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If you’ve ever looked at your pay stub in Canada, you’ve likely noticed some of your money going towards a little something called the “CPP.” If you’re not sure what that stands for, it’s the Canadian Pension Plan. This means that each month, you contribute to a plan that will provide partial replacement of earnings for you in the case of retirement, disability, or death. And, it’s through the CPP that you can obtain benefits if you become disabled and cannot work, as long as you have made regular contributions. If you’re curious how this works and what important information you should know, read these find five interesting facts about CPP disability benefits.
In order for one to qualify for the benefit under the CPP, the disability must be categorized as both “severe” and “prolonged.” What does that mean? Well, for starters, you would need to prove that you have a mental or physical disability that prevents you from performing any type of gainful work. You would also be required to provide evidence that the disability is long-term of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death. Service Canada’s medical adjusters will use your application, medical records, and any supporting documentation to determine if you meet both criteria.
It’s entirely possible that your insurance company can keep your CPP payments if you’re already receiving long-term disability benefits from them. For instance, if your employer purchased an LTD policy that states “after a year, you’ll need to apply for CPP benefits and the money goes to the insurer,” you won’t have much room to argue. There could even be a clause in your contract that allows for the benefit amount to go towards your insurance payment. So it’s always wise to have a lawyer review the documents for you to ensure that you’re getting the appropriate treatment and to help you make the right choices when applying for benefits.
It takes approximately four months for a decision to be made from the date that Service Canada receives your application and medical report. If you are denied benefits for your disability claim, you have the right to appeal your denial. The best way to do this is to speak to an experienced lawyer. They will help you build a strong case for your appeal and get your benefits as quickly as possible. The sooner you start the process, the better as you will be able to submit your request for reconsideration within 90 days from the time you receive your initial denial letter.
There is no guarantee that your request for consideration will be approved. However, you can appeal this denial as well to the General Division of the Social Security Tribunal (SST). This independent tribunal can open your file and make a determination as to whether it qualifies for CPP disability benefits. And even if they deny you, there is one other option, and that is the Appeal Division of the SST. Having a lawyer help in preparing your documents and acting on your behalf can help improve your chances of success.
Only long-term disability insurance program payments are tax exempt, not CPP. So if you start to receive CPP benefits, you’ll still have to pay taxes on them. However, there are ways to get your taxes withheld. A lawyer can help you explore the right avenues.
If you’ve suffered an injury and/or are disabled and need to make a CPP insurance claim, talk to us at Zuber and Brioux. The appeals process can be very confusing and complex, and having a lawyer on your side can increase your chances. We can help you get the facts straight, review your current insurance coverage, and put together all the documentation you need to get approved.