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How does the application for the Canada Pension Plan work?

After you turn in your application for disability benefits in Canada, there will be a waiting period while your case is reviewed.

What happens when the application is submitted?

After you submit the application, Service Canada will receive it and begin to look into your past work history. If you have made sufficient contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the application will move on to the next step. If not, your case will be denied.

Is there a medical assessment?

Yes, there is. The next step of the process is when the medical adjudicators, who are trained in nursing, look over your paperwork and documents and compare them with regulations, procedures and legislation to do with the CPP. If you meet the qualifications for approval, the nurses will pass on the documents to have your CPP benefits approved. If not, they will be denied.

Your medical assessment looks at things like your medical history, so documents of your medical condition need to be turned into Service Canada with your paperwork. To qualify for assistance, your condition must last for at least a year or be expected to last for at least one year. If the condition is likely to result in death, this also helps you qualify for benefits.

The benefits themselves are not provided based on having a condition alone. You must show the nature and severity of the condition, how it affects your ability to work, the overall prognosis, how much you work now and how much you are able to earn, and provide information on your age, work history and education.

What can you do if your application is denied?

You have the right to appeal the decision. Working with your lawyer to make sure you have all the right documents for the appeal can help reduce the time it takes.

Source: Government of Canada, "Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit – After you’ve applied," accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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