By: Kimball Law
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Collecting CPP Disability and Working
One of the main requirements to be eligible for Canada Pension Plan Disability is that applicants should have a severe and prolonged disability that prevents them from working on a regular basis. Despite these eligibility criteria, many people wonder if it is possible to work while receiving CPP disability benefits.
People receiving CPP disability are able to do voluntary work or go back to school. Additionally, beneficiaries can also have a paid job as long as their earnings do not exceed certain thresholds. If the earnings exceed this number or it is proved that the beneficiary is able to work, the CPP benefits will stop.
If you are currently receiving CPP disability and you are considering taking a part-time job or going back to school, you may be wondering if your benefits are going to be affected. Given that this is a sensitive issue that can affect your income, in the sections below you will find more information about collecting CPP disability and working.
Can I Work While On CPP Disability?
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits is a program designed to be a partial income replacement for people that have been deemed unable to work on a regular basis due to a severe and prolonged disability.
Although this might lead people to think that being on CPP disability means that they can not work anymore, the truth is that you could work while being on CPP disability as long as you follow certain rules.
According to Canada policies, if you are receiving CPP disability benefits, you are able to go back to school or have a remunerated job. However, in order to keep your benefits, your job income cannot exceed the annual amount established by the government.
In this situation, it is important to keep in mind that if you are working on a regular basis and are making more than the amount established, Employment and Social Development Canada may consider that you are no longer eligible for this program and your benefits will stop.
Keep in mind that if your children were also receiving benefits, they will be canceled as soon as you stop receiving CPP disability. So to summarize, you can collect your Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits and work as long as:
- Your earnings do not surpass the annual amount established
- You are not capable of working on a regular basis
If you want to return to work, you can apply to the disability vocational rehabilitation program which is meant to help you re-enter the workforce.
How much can I earn while on CPP disability?
If you are receiving CPP disability benefits, you can have a remunerated job. However, in order to keep these benefits, your annual gross earnings must not exceed $6,100. If a beneficiary’s job income surpasses this amount, his or her CPP disability benefits could be canceled.
CPP legislation establishes that, in 2021, a person receiving CPP disability benefits can work as long as their annual earnings are less than $6,100 (before taxes). If this is your case, you do not need to report your work activity to Canada Pension Plan.
But if your annual earnings are higher than this amount, you may lose your disability benefits since this might be considered as proof that you are able to have a substantially gainful job. Additionally, keep in mind that, as soon as you earn more than $6,100, you need to report it, otherwise, you might need to pay some money back.
Given that the CPP disability program is based on the current cost of living, the amount that you are allowed to earn in order to keep your benefits changes every year.
Reinstatement of CPP Disability Benefits
If your benefits stopped because you went back to work, but your disability recurred and prevented you from working, you are entitled to have your benefits reinstated. In other words, if the same or a related disability does not allow you to keep working, your CPP disability benefits might be automatically reinstated.
In order to be eligible for an automatic reinstatement, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be under 65 years of age
- You are suffering from the same or a related disability
- Your benefits stopped less than two years ago because you returned to work
If you meet these eligibility criteria, you have up to one year since you stopped working to request the reinstatement of your disability benefits. Notice that you might be required to provide a medical report that confirms that your disability has recurred.
Additionally, if you still have dependent children and they meet the requirements, their benefits will also be reinstated. Given that you might be able to go back to work again, there are no limits to requesting the restitution of your benefits.
If you made CPP contributions while you were working, your disability benefits will increase. If you have been working for more than two and up to 5 years and a related or the same disability recurred, you would need to do a fast-track reapplication.
Contact a Halifax Disability Lawyer
If you or a loved one are considering working while receiving CPP disability benefits, you might want to consult the potential consequences with a disability lawyer.
The personal injury lawyers at Kimball Law have over 40 years of experience representing clients with CPP disability claims in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, the Annapolis Valley, and surrounding areas in Nova Scotia.
If your disability benefits stopped because you went back to work and you are looking to restore them, our legal team may be able to help you with this process. To schedule a free consultation, contact us via email form or call us at 1 (902) 422-8811.