Common Mistakes When Applying for CPP Disability Benefits

Author: JNR Legal Services Professional Corporation | | Categories: CPP Disability Application , Human Rights , Landlord and Tenant Board , Landlord Tenant Paralegal , Licence Appeal Tribunal , Motor Vehicle Accident , Paralegal Services , Short Term Disability , Small Claims Court , Small Claims Court Paralegal , Wrongful Dismissal


If you are suffering from medical issues such as chronic pain, back problems, or even depression, to the degree that it prevents you from working, then you may be entitled to Canada pension plan (CPP) disability benefits.

However, there are many rules and regulations that you must follow to be able to claim CPP disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people get caught up in their health problems and do not fully understand the procedure to apply correctly for CPP disability benefits.

So to help you avoid making some basic errors that could jeopardize your chances, JNR Legal Services Professional Corporation has put together a list of the most common mistakes people make when applying for CPP disability benefits.

1. Thinking that they are entitled to CPP disability benefits
To be entitled, you need to meet the following criteria:

1. Be under the age of sixty-five.
2. Should have worked the last four out of six years before becoming disabled.
3. Suffer from a severe and prolonged disability that prevents you from obtaining and maintaining any form of gainful employment for which you qualify for by way of education or training.

If you are unable to demonstrate all of the above, your application will get denied.

2. Not filling out the form correctly
Try to avoid using words like unable, and can’t. When an applicant says they are unable to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), it presents a picture of someone who is completely incapacitated, which may not be the case. It’s better to say, difficulty performing ADLs, or experiencing pain while performing ADLs, or requires assistance while performing ADLs. These examples show that while you can perform ADLs, there is a difficulty, and you may need help.

3. Submitting unnecessary medical files
Many clients tend to go to their doctor and get a copy of their medical file and submit it with their application. Rarely does the medical record answer the most critical question - “How does your disability prevent you from working, and what are your limitations and restrictions.”

You should be obtaining a detailed medical report from your treating physician(s) that addresses the following queries:

1. What is your prognosis?
2. What is your diagnosis?
3. What are your limitations and restrictions?
4. How are those limitations and constraints related to your diagnosis?
5. How do your limitations and restrictions prevent you from obtaining or maintaining any form of gainful employment for which you have qualified by way of training or education?
6. Is your disability severe and prolonged?
7. What kinds of treatments are you being prescribed?
8. Has any of those treatments provided any benefit to you?

These are the questions that your medicals and medical reports should address.

4. Thinking that you will be able to get full LTD benefits while receiving CPP
Your CPP is an offset to your LTD benefits. If you have applied for and have received LTD benefits, your LTD insurer may request that you apply for CPP disability benefits. The reason for this is that your CPP is an offset of your LTD benefits. It means that your LTD insurer may be entitled to reimbursement for overlapping periods.

Please see this example:

If you have got approved for LTD as of March 1, 2018, and you are to receive $3000 a month from your LTD insurer, and then you are approved for CPP as of November 1, 2017, for CPP for $1500 per month, this means your LTD insurer would be entitled to receive back from you $1500 per month from November 1, 2017, to March 1, 2018. As of April 1, 2018, your LTD benefits would get reduced to $1500, and you would receive a combined $3,000 from both CPP and LTD.

5. Appealing after the mandatory deadlines
You are given ninety days to appeal a denial of CPP - you must submit your appeal within the timeline prescribed, or you may lose your right to appeal.

To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to the experts at JNR Legal Services Professional Corporation. We are paralegals that have decades of experience working on cases in the small claims court and various tribunals.

Our services include Canada pension plan, human rights tribunal of Ontario, landlord and tenant board, small claims court, license appeal tribunal – accident benefits, wrongful dismissal

We serve clients in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Barrie, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Vaughan, and the GTA.

For a complete list of our services, please click here. If you have any questions about paralegal services in Toronto, Ontario, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us here.