How do I apply for CPP disability benefits?

Know your options if you’re 60 to 64 years old

If you’re 60 to 64 years old and might qualify for disability benefits, you may also want to apply for a .

You can’t get both at the same time. But it may take less time to get approved for a retirement pension than for disability benefits.

People get a full CPP retirement pension when they turn 65 years old. But they can apply as early as 60 and get less money each month.

If you’re thinking of taking your CPP retirement pension before age 65, you should talk to a lawyer or community legal clinic.

If you’re getting a retirement pension when the CPP approves your disability benefits

You might already be getting the CPP retirement pension when the government approves your application for .

If this happens, the government will cancel your retirement pension and start giving you your CPP disability benefits if the following are true:

  • you had a disability before you started getting the CPP retirement pension
  • you were getting the retirement pension for less than 15 months when you applied for CPP disability benefits

When you turn 65, your disability benefits will stop and you will start getting a CPP retirement pension.

If you’re getting a CPP retirement pension when your disability starts

You might already be getting the CPP retirement pension when you become disabled. You may be able to cancel your CPP retirement pension and start getting CPP disability benefits instead if:

  • you’re getting your retirement pension early, which means before you turn 65 years old, and
  • you cancel your retirement pension within 6 months of when you start getting it.

If you become eligible for a CPP disability benefit, you will likely have to pay back the CPP retirement pension that you received.

When you turn 65, your disability benefits will stop and you will start getting a CPP retirement pension.

If you can’t cancel your retirement pension

Since January 1, 2019 there is a new benefit for people who can’t cancel their retirement pension in either of the above 2 ways. It’s called the post-retirement disability benefit.

If you apply for CPP disability benefits but Service Canada decides that you can’t cancel your retirement pension, they will automatically consider you for the post-retirement disability benefit.

If you qualify, this benefit will give you about $500 a month in addition to your CPP retirement pension. This benefit also stops when you turn 65.

Getting legal help

Try to get legal advice as soon as possible:

  • before you apply for CPP retirement pension and disability benefits at the same time
  • if you’re getting your retirement pension before you turn 65 and develop a disability

A community legal clinic may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.

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