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Information on CPP & Old Age Supplement for SDG Seniors

If you have become disabled and have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan for a minimum of three years, you may be eligible for financial assistance. After your death, these contributions can be used towards CPP Survivor’s Benefits. Many funeral homes also have applications available for CPP Survivor’s Pension and Children’s Benefits.

For additional information, please call SDG legal clinic or download an information packet from CLEO.

What is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit?
The Canada Pension Plan disability benefit is a monthly payment made by the federal government to those who are eligible. The main purpose of the payment is to replace a portion of the salary of a person who has become disabled and whose ability to work on a regular basis has been affected.
Who is eligible to receive the CPP disability benefit?
In order to qualify for the CPP disability benefit a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Has paid into the Canada Pension Plan for at least 4 of the last 6 years
  • Is under the age of 65
  • Has a disability, whether physical or mental, that prevents the person from working at any job on a regular basis and
  • A severe and prolonged disability* that prevents the person from being able to work at any job on a regular basis (However, the disability does not have to have occurred because of the job.)

*A disability is prolonged, when it is expected to last at least one year or is likely to result in death.

Children of a parent who is receiving a CPP disability benefit will also receive a benefit if they are under 18 years of age or under the age of 25 and still in school full-time.
How do I apply for the CPP disability benefit?
You must apply for the CPP disability benefit in writing. To obtain the application package, you can visit Service Canada’s website or you can request the application by calling 1-800-622-6232. The application package includes application forms, a questionnaire, a medical report to be completed by your doctor and a consent form.

If you expect to take some time before completing your application form, you should send a letter to CPP asking for your disability pension.

It can take at least four months to process your application. However, if you are terminally ill, your application should be handled within 48 hours.
When should I apply for the CPP disability benefit?
If you develop a serious long-term or terminal medical condition that prevents you from working regularly you should make your application for benefits as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the amount of your pension could be reduced. Although you can apply retroactively, you cannot go back more than 12 months.
How much will I receive?
Everyone who is eligible to receive the CPP disability benefit is entitled to the same fixed monthly amount of $453.52*. Depending on the amount of your past contributions, you will receive an additional amount up to $811.12*. These amounts may increase every January to take into account any increase in the cost of living.

*These are the amounts for 2015.
Can I receive the CPP disability benefit if I am also receiving benefits from another source?
Yes. As long as you are eligible to receive the CPP disability benefit, you will receive it, even if you are receiving a benefit from another source, such as an insurance company or social assistance program. However, the amount you receive from other sources may be affected. It is best to contact your insurance company or social assistance program.
What do I do if my application for the CPP disability benefit is turned down?
If your application is turned down, you can ask that the decision be reviewed. However, you must make your request in writing within 90 days of receiving a written copy of the decision. It is important that you get legal advice as soon as possible.

You can request a review of your application, if:

  • You were denied a CPP disability benefit,
  • You disagree with the amount allowed,
  • You disagree with the date you are to begin receiving your benefit,
  • The cancellation of your benefit.
What happens once I begin to receive the CPP disability benefit?
Once your application has been approved, you will begin receiving a monthly cheque. Your first payment starts four months from the date your disability is determined to have begun.

It is your responsibility to keep Service Canada informed of your current address and banking information if you have direct deposit. You are obligated to report when you have earned more than $5,100 (before taxes) in a particular year. You must also report any change in the day-to-day caretaking of your children.

Your health and work status may be reviewed periodically to ensure that you are still eligible to receive the CPP disability benefit.
When will my CPP disability benefit end?
Once you are able to return to work, your CPP disability benefit will end. It will also end when you turn 65, although it will automatically change to a CPP retirement pension. The CPP disability benefit will also end upon your death.
Where can I go for help?
If you are having difficulty completing the application or if you have been turned down for the CPP disability benefit contact our Clinic to set up an appointment.

CPP Survivors Benefits

The Canada Pension Plan Survivor Benefits are payments that may be made to:

A Deceased’s Estate
  • The CPP Death Benefit is a one-time payment made to the estate of the deceased contributor.
  • If the deceased did not leave an estate, then the person responsible for the funeral expenses, the surviving spouse or partner or the next of kin may be eligible, in that order, to apply for the benefit.
  • The amount of the CPP Death Benefit depends on how much and for how long the deceased paid into the CPP. However, the maximum allowable death benefit is $2,500.
  • The CPP Death Benefit is usually paid within 6 to 12 weeks of application.
A Surviving Spouse
  • The Survivor’s Pension is a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse of the deceased contributor.
  • If the deceased contributor was not married but was living in a common law relationship, a Survivor’s Pension will be paid to the common-law spouse if they had been living together for at least one year at the time of death.
  • If the deceased contributor was not married but was living in a same-sex relationship, a Survivor’s Pension will be paid to the same-sex partner if they had been living together for at least one year at the time of death.
  • The amount of the Survivor’s Pension will vary depending on a number of factors including:
      • whether the spouse or common-law partner is also receiving Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or a retirement pension;
      • how much, and for how long, the contributor has paid into the plan; and
      • the spouse or common-law partner's age when the contributor dies.
  • If applied for immediately following the death, the Survivor’s Pension will begin the month after the deceased contributor’s death, although the first payment may not arrive for 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Remarriage does not put an end to the Survivor’s Pension.
  • If the surviving spouse or partner is receiving either CPP disability benefits or a CPP retirement pension at the time of the deceased contributor’s death, the Survivor's Pension will be combined with this other benefit into a single payment. However, there is a limit on the total amount of CPP that a survivor can get.
The Deceased's Dependent Children
  • The CPP Children’s Benefit is a monthly pension for the dependent children of a deceased contributor.
  • Children under the age of 18 are considered dependent children. The surviving parent or guardian must apply for the benefits on behalf of the child and the payment will be made to the parent or guardian.
  • Children between the ages of 18 and 25, who are in school full-time, are also considered dependent children. A child in this age bracket must apply on his or her own behalf for these benefits. The payment will be made directly to the child.
  • If applied for immediately following the death, the Children’s Benefit will begin the month after the deceased contributor’s death, although the first payment may not arrive for 6 to 12 weeks.
  • In 2015 the CPP Children’s Benefit is a flat monthly rate of $228.66.

Completing Your CPP Disability Benefits Application

When completing your CPP Disability Benefits application, it’s important to detail how your disability prevents you from working.

Foreign Pension Plans

Pension plan contributions that originated from a foreign country may help you qualify for CPP.

Old Age Supplement

The Old Age Supplement is a monthly pension available to most Canadians over 65 years of age. As our clinic works in this area of law, we provide advice on your rights to Old Age Security (OAS), as well as obtain information for clients. Although it is rare that an OAS matter goes before the Review Tribunal, though, depending on your case, we may represent you under such conditions.

Important: Appeals must be filed within 90 days of receiving a decision notice.

We have listed some of the more common questions about the Old Age Supplement pension program. You may also wish to visit the Employment and Social Development Canada and Service Canada websites for the latest information.

Who is eligible to receive the Old Age Supplement?
There are two categories of people who are eligible to receive this pension:

Category 1 - Those who live in Canada
  • You are 65 or older.
  • You live in Canada and are a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time your pension is approved.
  • You lived in Canada for at least 10 years after reaching age 18.

Category 2 - Those who live outside of Canada
  • You are 65 or older.
  • You left the country and you were a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada when you left.
  • You lived in Canada for at least 20 years after reaching age 18.
How do I get the Old Age Supplement?
To begin receiving this pension, you must make an application to Service Canada six months before your 65th birthday. The application kit can be downloaded from Human Resource Development Canada's website or you can ask that it be mailed to
you by calling 1-800-277-9914.

Although you can apply for the Old Age Security Pension after you have turned 65, it is important to remember that you cannot receive more than 12 months of retroactive payments.
What are the details of the Old Age Supplement?
If you have lived in Canada for at least 40 years since turning 18, you will be entitled to a full pension. If you have lived in Canada for less, time you may still qualify for a full pension or you may qualify for a partial pension. For more information about your particular situation, you can contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

Most people will receive their first monthly payment the month after their 65th birthday.

Pension payments will be increased annually to reflect the cost of living.
Can I appeal decisions I do not agree with?
Yes. If you have been turned down for the Old Age Supplement or you are not receiving a full pension, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 for an explanation of the decision. If you are not satisfied with the explanation, you can ask for a reconsideration of the decision. This request must be made in writing, within 90 days, to the Regional Director of Income Security Programs. You should include the following information in your appeal letter:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and Social Insurance Number or Old Age Security Number
  • Your reasons for appealing including any facts to support your position
  • All information that supports your appeal
  • The date you received the denial letter
  • Your signature or that of your representative

If you are not satisfied with the Regional Director’s response, you can appeal the decision to the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals. You should submit a letter similar to the one described above.

Click here for additional information about appealing a decision.