Canada Pension Plan

CPP pays benefits to those who have paid into the Plan while working in Canada and then become “eligible”. You and your dependents can become eligible for various reasons, such as:

  • you have turned 60 or 65 years of age
  • you are unable to work because of a disability
  • your spouse or partner has died.

Our Clinic offers information, advice and representation about denials of CPP benefits. We most frequently give advice to people who have been denied the CPP Disability benefit.

What if you have been denied a CPP benefit?

You must complete an application for CPP benefits. If your application is denied, you will receive a letter explaining why. You have 90 days from the date of the letter (decision) to ask Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for a “reconsideration” of the decision. Reconsideration means that HRSDC will look at your application again and make a new decision. You have to ask for the reconsideration in writing.

If you are denied again, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons. You can file a written appeal of the decision to the Social Securities Tribunal (SST) within 90 days of receiving the Reconsideration decision.

There are two stages of appeal to the SST: the General Division (first level of appeal) and the Appeal Division (second level of appeal), which hears appeals of decisions made by the General Division.  Appeals to the Appeal Division are not automatic; you must receive “leave” (permission). You must request leave within 90 days of receiving the decision from the General Division.

It is possible to appeal to Federal Court if your appeal is denied at the Appeal Division.

You should get legal advice when you are denied CPP at each level of the appeal system as soon as you receive a denial letter. We can assist with sending in the request for reconsideration and/or appeal and possible legal representation if you financially qualify for our services.

Last updated February 3, 2017