Government Disability Benefits

Middle aged woman who uses a power wheelchair working on her laptop computer.

What is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefit?

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefit is an income replacement benefit program. This financial assistance is a monthly payment provided by the Government of Canada through Service Canada to eligible people living with disabilities.

Who participates in the CPP and how do you make contributions?

Anyone aged 18 and over working in Canada (outside of Quebec) and earns more than $3500 yearly contributes to the CPP.

Your employer deducts your share of CPP contribution from your pay cheque each pay period and they contribute an equal amount. While you are working, you will pay approximately five percent of your salary into the CPP. Your employer will pay the same matching amount into the CPP making the contributions equal to approximately 10% of your pre-tax income.

Upon retirement, you will receive a CPP payout equal to 25% of your average lifetime salary; this is paid out monthly. This payout starts at age 65. However, you can start at age 60 (for a reduced pension) or defer until age 70 (for an increased pension). These payments will continue for as long as you are alive.

Types of CPP Disability Benefits

There are actually three types of CPP Disability Benefits. Applicants are eligible for different CPP benefits depending on their age. 

All three forms of CPP are given as a monthly payment, but while they each have the same standards for classifying eligible disabilities, each form of CPP has some unique eligibility requirements.


CPP Disability Benefits: For people under 65 not receiving the CPP retirement pension.


CPP Disability Post-Retirement Benefit: For people between age 60 to 65 already receiving the CPP retirement pension for more than 15 months, or who acquire a disability after starting to receive the retirement pension.


CPP Disability Children’s Benefit: Provides monthly payments to the dependent children of CPP contributors that have developed a disability or that have died. The child must be either under age 18 or under age 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university.

Elderly man in a wheelchair chopping vegetables.

CPP Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for any of the three types of CPP, you must have a disability that is considered severe, long-term or potentially life-threatening. Your doctor or nurse practitioner must sign a medical report form identifying the nature and severity of your disability.

As well, each form of CPP requires that you have paid contributions into the Canada Pension Plan for at least four of the last six years (unless you’ve made contributions for 25 years or longer, in which case it becomes three of the last five years).

Medical Conditions Considered Eligible for CPP

Canada Pension Plan eligibility is determined based on the severity of your disability. This also encompasses disabilities that are long-term, which prevent you from actively participating in your community or working regularly. It also includes disabilities that are considered life-threatening.

Your doctor will need to fill out a medical report form detailing your disability in order to be eligible, so if you’re considering applying for CPP, you should talk to your doctor first.

Some conditions that can be eligible for CPP Disability Benefits include:

  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Heart disease
  • Knee or joint disorders
  • Bipolar mood disorder
  • Back problems
  • Lupus
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Visual disorders or vision problems
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Vestibular disorders
  • Lyme disease
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Autism
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Chronic or severe depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Neck and cervical disorders

CPP Disability Benefit Payment Dates

CPP pays its benefit one time per month. Below is the list of CPP Disability Benefit Payment Dates for 2021:

  • January 27th
  • February 24th
  • March 29th
  • April 28th
  • May 27th
  • June 28th
  • July 28th
  • August 27th
  • September 28th
  • October 27th
  • November 26th
  • December 22nd

Average CPP Disability Payments for 2021

Each form of CPP has different amounts that it pays out monthly, and each regular CPP Disability payment is calculated individually.

Both the CPP Post-Retirement Benefit and Children’s Disability Benefits have set payment amounts.

The average regular CPP Disability Benefits payments for 2021 is $1,031.55 per month (to a maximum of $1,413.66)

In 2021, the CPP Post-Retirement Disability Benefits pays $510.85 per month, while the Children’s Disability Benefit pays $257.58 (per child) per month.

Retroactive CPP Payments

It’s possible to receive retroactive CPP Disability Benefit payments, but it will only cover a maximum of 12 months before the application date.

Most often, retroactive CPP payments are applied to account for the amount of time it takes Service Canada to approve your claim.

However, if you apply for CPP Disability Benefits in the same month that you first experience your disability, and you’re approved immediately at the end of the minimum four-month waiting period, you may not be eligible for retroactive payments.

Confident, young woman using a wheelchair looking straight at the camera.

CPP Disability Benefits Drug Plan

Unfortunately, no form of CPP Disability Benefits has a drug plan. CPP is a monthly payment, but does not include any additional assistance for prescription medications.

There are other useful drug plans, like the Ontario Drug Benefit program (ODB) that you can learn more about here.

How to Apply for CPP

The first step when you’re considering applying for CPP Disability Benefits is to talk to your doctor. They will be required to submit the medical report form detailing the specifics of your disability.

In addition to that medical report form, you will need to submit an application form for approval.

Once you and your doctor have submitted all the applicable information, you can expect a call from a medical adjudicator from Service Canada. They will want to ask you more questions about your disability, and they may also request additional information from your doctor or employer.

After you’ve spoken with the adjudicator, the only thing left to do is wait. It can take four to seven months to get a decision on your CPP Disability Benefit application. You can check on the status of your application through your My Service Canada online account.

Where to Find CPP Disability Benefit Applications

There are two pieces to completing a CPP Disability Benefit application, a medical report form and your personal application form.


Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit Phone Number 

If you have any more questions about the CPP programs that are available, such as how to appeal a rejected application or how CPP can be registered in your taxes, you should call the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit Phone Number: 1-800-277-9914