Disability Claims: Handling a Claim
The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is an earnings-related social insurance program designed to help Canadians receive an income once they reach the age of retirement, or in the case of a disability. If you are submitting a claim for the CPP disability benefit, being organized and knowledgeable can help streamline the process.
What is a Disability?
The CPP defines a disability as an injury or sickness that is both severe and prolonged at the time of the claim. In addition, the disability must prevent you from fulfilling the responsibilities of your job.
According to the CPP, “severe” refers to the intensity of the psychological or physical pain, and “prolonged” refers to being stricken by the injury or sickness for an indefinite amount of time. If the intensity and duration of your pain prevents you from working or finding employment, then you might be eligible for a disability claim.
In addition to your pain or sickness being deemed severe and prolonged, you must also:
- Be under the age of 65
- Must have contributed to the CPP for four of the last six years or three of the last six if you have contributed for a minimum of 25 years.
What do I Need?
A disability claim requires claimants to fill out forms and submit them to the appropriate Service Canada processing centre. Service Canada will only process claims that have all the required paperwork completed. You will also have to prove that a doctor supports your decision to stop working due to a disability.
The process can be complicated and is designed to weed out fraudulent claims. Your disability claim could be denied for the following reasons:
- Lack of required documentation
- A missed deadline
- Inability to explain your functional limitations
Working with an experienced law firm to prepare your disability claim and supporting documentation in advance of submission, could increase your chances of being approved.
Provide New Information for Appeals
If you want to appeal a denied Canada Pension Plan disability claim you will be required to submit new information. This could mean going back to your original treating physician to have them complete the required supporting documentation. In addition, you may be required to speak with new doctors or specialists who can fully support and verify your disability claims. Disabilities can also worsen, so be sure to provide any new supporting medical documentation if your condition has become more severe, or additional symptoms have developed.
Be Careful of Conflicting Advice
No slight to Government workers, but it’s not uncommon to receive contradictory, or even completely incorrect information (unintentional). Every case is unique and some of the requirements are open to an adjudicator’s interpretation of your supporting documentation and medical reports. Make absolutely certain that you have all the right information and that you stay organized by keeping a checklist of all the paperwork you are required to submit, and have submitted, as this is going to be required in order to achieve a successful claim.
Patience will have to be exercised when you are waiting for a decision to be made. It can take months to find out if your disability claim has been approved or denied.
If you are suffering from a severe and prolonged disability than there’s a good chance that you’re entitled to Government assistance. The disability claims lawyers at Mackesy Smye can help demystify the CPP disability claims submission, or appeals process, and ensure you are well equipped to get the help you need with as little stress as possible.