Applying for CPP disability benefits can be a lengthy and, sometimes, complicated process. Most people complete the application submission on their own.  Here are a few tips to improve the chances of your application being accepted the first time:

#1. They apply too early

To qualify for CPP disability benefits, the applicant must prove to CPP that their injury or illness is severe and prolonged.

Prolonged means that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.

Enough medical evidence must be provided to CPP to prove that your disability is severe and prolonged. This process can easily take from 6 months up to 1 year. If you apply too early, you will most likely receive a denial.

#2.  They don’t provide CPP with enough medical information to prove their claim.

Severe means that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work.

It appears that most people simply go to the web site and print off the forms. They then have their doctor complete the medical form and submit it.  There is a wide range of approaches among doctors when completing these forms. Some doctors may submit the form with one or two medical reports attached. Other doctors will simply sign the form and submit it without including any medical reports to support their opinion. In cases when these forms are all that is being submitted,  9 times out of 10 the person will be denied benefits.

You need to provide as much medical information to CPP as you can. It is important to always include your family doctor’s clinical notes and records.

You should include any reports and records from any specialist who is treating you. This includes any treatment which is unrelated to the injury or illness that prevents you from working. CPP looks at your complete health picture. Even if you have multiple health issues that are preventing you from working, they will still consider them as a whole.


 #3.  They don’t ensure that they have a clear medical opinion from their doctor about their ability to work and the permanence of the injury.

In order to meet the severe and permanent definition, your doctor must be prepared to say that you are unable to do any type of work, both full-time and part-time.  If your doctor makes the mistake of saying that you are unable to do only your current job, or that you could work part-time, you will receive a denial of benefits.  Therefore talk to your doctor before they fill out the form to ensure that they understand the test.

It is important to make sure your doctor clearly states any permanent injury in the medical form and any reports they file. It is important to remember that CPP disability benefits will not be paid until your injuries are deemed permanent.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or if you have been denied and need assistance with an appeal, feel free to contact me directly.

Teena Belland

Associate with the Personal Injury and Litigation Group



Disclaimer: This article is provided as an information resource. It is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional and should not be relied upon to make decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship


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