How to find a doctor or nurse practitioner who will work with you
If your CPP-D application is denied
You will get a decision letter from Service Canada. It will explain why your application was denied.
Here are some reasons why your application might be denied:
Your disability may not be considered severe and prolonged
Your condition has to be serious enough to stop you from working at any gainful employment. It also has to be long-term.
You have not made enough contributions
You need to have worked and contributed to CPP for at least 4 out of the 6 years immediately before you became disabled. This is called the minimum qualifying period.
You may want to check your contributions. You can get a statement of your contributions by calling Service Canada. Ask to have the statement mailed to you. Or, if you have a My Service Canada account, you can view or print a copy of your statement of contributions.
Asking for a review of the decision
If you disagree with the decision, you can ask to have the decision reviewed. This is called a Request for Reconsideration. Your application will then be reviewed by a new person at Service Canada. If you want to request this review, act now. You only have 90 days (about 3 months) from the date you received the denial letter to let them know you want a reconsideration.
Read your denial letter carefully to find out why your application was denied. This will help you prepare your request for reconsideration.
Disability Alliance British Columbia has published a CPP-D Self-Help Guide | Appeals: The Reconsideration Request. It gives detailed information on the following steps for making the reconsideration request:
Step 1: Reach out to an advocate
If you need help on the steps to take next, reach out to an advocate as soon as you can.
To contact an advocate in British Columbia
Disability Alliance BC for British Columbia: Call 604-872-1278 in the Lower Mainland | Toll Free: 1-800-663-1278. The Alliance also has CPP-D help sheets you can read. Or go to the PovNet website and click “Find an Advocate.”
To contact an advocate in other provinces and territories
Plan Institute Disability Planning Helpline at 1-844-311-7526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact an advocate for indigenous people
BCANDS for Indigenous CPP-Disabilities inquiries across Canada at Toll Free: 1-888-815-5511 (*Please leave message on the general mailbox)
B.C. Capital Region: email@example.com or 250-381-7303 (Please leave message on the general mailbox.)
Step 2: Tell Service Canada you want a review
Write back within 90 days of receiving your denial letter. Download the Request for Reconsideration of a Canada Pension Plan Disability Decision form (ISP-1145). You can also get the form by calling toll-free 1-800-277-9914.
Step 3: Request your file
Once you have informed Service Canada that you would like a reconsideration, you need to ask for your file. Download the Info Source: Personal Information Request form. You can also get the form by calling 1-800-277-9914 toll-free. Fill out the form and return it to your nearest Service Canada office or mail it to: Privacy Coordinator, Service Canada, PO Box 1177, Victoria, BC V8W 2V2.
It will take about 5 to 6 weeks to receive your file.
Step 4: Review your file
Your file includes:
- Your application form
- Your doctor’s medical report
- The disability summary sheet, which tells you why your application was denied in the section called “Rationale”
- Other documents sent to Service Canada related to your application, such as letters from your doctor.
Step 5: Put your case together
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have enough CPP contributions to qualify?
- Do I have a medical condition that prevents me from working?
The answer to these questions needs to be “yes” for you to have a chance of success with your appeal.
Check to see if any of the following apply to you.:
- Splitting CPP credits if you are divorced or separated
- Child-rearing provisions if you took time off work or worked less to look after your young children
- Social security agreement if you have lived or worked in Canada and another country.
If any of these apply to you, complete and send the required forms.
Step 6: Get medical letters or reports
It is important to get good medical evidence to support your reconsideration request. You may have to ask your doctor to write a letter. Doctors will often charge a fee for this. Service Canada will not cover the cost if you are the one requesting the letter.
Talk to or write to your doctor. Clearly explain that you need them to write a letter addressing the specific points on which Service Canada based its denial. Show your doctor the denial letter. Disability Alliance BC’s CPP-D Self-Help Guide | Appeals: The Reconsideration Request has a sample request letter that you can use to help you draft your own letter.
Step 7: Get other supporting documents
Some examples of other supporting documents that may help your case are:
- letters from other health professionals involved in your treatment
- letters from past employers
- letters from vocational rehabilitation personnel
- documents related to other disability benefit programs you have applied for.
Step 8: Compile and send your information for reconsideration
Keep a copy of your request for reconsideration and all the supporting documents you have compiled for your records. Original signatures must be on the reconsideration application and supporting documents can be copies.
It is a good idea to send your package by registered mail. Make a note of when you mail the package. Mail it to the
CPP Applications and Appeals Division
Service Canada BC & Yukon Region
PO Box 1177, Station CSC
What happens after you send in your request for reconsideration
You will have to wait a few months for a decision. You can send additional information during that time, especially if there is any change in your condition. Service Canada may also ask you to see a doctor of their choosing or may ask for updates.
Once the review is complete, Service Canada will send you a letter with its decision.
If your reconsideration request is successful, you can expect to get a retroactive lump sum payment that is backdated to the date of your original application.
If your reconsideration request is not successful, it is not the end. You have the right to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal.
Appealing to the Social Security Tribunal
A Tribunal hearing is a chance to present additional information and state your case for why you disagree with Service Canada’s decision. At your hearing, the Tribunal will review your case and determine if Service Canada’s decision was reasonable.
You have 90 days (about 3 months) to appeal after you receive the reconsideration decision. You will also need to send the tribunal documents to support your case.
You can seek the advice of an advocate or lawyer to find the best way to proceed. The Tribunal has more information on Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability appeals on its website.
Employment and Social Development Canada - Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan is administered by Service Canada on behalf of Employment and Social Development Canada. For CPP disability program information, call:
Canada and the United States Toll-free: 1-800-277-9914
Canada and the United States TTY: 1-800-255-4786
Disability Alliance BC
Contact Disability Alliance BC for CPP-Disability advocacy and information. Local 604-872-1278
Toll Free 1-800-663-1278
The Legal Services Society of BC
The Legal Services Society of BC provides legal aid for people living in BC. It has a range of free services for people living on low incomes. These services include legal information, legal advice, and legal representation (a lawyer to take your case).
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