When a parent passes away it is commonly believed surviving children have few options when it comes to receiving benefits from the state. Typically it’s thought that the will alone is the document of last resort when it comes to providing helpful support for these dependent children. If, however a child was the dependent of a qualified contributor to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) program he or she will likely be eligible for CPP disability child benefits. Below we’ll lay out qualifications, eligibility requirements and more regarding this important provision of the CPP Disability Child Benefits after parent dies.
CPP Disability Child Benefits After Parent Dies
Eligibility for CPP disability child benefits is not confined to minor children as we’ll see below, nor is it dependent on a child becoming orphaned. In general if the deceased parent or legal guardian contributed to the CPP for more than 3 years the surviving child or children may well be entitled to the CPP children’s benefit.
The children’s benefit is a monthly benefit that must be applied for. In other words, it doesn’t begin automatically upon the death of a parent or guardian. As such the application should be filed as soon as possible after the parent or guardian dies. Because there are age limits and back payment limits involved the longer the application process is delayed the fewer total payments the child will be eligible to receive.
Who is Eligible for CPP Disability Child Benefits?
If the deceased parent or guardian has met the CPP contribution requirements then their dependent child or children may be eligible for the child’s benefit if:
- They are less than 18 years of age.
- They are either the biological or adopted child of the deceased.
- They are “in the care and control” of the deceased at the time of death.
- They are between 18 and 25 and attending a recognized educational institution full-time.
Who Receives Payment?
- In most cases the benefit will be paid to the person with whom the dependent child is living, should that child be less than 18 years of age. Should the dependent child be between 18 and 25 and a full-time student payment will be most likely made directly to the child. In some cases a child less than 18 years old and living on their own may receive the payment directly.
How Much Might a Child Receive?
- CPP disability child benefits are monthly payments with the amount being reset annually. It is a flat amount that does not vary from child to child or family to family. As of this writing the payment is $234.87 per month. If both parents of the dependent child are deceased and both met CPP contribution requirements the child may be eligible for 2 monthly payments.
What if the child is married?
- If the dependent child is married they may not be eligible CPP disability child benefits. If, however they are between 18 and 25, married and a full-time student they may be still eligible.
When do payments to dependent children stop?
- When a dependent child turns 18 benefit payments cease. If, however, the 18 year old child becomes a full-time student in a recognized educational institution they should immediately refile for benefits themselves and also file a Declaration of Attendance at School or University to restart benefit payments. Once in school payments will stop when they graduate, leave school, change from full-time to part time or turn 25.
Is the CPP Disability Child Benefit Taxable?
- Yes. Taxes will be deducted from the monthly payment but may be returned if total income for the dependent child during a given year does not meet taxable thresholds.
Applying for CPP Disability Child Benefit
- If the child is under 18 the person caring for the child should file an application for benefits on the child’s behalf.
- If the child is under 18 but has demonstrated an acceptable level of independence they may apply on their own behalf.
- A dependent child between 18 and 25 who is a full-time student should apply on their own behalf.
An application form for CPP disability child benefits can be obtained on the CPP website or in person at a regional CPP office. A full application kit can be order by phone using the CPP’s automated system. The number is: 1 800 277 9914 (TTY: 1 800 255 4786). Remember: a full time student who is applying for benefits must also file a Declaration of Attendance at School or University.
If you are the primary caregiver for a dependent child of a deceased CPP participant and you have any questions regarding this important benefit for dependent children be sure to contact the benefits specialists at Disability Credit Canada. Support for the dependent children of deceased parents is available beyond the will and we can help you obtain it. Call us today for more information.