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Frequently asked questions about the Canada Pension Plan–Disability benefit (CPP-D)

Will I be eligible for the Canada Pension Plan or Canada Pension Plan - Disability if my employment or self-employment is exempt from tax and CPP contributions under section 87 of the Indian Act?

If you would like to be eligible to receive the CPP or CPP-D in the future, your employer and an individual can elect to participate in the CPP. See Form CPT 124, Application for Coverage of Employment of an Indian in Canada under the Canada Pension Plan. If an employer has chosen not to cover the employment under the CPP, an employee can elect to participate in the CPP by filing Form CPT 20, Election to Pay Canada Pension Plan Contributions. For information about the Quebec Pension Plan, contact the Ministère de Revenue de Quebec.

Can someone help me apply for the CPP-D or apply on my behalf?

You can apply for the CPP-D yourself, or you may provide your consent for someone to communicate with Service Canada about your personal information concerning your CPP-D application form. You can provide consent in 2 ways:

  1. You can provide consent through your My Service Canada Account.
  2. You can complete the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form (ISP-1603) and mail CPP-D application form to Service Canada, or drop it off at a Service Canada office.

This does not give the person helping you apply to:

  • Submit your application.
  • Apply for benefits on your behalf.
  • Change your payment address.
  • Request or change the withholding of tax for you.

How do I apply or act on someone's behalf for the CPP-D application?

You will need to mail CPP-D application form to Service Canada, or drop it off at a Service Canada office.

These forms do not give the person applying on someone's behalf authority to submit their application through MSCA. You must submit a paper application.

How does the CPP-D benefit affect my eligibility or amounts I can get from other benefits?

  1. It does not affect any federal benefits.
  2. It may affect your provincial or territorial benefits, depending on your province or territory where you reside. For example, in British Columbia, if you earn more than what you receive in PWD benefits, you will be removed from PWD benefits.
  3. Applying for the CPP-D will not reduce the amount of CPP retirement pension you receive at age 65.

Which application form should I use if I have a grave medical condition?

If you have a medical condition that falls under Service Canada’s list of grave medical conditions, which is a medical condition which progresses rapidly, and you are not expected to die within 6 months, you will use the CPP-D non-terminal illness application form and say you have a grave medical condition on the form. Service Canada will process your application faster and you will likely have a less wait time for a result on your application.

What if I do not have a doctor to help complete my application?

Finding a doctor can be hard. Fortunately, you now have the option to also have a nurse practitioner help with your DTC application. Whether you get help from a doctor or a nurse practitioner, it is a good idea to see them a few times before you ask to have the form completed. It may help if they know you.

How to find a doctor who will work with you

To find a doctor who will work with you, there are a few places to look:

  • Speak to your local pharmacy or hospital to see if they know of any doctors taking on new patients.
  • If you live outside of Vancouver, you can use the Doctors of BC website to see if there are any new doctors taking on patients (there is a chance this information can be out of date).
  • Go to a walk-in clinic and try to see the same doctor each time you go there.
  • You can call the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC to get information about finding a family doctor.
  • Search for a doctor on the British Columbia Doctor Director

Do I have to pay a fee to have my doctor or nurse practitioner fill out the CPP-D medical report?

If your doctor or nurse practitioner charges you a fee to complete the CPP-D medical report Service Canada will help you pay for the cost of the medical report by paying up to $85.00 directly to your doctor or nurse practitioner. Any money owing over this amount is your responsibility to pay. Any money owing over this amount is your responsibility to pay. Guidance for your doctor or nurse practitioner to bill for their fee can be found at Billing Service Canada.

You should ask the doctor who knows the most about your disability to complete the Medical Report. We recommend that you speak to this doctor, before giving them the forms, to see if they support your application. It is a good idea to tell the doctor how your condition affects your daily life and especially about the symptoms that stop you from working.

Remember, if you have a new doctor who does not know you very well, they may not be able to provide enough detail to ESDC. It may be a good idea to schedule a couple of visits before you ask the doctor to complete the Medical Report.

ESDC suggests that your doctor submit any reports from specialists you have seen. Speak to your doctor about letters and reports in your file.

What if I need help with my CPP-D application?

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)-Service Canada or an advocate may be able to suggest help if your doctor is not supportive.

You can contact:

Service Canada

Please have your Social Insurance Number ready when you call.

Disability Alliance BC for British Columbia inquiries only at 604-872-1278 in the Lower Mainland | Toll Free: 1-800-663-1278. DABC also has CPP-D helpsheets you can read.

Call Plan Institute toll-free Disability Planning Helpline at 1-844-311-7526 or email

BCANDS for Indigenous CPP-D inquiries across Canada at Toll Free: 1-888-815-5511 (*Please leave message on the general mailbox).
BC Capital Region: (250) 381–7303 (*Please leave message on the general mailbox).

General Inquires – Please email:


Templates that may help you with your application.

What province are you from?

Knowing your province helps us make this tool the best experience for you.

Important information about benefits for Indigenous Peoples

If you are Indigenous there are many things that affect the benefits you can get and the dollar amounts you can get from them. These include the agreements your band or governing body has with provincial, territorial, and federal governments. Before applying to any benefits, you should speak with your governing body, if applicable.

AFOA Canada and Prosper Canada are currently seeking funding to develop an online tool that serves the needs of Indigenous people living in Canada.