Many people overlook the availability of the Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) benefit. If you are permanently disabled from working at any reasonably suitable job, from any cause, the benefit, which is based on one’s contributions to CPP over the years, is payable to age 65. The maximum benefit is significant: over $1,000.00 per month.
Lawyers usually apply for it when assisting their totally disabled clients obtain awards in other cases such as car accidents and LTD claims.
Applications can be handled by an individual, although the application should be brought as soon as possible after the disability commences. There is information available online as to how to apply and what material to present: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/cpp/disaben.shtml
However, if the application is denied originally and again on a review, called a “reconsideration”, a hearing has to be scheduled. It is a good idea to have representation by a lawyer at the hearing because although it is an informal process, there are specific points that have to be addressed. In particular, the applicant has to know how to demonstrate that the disability is “serious and prolonged” (i.e., of indefinite duration, not necessarily “permanent” or life-long) whether the applicant has attempted a return to work, has complied with all recommended and available treatments and whether the applicant would be employable by a reasonable employer in the “real world”. Important also is the type of medical evidence the Tribunal needs to support their decision. The hearing itself can take less than an hour.
If these factors and others are properly addressed at the hearing, the success rate can be high. I have been fortunate in that I have recovered an award in the last four successive hearings I have attended.
HRDC has published detailed guidelines and descriptions of key terms and the factors they take into account in considering an application: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/oas-cpp/cpp_disability/adjudframe/page00.shtml
For further information please contact:
William A McMaster
The content of this article or blog posting is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to be a full or complete analysis of the topic. Before applying the concepts or any content of this article or blog it is imperative that you consult your legal advisor.
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