Living with a disability is never easy, especially if you are out of work, unable to work, and have financial responsibilities that you have to keep pace with. Like most people, you have bills to pay and Canadian disability benefits can help you and your family get by until you’re on your feet again.
What You Need to Know about the Canadian Disability Benefits
The Canadian government offers many services and financial benefits to persons in need, depending on whether you’ve made enough contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) over the course of your working life. Everyone over the age of 18 who is employed contributes to the CCP for Canadian disability benefits through payroll deductions. Employers also contribute, as well as people who are self-employed.
According to the government, eligibility depends on you making enough CPP contributions in four of the last six years, or enough valid contributions over a 25 year period including three of the last six prior to becoming disabled. But qualifying for Canadian disability benefits means your disability has to be severe and prolonged, depending upon a final decision from a medical adjudicator – someone who reviews your disability, medical records, and other documents.
Though applying for Canadian disability benefits is straight forward, a decision could take up to four months from the time your application has been received.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Apply for benefits through the CPP, which includes filling out an application kit available for download or by contacting the program offices at 800-622-6232. All applications must be mailed or hand-delivered, as electronic delivery is not possible. The application kit includes an application form, a survey, a medical form, consent form, a child rearing provision form, and a checklist to help make sure you haven’t missed anything.
2. Submit the disability tax credit application form, either by mail or delivering it to any one of the Service Canada offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
Canadian Disability Benefits and Beyond
Because of the time it could take for approval and to begin receiving benefits, it’s advisable to look into other resources that may be available online and through local government offices. For instance, did you know the Canadian government maintains a service that provides resources specifically for the disabled and their dependents? If you are disabled and have children, then your children may also be eligible for benefits, but this is a separate application process with forms available through Service Canada. You can read out child disability tax credit guide to find out more information.
Persons who are disabled and have limited incomes may have concerns about taxes, but information on how to claim your tax disability credit, deductions, services for persons with disabilities, and other topics related to Canadian disability benefits are available through Canada Revenue Agency offices.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Canadian disability benefits are available, as long as you know where to look, and take the time to fill out applications or have someone help you through the process.