+ Reply
Log in or Register to participate in these discussions
CPP and Disability benefits
beach boy
157 Posts

Hi I just started my first chemo for B cell lymphoma . So my head is all over the place. I am 63 and applying for my CPP. I was also looking at applying for disability benefits. It looks like it's  allot of forms to fill out. I was just wondering if cancer falls under the "Eligibility rules" to qualify? If it doesn't I won't waist my time on it. I just found this chat site and it's nice to read other people's thoughts on this  scary path I've just started down.

69 Replies
136 Posts
If you are applying for CPP disability there is no solid one size fits all answer. It depends on a number of things, hence the amount of forms. And the medical form from the Doctor.  I applied twice, accepted the second time. But with the first one, I was trying to return to work, which I managed for 6 weeks and then a further cancer return diagnosis.

But you can not collect regular CPP and the CPP disability, it will be one or the other.  Do you have disability through work?  I do and that was reduced by the amount that CPP disability paid me. The work disability plans will ask you to apply for CPP disability if it looks to be a long term off work.

175 Posts
Hi Beachboy
CPP is a battle as Pokie said you will have to apply twice lots of doctor notes. As for CCP disability  you have to have stage 4 cancer :( I was on the phone for hours debating that!!!!
Keep trying and Good Luck :)
Very Best
135 Posts
This was really helpful. I just received the forms from my LTD insurer for CPP Disability. The letter they sent me said that they can reduce my benefits by the CPP Disability amount if they think I would qualify even if I do not apply. So I guess I need to tackle all of those forms.
beach boy
157 Posts

Thanks everyone for your replies. Government sure doesn't make things easy do they? I guess I'll throw this on the pile for things to do

224 Posts
Hi all, beach boy‍ , ChevyNormaVi‍  and all others
I just wanted to add. The forms actually weren't that tough to get done. I was stage for Medullary Thyroid cancer when diagnosed in Jan 2016. Booked off work at the end of March 2016 and that rolled to LTD 120 days later. Insurer (Great West Life) is contractually bound or covered that the employee must appy for CPP Disability if elegible. 
I did the paperwork and CPP said it would be several months to process it. When they got the package they called and said that due to my illness it would likely be expedited. I sent the forms mid January 2017 and got first cheque in mid February. Direct claw back from LTD so no further ahead.
The problem is that LTD coverage is a self funded benefit and as such is not subject to income tax. CPP is subject to tax so you either need to put it away or you can call them and they will deduct whatever amount you want from each monthly payment. In the end you will see a reduction in income. 
If you take the CPP Disability it has no effect in your Full CPP when you turn 65. I am 59 now and plan to keep taking CPP Disability until 65. Then my CPP will not be reduced by taking it early.
I hope this helps.
Roll On....
beach boy
157 Posts

Thanks roll on I'll be seeing my oncologist this week and see what he has to say about it..........Happy Easter everyone!

175 Posts
Hi Roll-On
​I called CPP for CPP Disability and she told me straight out I have to have stage 4 lung cancer to receive it. I actualy said to her so I have to have God on the phone and one foot in the grave before you help me.
​I'm 60 in August I'll have to wait until then to get just CPP and take a cut at 65 or if all goes well in surgery I will be back to work. until then my EI has run out and well no income on my end, my husband works but you know it's not the same down an income and I hate not having my own money :(
​I'll try applying for CPP and see what goes there but I'll probably be backto work fingers crossed :)
​Very Best to All :)
beach boy
157 Posts

It's tuff having to worry about money at a time like this isn't it Chevy? I think we should all get together with our chemo IV poles and sit on the curb with tin cups out side Trudy's house in Ottawa maybe that will get us a little atention.At a time like this money should not have to be a worry.

175 Posts
Hi beach boy
​I agree let the government see what we are going through, they promote get better but wait you can rely on us to help with your every day need and  H E double hockey sticks no to good nutrition. We do have to much on our plates with out the worry of money.
​Wishing Us All The Best :)
Very Best Carol
224 Posts
Hi beach boy‍ , NormaVi‍ and Chevy‍ ,
Just another thought for you on the CPP Disability application. Throughout my entire time since I got my diagnosis back in Jan 2016 I have always asked for copies of every Dr report and test results in my file. Unfortunately the issue in my lymph nodes was mentioned in an ultrasound report six years earlier. The report recomended immediate biopsy as possible cancerous. Nobody saw or payed attention to that line. When they diiscovered my cancer in 2016, a radiation tech found the old report. Could have made a huge difference by early detection. Now I don't trust anyone to look after my interests without me knowing what has been documented as well.
When it came to having the "attending Physician Statement" done I took my documents and sat down with my Family GP. In the concluding report from the Surgeon after removing thyroid, she conluded that I had "Stage 4, non-curable medstatic cancer". My GP quoted those words in his submission. I also attached several of the supporting reports to my application. 
Chevy, I know what you are saying about having one foot in the grave. It really is frustrating. I also agree with the several comments on how wrong it is to have to fight to provide income on top of everything else.
I learned some time ago that the only advocate we have in these matters is ourselves. Get copies of everything and read them. You need to build the supporting case.
Good luck in your pursuit of what is yours to take.
Roll On.
beach boy
157 Posts

Thanks for that Roll on. I've just started my journey and your right, I have found two doctors and an oncologist contradicting each other on my case. You have to keep track of every thing they say and do. Or what they tell the nurses to do.This can be hard to do at times with the conditions we are under. Especially with brain fog and some pain. Before I go in for my second round I have a list of questions written down I want answers to.It's my live and I want to know where I'm heading . Is that to much to ask for. We have great support through the Canadian Cancer Society and our medical team. Why is so hard to get a little financial suport from our government that I have paid into for 40 plus years?

135 Posts
Roll-On‍ and others: There is one question I am struggling to answer on the CPP Disability application: 
If considered suitable, would you consent to a vocational rehabiliation assessment? Yes or No, if no, please explain.
Is this a trick question? Yes, if suitable. But right now I don't think I am suitable for assessment or vocational rehabilitation. But I would consent if suitable.
Any advice (knowing that you have no legal liability in providing such advice)?
224 Posts
Hi NormaVi‍ 
That is a tough question to answer. I looked mine up from my paperwork and found that one the "CPP Questionaire form. I answered no. I have been told by my doctors that my condition can not be cured. As such at some point it will likely be terminal. As a result I wrote on the form that I would not do any vocaional retraining due the the terminal nature of my illness.
I would think that you could simply indicate that you also would not due to the ongoing demands of extended treatments.
I hope that helps. 
Roll On.....
beach boy‍, it sure is a scary path, this cancer thing...
15 Posts
My sister has metastatic breast cancer (stage 4) and was looking at returning to work because she feels good these days. The oncologist suggested she might not ever return to work because she'll always be undergoing treatment and would never achieve what he called her "baseline" (where she was before the cancer). She's on LTD and is considering going back to work part-time. I asked her to also consider staying on LTD, applying for CPP Disability, and focus on her health and enjoy life as much as possible.

Has anyone else gone through a similar situation. Any advice?

It breaks my heart that her life will be shortened.
Hi Mona‍ - Have you had a chat with your sister to explore her reasons for wanting to return? Could it be that she enjoyed working and wants to have that purpose in her life again?

Some people with metastatic cancer are treated as if they have a chronic disease if they are able to control the cancer. I'm not sure about your sister's situation?

Your love and concern for your sister shines through in your post :)

Take Care,

216 Posts
Hi Mona‍ it's wonderful that you care about your sister and want her to enjoy life as much as possible. While it's a nice gesture to want your sister to relax, some people find their relaxation in being active and being with people. I have stage 3d cancer, and tried staying home. All I did was sit around and think. I found so much positivity and caring from my co-workers and customers when I returned to work. I find more energy in working, and if I am tired at the end of the day, it helps me sleep. It's very exhausting dealing with negativity. I hope that you will be able to encourage your sister to follow her wishes, rather than discourage her. Perhaps you can help her with paperwork for accomodations at work, or help her with jumping through the government hoops she will have to deal with. Cancer changes your life, and the more things your sister can keep the same or resume doing the more comfortable she may feel. She's lucky to have such a caring sister to help her through this. 
136 Posts
HI Mona,
 I know when I first felt good last year, it was important to me to try and go back to work. I needed to keep busy and feel like I was in control of my life.  I unfortunately had to stop working after a couple of months due to surgery and applied for CPP disability as directed by my LTD plan.  I am still off due to ongoing treatment but I was glad I tried to go back. It helped me to recentre myself.  Each person is different and needs to find their way through the challenges they face with cancer. The best thing is to support her decision. 
15 Posts
Thank you for your input. My sister has been off work since last year when she got the cancer diagnoses.  When she left work she found it extremely stressful with her workload.
A few months ago she was eager to go back to work, thinking she "should". She is a hard worker and has a strong work ethic and her workplace has been very good to her.
The oncologist said she will never be how she was before. She'll always be getting some type of treatment and yes, it will be like a chronic disease. She has had some side effect and more discomfort than pain.
After some discussion she decided to set up an appointment for some financial counselling through a cancer organization. It may also help her explore her goals and purpose.

Of course I'll support her with whatever decision she makes. I really appreciate your responses.
22 Posts
Hi Mona‍ 
I have Stage 4 Metatastic Breast Cancer. Sadly, this is my second fight for my life, And I am giving every thing I have to extend whatever time I have left. I have undergone ten Radiation treatments and I am currently on my third Chemo Cycle. I am working full-time. The reason I get up and drag my body out of bed every morning is because I can and it makes me feel great. My mind is engaged! I am not fretting over what tomorrow may bring; not worrying about dying, and feeling sick. Everyday is a challenge. It takes me longer to walk up two flights of stairs, I forget what I was going to get but it comes back. When I get home I am physically exhausted, tired, sore. Like your sister I have always worked hard!

It makes me feel alive! I know there will come a time when I won't have this option. For me, work  has been my good medicine!  She is blessed to have someone like you supporting her decisions!
1179 Posts
An FYI to all - CPP Disability can be applied for if you can medically prove you are permanently disabled for all forms of work. And don't forget to apply for the Disability Tax Credit as well. It is transferable to spouses too.
45 Posts
Please be careful if you choose to have a "professional" help you with the disability tax credit.  Some companies promise up to $40,000.00 in rebates, not true.  There is one that even references in a monthly magazine, they are in it alright but only as an advertiser.

Canada revenue has opened a new office just to deal with Disability Tax Credit and are making it very difficult to get thru all the hoops.  You can only get back what you have paid so if you didn't work, you have to have a transfer person like a spouse/caregiver who did pay.  

​I have been receiving the tax credit for a few years and do know there are quite a few shysters out there.  You may be able to go back ten years in credits, mine was over $11,000.00 and continues for about five more years and then I have to re-apply.  If you don't ask for the back dating, you won't get it, Canada Revenue doesn't give much in the way of help, some who answer the phone will actually tell you not to bother.

1179 Posts
It is not hard to apply for the Disability Tax Credit. You take one form to your dr to complete and you answer some questions on the other form. Attach it to your taxes. If you do not use a computer to do your own taxes or have a computer and printer to search for the forms online, you can call Revenue Canada and request they mail you everything you need. Ensure the dr clarifies on their form when your disability began. Once approved you can request reassessments of all previous tax years up until the year your dr said your diablity began.
Bigblue‍ is very correct - there are many jerk companies out there willing to do this for you but they will take a HUGE percentage of what you are entitled to! Don't lose out on money that belongs to you!
15 Posts
Thank you for this information. It may be useful for the future. At this time my sister wants to try working part-time because she's feeling really good. She'll meet with the oncologists for their support. The funny thing is that she's so busy right now that she doesn't know when she'll have time to work! This is a woman with stage 4 breast cancer with a great attitude. She said she doesn't want anyone "raining on her parade" so I'm here to find our information and support her in her choices. I appreciate your help and experience.
" I actualy said to her so I have to have God on the phone and one foot in the grave before you help me. "

I love what you said on the phone!  It is difficult to get these people's help at a horrible time in one's life.  I always wonder how they would feel if it was them trying to navigate the system!  

57 Posts
Greetings all, my fiancé took his CPP at 60. He was just denied CPP disability because he was more than 15 months before he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.  I am spitting nickels over that ruling. We'll appeal of course, but seriously!!!!   

It's like he is being punished for taking CPP at 60.  Anyone else get caught in that trap, any suggestions on how to or who we turn to for help?

1179 Posts
Is it just due to the timing that he was denied? Or the illness?
If it was the illness, CPP disability denied my 1st husband who had a massive brain injury (all areas of the brain except for the cerebellum were severely damaged due to multiple aneurysms bursting). He couldn't talk, write, barely walk and could not move his dominate right arm and that is the EXTREMELY short version trust me. Ya appeal. Make sure you give detailed medical evidence of how he is disabled from ALL FORMS of work. If you need any further help let me know. I have done several of these and have been very successful.
224 Posts
Hi jorola‍ ,
I have been readng back in this post and have some questions.
I was approved and have been recieving CPP Disability since early this year. The back dated it and paid me retro to mid 2016. All of that I have no problem with.
The area I would like your input on is the Disability Tax Credit. I am stage four Thyroid cancer and the surgen deemed it "Non-Curable". I am currently off on LTD and CPP Disability. The LTD Insurer recently decided that my condition would prevent me from ever returning to work and they have now changed me to once a year Dr Letter indicating no change in my health.
I looked online at the CRA definition and the form for the tax credit. I do not have the physical limitations they need to qualify. I am not blind, can walk, etc..... How would I be able to qualify even though I am stage four, non-curarable ad will never return to work?
I appreciate your thoughts....
1179 Posts
Hey Roll-On‍ 
Yes to get the Disability Tax Credit - definition of disability and the eligibility criteria is different.
I copied this from Revenue Canada's site:

Eligibility criteria for the disability tax credit

There are different ways for which a person can be eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC). The person must meet one of the following criteria:

  • is blind
  • is markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living
  • is significantly restricted in two or more or the basic activities of daily living (can include a vision impairment)
  • needs life-sustaining therapy

In addition, the person's impairment must meet all of the following:

  • is prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • is present all or substantially all the time (at least 90% of the time)
This is from another site but it explains the categories of eligible conditions well:
  • vision
  • hearing
  • walking
  • elimination (bowel or bladder functions)
  • feeding
  • dressing
  • mental functions necessary for everyday life
  • cumulative restrictions
  • Life-sustaining therapy (required at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 14 hours per week)
So unless you have an impairment(s) which is prolong (at last 12 months in duration) and constantly or present at least 90% of the time, you will not qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.
Not really fair in my opinion for many out there. I think it is very important to look at the cumulative factor for most cancer patients. It is probably an idea to talk with your doctor as well about it. Especially to make sure you go through the limitations as listed by Revenue Canada to see if you "pass" or not. Mick can walk too but can only walk for very short distances before he gets very winded and is in pain. Yes he can put socks on but it is a 5 min ordeal. Because of his peripheral arterial disease he can only wear certain types of clothing to ensure blood flow to his bad leg. So see what I mean? Go through the questions with your dr if you haven't already. If you have and still don't qualify maybe talk to your MP. In my humble opinion anyone who qualifies for CPP Disability should automatically get the Tax Credit too.
224 Posts
Hey jorola‍ 
I agree and it seems we are on the same page as to the requirements. I will follow up with my Dr but I don't seem to think that I will qualify. Thanks for your input.
Take Care
+ Reply