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I am disabled. Should I take early CPP or should I apply for CPP-Disability benefits?

February 18, 2020

At Brematson Disability Advocates, we’re frequently asked if people should take early CPP or apply for CPP-Disability benefits. The answer is both simple and complicated at the same time.

To be considered “disabled” by Service Canada, you must have a disability that is severe and prolonged. In other words, you cannot qualify for any gainful employment and the disability will likely not improve and may even result in death. You must also meet the qualifications set out by Service Canada regarding contributions: valid contributions to CPP must be made in the last four years or for at least 25 years, with three of those contribution years occurring during the last six years.

Let’s say you're 60 years old and have a disability but aren't sure you meet the standards and qualifications set out by Service Canada. If you decide to apply for early CPP, you'll be penalized and receive less money per month than if you had waited to take a pension at the age of 65.  

However, if your disability meets the “severe and prolonged” standards and qualifications stated above, then you can apply for CPP-Disability benefits. If approved, you'll receive more money per month than you would have by taking early CPP.  

At age 65, the CPP-Disability benefits will cease and you will automatically receive the CPP.  

Even though you'll receive less money per month, you won't be penalized for taking early CPP retirement. It’s also important to note that CPP-Disability payments are taxable, but you'll still come out ahead by not taking early CPP.

If you find that you or someone close to you is in this situation and are unsure of what to do, Brematson Disability Advocates can help you reach a decision. We can also assist you in applying for CPP-Disability benefits and take that additional stress off your hands.