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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

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: 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.:

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.

The three ways to send back for reconsideration are:

  • electronically by signing into My Service Canada account, or
  • by mail to the return address on the decision letter, or
  • in person at a Service Canada office

If you mail your package, it is a good idea to send by registered mail. Make a note of when you mail the package.

Reconsiderations can take several months to complete, depending on the case. Service Canada will review your application and any new information you submit in support of your request and send you a (new) decision by mail.

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.

Contact support

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 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).


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.