Are you Entitled to CPP Disability Benefits?

On top of others benefits that may be available to you if you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to CPP Disability Benefits.

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit is a monthly payment you could be receiving from the Government of Canada if you are under 65 years old and you are unable to work because of a mental or physical disability.

Your disability needs to be severe and prolonged for you to qualify for CPP disability benefits.

You also need to have made enough contributions into the CPP during your working life. These contributions are usually taken off your paycheck automatically if you’ve worked for an employer in the past.

What is the Severe Criteria?

As per the CPP Legislation, a disability is severe if by reason of this disability a person is incapable regularly pursuing any substantially gainful occupation. In other words, if you are incapable of doing any type of paid work, your disability could be severe.

The Federal Court of Appeal in Villani v. Canada (Attorney General), 2001 FCA 248, established that any disability that prevents you from pursuing work on a consistent frequency is to be considered as severe. The judge added that your age, education level, language capacities and past work and life experience are to be taken into consideration as well.

The real-world approach is also very important to take into consideration. They have to consider whether or not an employer would consider employing you given all of your difficulties.

What is the Prolonged Criteria?

A disability is prolonged only if it is likely to be of long or indefinite duration or is if it is terminal.

If a possible date of return to work is uncertain, the disability can still be considered as « prolonged ». This principle arose from a decision from the Pension Appeals Board, MNH&W v Lauzon, [1991] #9202 CCH.

If your medical condition is expected to be short-term or temporary, you will not be eligible for CPP disability benefits. You may be eligible for other benefits such as Employment Insurance sickness.

How much could you receive?

The basic payment amount is currently $524.64. They will adjust the basic amount based on how much you paid into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) while you worked.

The average amount received in CPP Disability benefits is currently $1,031.55, and the maximum amount in 2022 is $1,457.45.

The disability benefit amounts are reviewed every January to reflect changes in the cost of living. Your monthly benefit amount will not decrease if the cost of living goes down.

You can earn up to a certain amount per year without it affecting your disability benefits. For 2022, this amount is $6,400 (before taxes).

Keep in mind that the federal government will not pay for medications or medical devices even if you are receiving CPP Disability benefits. You should contact your province or territory if you need financial help for medication or medical devices.


We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you stop working, as they can only go back 15 months from the date of the application for retroactive payments.

You can submit your online application using this link.

Your doctor or nurse practitioner will then need to submit a medical form as well.

It can take up to 120 days (4 months) for a decision to be made from the date your complete application and all required documents were received.

What if my application is denied?

Do not hesitate to contact our disability lawyers to help you with your CPP Disability reconsideration or appeal to the CPP Tribunal.

You can call us toll free at +1 888-644-5587 or by sending us a message using this link.

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