When someone in Ontario contracts a debilitating illness or suffers injuries that prevents a return to work, the financial implications can be devastating. Fortunately, disability benefits under the Canada Pension Plan are available to most people. However, specific requirements must be met before CPP disability claims can be filed.
The first requirement is for the worker’s total contributions to the fund to be sufficient. Employers and employees make contributions to the pension plan, and the government manages records of all contributions. For a disability to qualify for coverage, it must be severe and also prolonged.
The term prolonged means that the victim will be disabled for an extended and unknown period, or potentially fatal. The severity must be such that it prevents the individual from earning a gainful income, and benefits could be paid for mental, physical or both types of disabilities. Those who are separated or divorced might even be entitled to a portion of an ex-spouse’s or former common-law partner’s pension contributions. Victims of debilitating illnesses or injuries in Ontario may not realize that their conditions need not be work-related to make them eligible for CPP benefits.
Although financial compensation may be a matter of necessity, claims are sometimes met with resistance from the insurer. It may be difficult to understand why benefits cease after some time, or why an insurance claim is denied. A lawyer who is experienced in the navigation of disability claims can answer questions and provide effective representation. The attorney can assess the circumstances to determine eligibility, and explain how dependent children may also be entitled to receive benefits.