Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit is a benefit paid to Canadians who are disabled and unable to work but have previously been employed and contributed to CPP. This supplement is taxable income so income tax will be deducted from your cheque. You will also receive an amount for each dependent child that you have living with you.
It must be determined by the medical adjudicators at Canada Pension Plan that your disability is both severe and prolonged. Severe is defined not by what the disability is, but by its effect on your being able to work at any type of job (not only where you were employed at the time the disability occurred). You must be unable to work in any form of employment.
Prolonged refers to your disability as one that will last long term or for an indefinite period. Again, this will be determined by the medical adjudicators depending on what your medical professional has provided for information on the application forms when you apply. Your doctor will have to fill out a form in order for your application to be processed.
People who are over the age of 18 and employed are required to contribute (50% by you, 50% by employer) to CPP. This will help determine eligibility. You must have made sufficient contributions in a minimum of four of the last six years or have contributed for a minimum of twenty-five years, which includes three of the last six years before you became disabled.
If your annual income is below $3,500.00, no contributions are deducted. Up to a maximum of $46,300.00, you and your employer are required to pay 4.95%. If you are self-employed, you will need to have made contributions of 9.9% during employment in order to receive benefits. If you have not contributed you will not be eligible to receive benefits no matter what the disability is.
Currently, as of 2008 the average amount for a disability benefit is $799.14/month. Included in this amount is a fixed amount, which everyone receives that is $424.43/month for 2009. The balance of the amount is based on how much money you contributed to CPP while employed for your entire career. The maximum you can receive is $1,105.99 as of 2009; however, there is a slight increase every January taking an increase in the cost of living into account.
If you have dependent children under the age of eighteen you can receive $218.50/month per child as of 2009. If the child is between the ages of 18 and 25, and attending a post-secondary institute or still in school full time, this amount will be transferred to them. They can apply for the children’s benefit when you apply for CPP; this is included in the application kit.
The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit does not provide for any type of coverage. If you need assistance with paying for prescriptions or any other type of medical devices, you will have to apply for additional programs. The government offers plans to provide financial assistance for expenses that are incurred due to your disability. This can include things like medications or transportation.
Should you be in a position where you have had to leave your job and are unable to work due to a disability, then it is worth submitting an application to CPP. In order to obtain an application kit you can either visit the government website or call 1-800-277-9914 for service in English or 1-800-277-9915 for service in French. You will be able to find out where your local office is that you can get a kit.
Once your application has been submitted, you can expect to wait anywhere between 30-120 days for an answer. Payments will start up to 4 months after application but will be postdated. Make sure that all required documents have been completed before submission as this may delay the process. CPP may request additional medical information before making a decision so make sure you have your physician fill in all the required data.