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How you know if you qualify for Canada Pension Plan benefits

In Canada, assessments for disability benefits are performed when a person submits an application. You must have made sufficient contributions to the Canada Pension Plan over the course of your life to access these benefits. If you do not have enough contributions, then you may have your case rejected. If this happens and you believe it's a mistake, your lawyer can help you appeal.

What happens if you have enough contributions?

If you have enough contributions, your case is passed on to the medical adjudicators who will review your medical condition alongside current regulations, policies, legislation and procedures. The medical adjudicators are trained nurses who receive training regularly on new medical developments, so they are able to accurately understand new medical conditions that may come up on applications. CPP physicians and specialists also provide help to these nurses if the medical issues are complex.

How do you qualify for CPP benefits?

In most cases, you will be eligible for CPP disability benefits if you have a severe medical condition that has lasted for a prolonged period of time. What is most important to the CPP team is how your condition has affected your ability to work. The team considers factors like your prognosis, age, education, work history, performance at work and the nature of your medical condition.

Also understand that the adjudicators cannot consider the availability of suitable employment when they determine if you are eligible for benefits. That means that you may be found capable of performing a job that is not in your area, which could result in a denial of benefits. You can appeal if you do not find this denial appropriate.

Source: Government of Canada, "Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit - After you've applied," accessed Oct. 26, 2016

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