Ontario residents who are 60 or older and unable to work may have questions about disability benefits. Can they apply for short-term disability or must they wait to apply for a CPP retirement pension at age 65? The answer is that it might be best to file applications for disability benefits and pensions simultaneously. The reason is that it typically takes longer for disability benefit applications to be approved, and pension payments may be made while the applicant waits for disability payments.
If the disability benefits application is approved for someone who already receives pension payments, the pension will be modified to disability. However, the applicant must not be 65 years or older, and he or she must have contributed the minimum required amount. Also, if the applications are not filed at the same time, the disability benefits application must be filed within the first 15 months of receiving pension payments.
Furthermore, the disability must qualify as one of the conditions defined by the CPP laws that govern it, and the person must be deemed disabled prior to his or her retirement date and before he or she turns 65. It is important to note that pension payments received while waiting for disability benefits to be approved will have to be refunded if the pension is changed to disability. This refund typically happens automatically when it is subtracted from the first benefits payment.
This short-term disability will then continue until the person turns 65, at which time it will automatically be changed to a retirement pension — which will be less than the amount paid for disability benefits. The entire process may seem confusing, and a daunting task to tackle. Fortunately, Ontario residents can secure the support of an experienced lawyer to simplify the process and provide guidance every step along the way.