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I have a disability. Can I get CPP disability benefits?
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a benefits plan for workers. You might be able to get CPP disability benefits if all of the following are true:
- you’re under 65 years old
- you have enough pension contributions
- you have a severe and prolonged disability that stops you from working
Pension contributions are based on what you and your employers paid to the CPP while you were working. The government keeps a record of the contributions.
The amount you can get from CPP depends on how much and how long you’ve contributed to the plan.
You can get CPP disability benefits even if your job did not cause your disability.
Getting CPP disability benefits may affect your rent if you are in Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing. If you are living in RGI housing, you should talk to a lawyer or legal clinic before you apply for CPP disability benefits.
When you get benefits
If you’re eligible, you get CPP disability benefits until you:
- turn 65 years of age or start getting a CPP retirement pension
- go back to work
- are able to work on a regular basis and make more than the amount set by CPP each year
- go back to school full-time, in some cases
If you’re 60 to 64 years old and getting a CPP retirement pension, you may be able to switch it to CPP disability benefits. See the step below called Find out if you can switch your CPP retirement pension.
Children and family members
The children of someone getting CPP disability benefits may also be able to get monthly payments from the CPP.
To qualify for these benefits, a child must be:
- under 18 years old, or
- under 25 years old and a full-time student at a recognized institution.
If you have a terminal illness
A terminal illness is an illness that you’re very likely going to die from, even if you get treatment.
If you have a terminal illness, you need to fill out the CPP’s terminal illness application. CPP will make a decision within 5 business days of getting your application. This means you will start receiving payments faster.
Business days are usually Monday to Friday, except when one of those days is a statutory holiday.
Other benefits you may be able to get
There may be other disability benefits you can apply for. Which benefits you’ll be able to get depend on your situation.
Other disability benefits include:
- the Ontario Disability Support Program
- Employment Insurance sickness benefits
- workers’ compensation benefits
- Veterans Affairs disability benefits
- private insurance or pension benefits
Getting benefits from one program may affect what you can get from another program.
If you need more information, contact a community legal clinic. They may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.