Halifax CPP Disability Lawyer
Suffering from a long-term disability due to an illness or accident can be a challenging and frustrating situation. In addition to the pain that you may be experiencing, if you are unable to work, you may experience additional stress as bills begin to pile up. If you are wondering if you are entitled to receive disability benefits, you should speak with a Halifax CPP disability lawyer.
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP Disability) is a government-mandated long-term disability plan. In other words, CPP disability is the portion of the Canada Pension Plan that relates to the provision of disability benefits for those who, by reason of illness or injury, are no longer able to work.
If you or your loved one are suffering from long-term disability, you must understand the resources available. For that reason, you will find key information about CPP disability on this page. Should you have any specific questions about your case, contact our experienced Halifax CPP disability lawyers.
CPP Disability: Definition and Eligibility Criteria
The Canada Pension Plan was initiated by government legislation in 1965 and is applicable for all the provinces in Canada except Quebec, which has a similar plan. Canada Pension Plan is a system of benefits linked to your earnings to provide retirement, disability, and survivor benefits.
To be entitled to CPP Disability in Nova Scotia, applicants must be able to show that they suffer a disability that prevents them from working and that the disability is severe and prolonged. In addition to this, you must also be under the age of 65 and have made sufficient contributions through employment to the Canada Pension Plan.
CPP disability benefit is a contributory system, meaning that the worker must pay premiums into the plan. If the individual is an employee, then the premiums are matched by the employer. However, if you are self-employed, then you must pay both the employee and the employer share of the premiums. As established before, there are minimum contributions that you must meet.
When applying for CPP disability, you should also meet the requirement for disability. This means that you need to prove that you suffer from a mental or physical disability that prevents you from doing any substantially gainful employment or work. Additionally, you must be able to show that the disability is long-term and indefinite (permanent or likely to be permanent) or that the medical condition is likely to result in death.
If your CPP application is approved, you will be entitled to receive monthly payments for the rest of your working life (to age 65). Even though this benefit is intended to be permanent to age 65, your CPP disability benefits will terminate if you recover from your illness or injury and are able to re-enter the workforce.
CPP Disability benefits are retroactive. This means that applicants will also be entitled to a lump sum payment to catch up the past entitlement to the day of approval. After this, your payments would continue on a monthly basis. Notice that each calendar year CPP benefits rise to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index.
If you have questions about your eligibility or you are facing some eligibility obstacles (such as not being in the workforce for some period of time), you should seek the help of a Halifax CPP disability lawyer.
Benefits of Applying for CPP Disability
The main benefit of applying for CPP Disability is to provide a source of income for individuals who are not able to work and support themselves. As mentioned above, once approved, you will receive the lump sum benefit for any retroactive payment entitlement. Then, continuing to age 65, you will receive monthly benefits to support your living expenses.
In addition, if you are the parent or guardian of children, you will be entitled to receive additional payments to assist with the costs and expenses of raising your children. This benefit will be included in your monthly payments. In 2022, the CPP disability child benefit amounts to $264.53 and it’s available for each child who is dependent on the disabled CPP recipient.
It is important to know that the benefit provided by the Canada Pension Plan for Disability is a monthly cash payment only. This means that there are no additional benefits for the applicant or children, whether it is dental or drug benefits.
Although the amount payable for CPP disability child benefit is a fixed amount, the benefits the applicant will receive depends on their employment contributions while they were working.
Many individuals applying for CPP disability in Nova Scotia may also be entitled to Long-Term Disability insurance benefits (LTD payments) through a private policy, or more usually, as a result of an LTD insurance plan through their employment. If you are entitled to LTD benefits, it is generally a condition of your insurance policy that you apply for Canada Pension Disability as well. In these cases, it is normal that any payment received by way of CPP Disability becomes an offset (deductible) from the amount received by way of LTD benefits.
How Much Do You Get on CPP Disability?
As of 2022, the basic CPP-D payment amount is $524.64. This amount is increased based on how much you paid into the plan while you were employed. The maximum payment for a beneficiary in 2022 is $1,457.45. However, the average CPP Disability benefit for new beneficiaries is $1,064.80.
When it comes to Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits, the amount an individual will receive depends on the level of their contributions and the number of years during which they paid into the Canada Pension Plan. In simple terms, this means that the amount you contribute and the number of years you contribute will determine how much you receive.
How to Apply for CPP Disability
In order to apply for CPP disability in Nova Scotia, generally, there are two forms that you are required to complete. One of the forms you must complete is a rather detailed application where you provide all of the relevant personal and medical information, including family information.
The second form is a medical form to be completed by a qualified healthcare provider, usually the family doctor. This form is usually accompanied by any supporting medical information sufficient to/or intended to demonstrate the serious and disabling nature of the applicant’s medical situation. Those who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition will need to complete a special form.
Reasons Why CPP Disability Applications Are Denied
Most Canada Pension Disability applications are denied, at least initially. In fact, according to a CPP disability report, 57% of initial applications were denied in the 2014-15 fiscal year. The denial is based on one of two (although sometimes both) reasons:
- The applicant may not have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan during the relevant time frame or sufficiently to qualify for benefits.
- The application does not support a claim that the individual is severely and indefinitely disabled.
In some cases, an applicant will be denied because neither criteria has been sufficiently met.
If your application was denied, a Halifax CPP Disability Lawyer may be able to provide the assistance you need to have your application reconsidered or in some cases to re-apply for benefits. If an individual has been denied benefits, or in the process of applying anticipates they may run into difficulties, they should consult with a lawyer who is familiar with CPP Disability applications.
An experienced disability lawyer will be able to determine whether the applicant is qualified by reason of the timing of the application in relation to the onset of the disability and the minimum contributory period. In many cases, an application is denied because the medical evidence is not sufficient.
If this is the reason why your application was denied, our Halifax, NS CPP disability lawyers will be able to identify the type and quality of evidence that will be necessary to support your claim that your disability is severe (that you are not able to engage in gainful employment) and that it is prolonged (that your disability is not time limited but rather appears to be permanent in nature).
Questions About Your Claim? Speak to a Halifax CPP Disability Lawyer
After you have been injured or you are suffering from a severe disability, dealing with your CPP disability claim can be stressful and overwhelming. If your application has been denied and you want to appeal, a disability lawyer will be able to explain to you the law, including the requirements and supporting documents that you need to include in your application.
The Nova Scotia disability 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.
If you or a loved one is looking to apply for a disability benefit or start an appeal process, we may be able to help you with the process. To schedule a free consultation, contact us via web form or call us at 1 (902) 422-8811.
With three locations in Nova Scotia, Kimball Law helps clients throughout the HRM and Annapolis Valley down to Digby, Yarmouth, and also the South Shore. However, we understand that long travel and mobility can be challenging for many clients. So if needed, our lawyers can come to you or work with you remotely via phone and video conference.
CPP Disability Frequently Asked Questions
Can an insurance company force you to apply for CPP-D?
If you are applying for or in receipt of benefits from a Long Term disability insurer (for example, through a policy provided through your employment), you may be required to apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits. Most LTD policies provide for an offset of any CPP disability benefits received.
In other words, if you are qualified and are receiving LTD benefits that may represent 70% of your working income and you also qualify for and receive CPP disability benefits, the amount you receive from Canada Pension will be deducted from the amount the LTD insurance company has to pay.
By way of example, if you are receiving $3,000.00 per month from LTD benefits in Nova Scotia and Canada Pension approves and pays you $1,000.00 per month, then the LTD benefit will be reduced to $2,000.00 per month. This ensures that the total you are receiving for your disability will not exceed $3,000.00, which in this example represents the maximum benefit payable under your LTD policy (70% of pre-accident income).
Because they have the benefit of deducting the Canada Pension disability payments, LTD insurers have an interest in making sure that the injured/disabled employee pursues Canada Pension benefits. Sometimes the LTD insurance policy will require that the individual makes an application for CPP as a condition of continuing the LTD payments.
Are CPP disability benefits retroactive?
CPP Disability benefits, if approved, will be retroactive.
Most applicants who receive or are approved for Canada Pension Disability benefits also receive a lump sum retroactive benefit shortly after their application has been approved. Since the application for benefits approves the individual’s benefit for the given calendar year in a specific monthly amount, the retroactive payment will be the total of the monthly amounts for the period preceding the approval of the application back to the date of the disability so long as it is within 12 months of the application.
For example, an applicant, Mary, became disabled for employment purposes in February 2020, and she applied for CPP Disability benefits in March 2021. She is approved for CPP disability in January 2022. This means that she would not only obtain approval for the monthly benefits commencing the month following her approval, but also she would be entitled to all monthly benefits for the previous months of disability dating back to shortly after her initial disability (April 2020).
This period of 22 months would be payable to her in a lump sum based on the monthly amount payable for the previous calendar year. Because the benefit is adjusted each year to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index, the approved benefit for 2022 in this example would be higher than the approved benefit in 2020 and 2021.
Keep in mind that if you need to hire a Halifax CPP Disability lawyer in order to obtain benefits, Canada Pension Plan does not pay any legal fees. The cost of applying for CPP Disability benefits is a matter to be discussed with the lawyer when you first meet to obtain assistance with your application for benefits. In some situations, legal fees incurred to obtain benefits may be a deduction from your income for the taxation year in which the expenses were incurred. This is a question that should be canvassed with your tax advisor/tax preparer.
Are CPP disability benefits taxable?
CPP Disability benefits are taxable. The Canada Pension Plan issues the T4A Tax Information slip, which stipulates the benefits received in any given taxation year, which is filed with your tax return for the particular year.
For all CPP benefits received, whether the lump sum amount retroactive payment or the regular monthly amounts of disability payments, the government will issue a tax information slip (T4A) that will indicate the full amount of benefits received in the given taxation year. This form is attached to your tax return to prove the amount of benefits received because these benefits are considered taxable income.
What things can affect my CPP disability benefits?
CPP Disability benefits terminate on the earlier of:
- Age 65
- The recipient is recovered to the extent that they can return to the workforce.
CPP Benefits are not benefits that form part of an inheritance. However, there are benefits that may be considered in a family law situation in the determination of spousal or child support in the same fashion as any other source of income that may be considered for that purpose.
CPP Disability benefits are public insurance benefits that reflect the individual’s premiums paid during their working life. As a result, these benefits are payable regardless of other sources of income that an individual may enjoy as long as those sources are not employment income. So, an individual may receive CPP Disability benefits as well as other LTD benefits. If you have investments, you could also receive that income without hurting your CPP disability benefits.