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Long term disability: Eligibility for CPP children's benefits

For many people in Ontario who are living with a disability, their lives are constant struggles to do things that others do without even giving it a thought. Any parent with a long term disability has the additional burden of providing for a child. Fortunately, the Canada Pension Plan provides benefits to dependent children of CPP contributors who are disabled or deceased.

CPP pays the benefits to children under the age of 18 and coverage could continue until age 25. Those who are between ages 18 and 25 must attach to the initial application a declaration form to confirm enrolment for full-time studies at a CPP-recognized facility. These forms must also be submitted to CPP at the beginning of each school year or semester when applicable, upon return to the school after a period of absence, or in cases in which school attendance started sometime during the year instead of at the beginning of the traditional school year.  

For a child to be eligible for benefits, he or she must be the contributor's natural child, or in the custody of or adopted by the parent legally or "in fact" before turning 21. The parent or guardian must be a recipient of CPP disability benefits, or if deceased, the recipient must have met the required level of contributions to qualify for CPP death benefits. Benefit payments will cease once the child turns 25.

While the availability of CPP children's benefits could provide a disabled parent with some level of comfort, benefits are often stopped or denied, leaving the CPP contributor in a dire situation. This is where the skills of an Ontario lawyer who is experienced in fighting for the rights of anyone with a long term disability come in. The lawyer can advocate for the client throughout the application process, and can also navigate an appeal when benefits are denied initially.

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