CPP disability benefit claims can be very challenging. The CPP disability claim application process is tricky, and many legitimate disability claims are denied by Service Canada. Recent statistics show that nearly 60% of initial CPP disability applications are denied.
A CPP disability claim appeal is possible if your application has been denied, and our Alberta CPP disability claim lawyer can help you with your appeal if you find yourself in that situation. That being said, it’s better to avoid the stress and delay of the appeal process altogether by submitting a strong, well-supported CPP disability claim application in the first place. Read on for steps you can take to maximize your chances of CPP disability claim approval.
How to file a CPP disability claim application—and succeed
CPP disability claim approval is never guaranteed, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances of receiving CPP-D benefits. Here are the most important steps.
Step 1: Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements before you apply
The CPP disability program provides income replacement to individuals who have a long-term disability that prevents them from working. However, having a long-term disability—whether it’s an injury, illness, or medical condition—is not enough on its own to qualify you for monthly CPP disability benefit payments.
To be eligible, you must meet all of these criteria:
You are over the age of 18 but under age 65. When you turn 65, the CPP disability benefit is automatically changed to a CPP retirement pension.
You have contributed enough to the Canada Pension Plan. To meet the minimum contributory requirements, you must:
have made valid contributions to the Canada Pension Plan in 4 of the last 6 years,
have contributed for at least 25 years, including 3 of the last 6 years, or
meet the requirements for the “late applicant” provision, which may help you qualify for CPP disability benefits if you did not apply when you first became disabled.
You have a “severe and prolonged” disability that prevents you from regularly working. “Severe” in this context means that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work. “Prolonged” means that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.
It is extremely important to note that your CPP disability claim application will be rejected if you don’t meet the minimum contributory requirements, even if your disability is “severe and prolonged.” There are a few limited exceptions if you fall short of the minimum contribution; if none apply to you, you may need to keep working until you qualify for CPP-D benefits. Your best bet is to reach out to our Calgary CPP disability claim lawyer to discuss your options if you find yourself in this position.
Step 2: Take your time with your CPP disability claim application
Incorrect/incomplete paperwork is a top ground for CPP disability claim refusal. Make sure you submit the correct, most current version of the forms. Don’t rush when filling out your CPP-D application. Take your time and carefully read each question. Make sure you answer truthfully and to the fullest of your ability. Don’t leave out any details, no matter how small they may seem. Make sure you sign all necessary sections. When you are finished, have someone who is familiar with your situation review the paperwork to ensure you haven’t made any mistakes or left anything out.
You may also want to submit a cover letter with your CPP disability claim application. This gives you the opportunity to provide convincing information to support your claim, such as how your disability has progressed, how it impairs your ability to work, and any efforts you made to modify your work duties or try other jobs before stopping working. If you choose to submit a cover letter, include your name and social insurance number on the top of each page and provide a list of the forms and additional documents (if any) that you’re submitting with your application.
Step 3: Gather strong medical evidence and supporting documentation
You must submit a medical report form completed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about the level of detail needed in the medical report. It’s not enough for your physician to simply state your diagnosis and that it makes you unable to work. A strong medical report will contain your diagnosis, prognosis, treatments you have received, recommended future treatments, and details about how your illness or injury prevents you from working.
In addition, you will almost certainly need to gather and submit supporting documentation from other sources. Depending on your situation, you may need to obtain records from other health care providers (e.g., hospital, physiotherapist, specialist, massage therapist, counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist). Test results, imaging studies, and prescription records may also be vital to securing CPP disability claim approval. Our experienced CPP disability claims lawyer in Calgary can help you determine what supporting documentation you should submit to maximize your chances of approval.
Alberta and Saskatchewan CPP disability claim lawyer
If you need help obtaining CPP disability benefits, Ludwar Law Firm has your back. Our team specializes in handling CPP disability and long-term disability claims and will do our best to ensure you receive fair compensation. We serve clients in Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina and surrounding areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The first consultation with us is free. Contact us today to make an appointment.