terms of regular contributions, and get on track if you haven’t been contributing what you should. That way, if you are disabled, you will be eligible for CPP disability benefits when you are injured in a way that keeps you from earning money.
 

On top of that, you need to be able to show that your disability keeps you from working any job regularly. You need to be able to prove that your disability is likely to last a long time, or that it will likely result in your death. Before you can draw on your CPP disability benefits, it’s important that you make sure that you truly are disabled, and unable to work in a reliable manner. If it’s just a temporary issue, you won’t be allowed to begin drawing on your benefits.