Our Canada Pension Plan Services
(Information Current as of March 30, 2018)
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides contributors and their families with partial replacement of earnings in the case of retirement, disability or death. Almost all individuals who work in Canada outside Quebec contribute to the CPP.
If you have lived or are living outside Canada, you may qualify for a pension from that country as well.
The CPP operates throughout Canada, except in Quebec, where the
Québec Pension Plan (QPP) provides similar benefits. The CPP and QPP work together to ensure that all contributors are protected, no matter where they live. Please contact Retraite Québec for information on pensions and benefits under the QPP if one of the following applies to you:
you have only worked in Quebec;
you worked in Quebec and at least one other province and currently reside in Quebec; or
you worked in Quebec and at least one other province, you currently reside outside of Canada and your last province of residence in Canada was Quebec.
If you have contributed to both the CPP and QPP, you must apply for the QPP if you live in Quebec or for the CPP if you live elsewhere in Canada. Please note that you do not have to apply to both plans. Your benefit will be paid by the plan according to your place of residence. The benefit amount you will be paid will take into consideration all contributions made to both plans.
Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp.html for more information.
Our Clinic offers information, advice and representation about denials of CPP benefits. We most frequently give advice to people who have been denied the CPP Disability benefit
What to do if you have been denied a CPP benefit?
You must complete an application for CPP benefits. If your application is denied, you will receive a letter explaining why. You have 90 days from the date of the letter (decision) to ask Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for a "reconsideration" of the decision. Reconsideration means that HRSDC will look at your application again and make a new decision. You have to ask for the reconsideration in writing.
If you are denied again, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons.
Starting April 1, 2013, you can file a written appeal of the decision to the newly-formed Social Securities Tribunal (SST) within 90 days of receiving the Reconsideration decision.
During the first year of transition, the SST will consider all new appeals while the former tribunals gradually wrap up current appeals.
Appeals filed with the Office of the Commissioner of the Review Tribunals (OCRT), the Pension Appeals Board (PAB) and the Office of the Umpire (OU) which have not been heard by April 1, 2013 have been transferred to the SST.
There are two stages of appeal to the SST: the General Division (first level of appeal) and the Appeal Division (second level of appeal), which hears appeals of decisions made by the General Division. Appeals to the Appeal Division are not automatic; you must receive "leave" (permission). You must request leave within 90 days of receiving the decision from the General Division.
It is difficult to estimate a timeline for hearings, given the fact that the SST was just formed in April 2013.
It is possible to appeal to Federal Court if your appeal is denied at the Appeal Division.
You should get legal advice when you are denied CPP at each level of the appeal system. We can often assist with sending in the request for reconsideration or appeal. You should also ask for a copy of your file as it will help explain why you have been denied.
This site provides general information only, specific to Ontario, Canada. It is NOT legal advice. Laws, practices and policies change over time. The applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should get legal advice for your particular situation.
Please call us or a lawyer in your area for advice on your particular situation.