At Disability Credit Canada we’ve seen many people applying for Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits who are unaware that their dependent children may also be eligible to receive a monthly payment under the children’s benefits provision of the CPP. This part of the pension program is called the CPP Disability Child Benefits. The CPP disability children’s benefit plan was introduced to help alleviate the hardship brought upon dependent children by a parent’s disability. If you have applied and been approved for CPP disability benefits there is a good chance your dependent children will be eligible for the children’s benefit.
CPP Disability Child Benefits: Determining Eligibility
In order for your dependent children to qualify for CPP disability child benefits the following conditions must be met.
- The dependent child must be under 18 years of age or
- The dependent child must be between 18 and 25 and a full-time student at a recognized school.
CPP Disability Child benefits Eligibility is further broken down into three categories of dependent children:
- Those who are the natural or adopted children of some someone receiving CPP disability benefits.
- The child of someone who was receiving CPP disability benefits at the time of their death.
- A surviving child of a deceased contributor to the CPP fund. That is, a decedent who had contributed in 4 of the previous 6 years before their death or 3 of the previous 6 years if they had a total of at least 25 years of contributions.
The Right Time to Apply
Parents or their dependent children should apply for CPP disability child benefits when one of the following occurs:
- The parent or guardian applies for CPP disability benefits. There is no rule stating you must wait to be approved for CPP disability benefits before applying for the child’s benefit.
- A child comes into the custody or primary care of a parent or guardian who is receiving CPP disability benefits.
- A CPP contributing parent or guardian dies, whether or not they were receiving CPP benefits.
If any of these conditions occur an application for child benefits should be tendered as soon as possible to prevent losing benefits. Keep in mind the CPP program will only make 12 months of back payments for child benefits.
Filing CPP Disability Child Benefits Application
If the child is under 18 years of age the disabled parent or guardian should make the application for child benefits. If you are caring for the dependent child of a disabled or deceased individual and that child is under 18 you should make the application for them. However, if the child is between 18-25 and a full-time student at a recognized educational institution they should make the application themselves.
Those children who are full-time students will need to complete a Declaration of Attendance at School or University form at the beginning of every school year or when returning to school after having taken time off. It’s also possible that the student will be asked to complete said form at the beginning of each semester. Failure to complete the declaration will result in termination of payments.
Disbursement of Funds
As of this writing the monthly child benefit is a flat $234.87. If the dependent child is under 18 the money is paid to the person taking care of the child, be they parent or guardian. If the dependent child is a full-time student between 18-25 the monthly payment will be disbursed to them directly.
Post Application and Approval
Should your dependent child be eligible for CPP disability child benefits those benefits will commence approximately 8 weeks after the application has been received. If more than 8 weeks have passed and you have heard nothing regarding the status of benefits contact CPP directly.
Responsibilities of Dependent Children Receiving CPP Benefits
Dependent children receiving CPP benefits or their parent or guardian must notify program administrators immediately if any of the following occurs:
- They are a full-time student and withdraw from school.
- Their status at school changes from full-time to part-time.
- The dependent relationship with the CPP contributor changes.
- Their address or name changes.
Remember that any benefits received after the eligibility status of the dependent child changes will have to be paid back.
We’ve helped scores of parents and dependent children receive the child benefits they’re entitled to under the CPP disability child benefits program.