Canada Pension Plan Disability

Applications - Reconsiderations - Appeals

The Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) program is a federal disability benefits program administered by Service Canada. CPP-D is designed to provide monthly disability benefit payments to eligible individuals who meet the following criteria:

A) Under the age of 65, and:
B) Have made sufficient contributions into the Canada Pension Plan through previous employment, and:
C) Have a disability that is considered both severe (prevents the individual from engaging in any work, not just the job they had prior to the onset of the disability) and prolonged (expected to last for a duration of at least 12 months).

D) Alternatively, if you have a condition that is deemed terminal there is a fast track application process to try and ensure your benefits are available to you as soon as possible.


Unlike the Disability Tax Credit (which only concerns itself with the individuals ability to perform activities of daily living in the home or community) the CPP-D program is primarily interested in how the disability affects your ability to work. Disability in the workplace can occur suddenly or gradually over time, and can affect an individuals physical and/or mental health.

Depending on your situation, your employer may have provided you access to long term disability (LTD) coverage while they try to coordinate a treatment and return to work program for you. It is important to know that many LTD programs will require you to apply for CPP-D benefits after a certain amount of time.

It can be a daunting task to have to prove to the government that your disability prevents you from finding gainful employment, and many individuals are denied on their first application, as well as at the reconsideration and appeal stages. There are many avenues in which an application for CPP-D can fail, and the explanations for many of these denials are lacking clarity and substance. Hetherington & Hodson have experience in representing our clients at all stages of the application process and can help give you your best chance at securing these benefits.

It should be noted that the monthly benefits are based on your prior contributions and as such can vary from person to person. Applying for CPP-D may not necessarily be the right choice for you depending on your situation.