If you are eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you may be eligible for Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits (CPP-D), but don’t expect it will increase the amount of money from the government. In fact, if a person’s CPP-D monthly amount is greater than their ODSP monthly amount, ODSP benefits can be revoked all together.
ODSP recipients may be required to apply for CPP-D. If your ODSP office thinks you are eligible for CPP-D, they may insist you apply for it. Refusing to apply for CPP may result in the loss of your ODSP benefits.
To qualify for CPP-D, you must have a “severe and prolonged disability”, be under the age of 65 and meet the CPP contribution requirements. A severe and prolonged disability, “means that you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work,” and “that your disability is long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.” With respect to contribution requirements, you must have contributed to CPP for four of the last six years, or three of the last six years if you have contributed for at least 25 years.
If you do qualify for both ODSP and CPP-D, your ODSP benefits will be reduced by the amount of CPP-D you receive. If you receive $1,098 per month from ODSP and you receive $900 from CPP-D, your ODSP will be reduced by $900 from $1,098 to $298 per month. If your CPP-D benefit is actually greater than the amount you receive from ODSP, you will likely lose your ODSP benefits all together.
Applying for both benefits does not put anyone in a better position; it only eases the province’s responsibility which is why ODSP insists people apply for CPP-D. Great for the provincial government, not so good for the individual.
If a person loses their ODSP benefits because their CPP-D benefits are greater, it also means the end of the health, dental and vision care benefits ODSP provides. CPP does not provide such benefits; it only provides income. Lose your ODSP benefits, your income may increase, but your expenses could also increase significantly, if you rely on prescription medication. The cost of the medication could far outstrip the increase in income CPP-D provides, leaving people in a much more untenable situation.
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