Taking the risk out of returning to work

Recipients of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits have severe and prolonged disabilities that prevent them from working at any job on a regular basis. Most CPPD clients cannot return to work, and those who consider doing so often face significant risk in leaving benefits. The process of reapplying and re-qualifying for CPPD benefits, if they cannot continue working, discourages all but a very few from attempting to return to work. Yet many CPPD clients want the chance to try.That’s why the federal government and the provinces worked together to support CPP disability benefit recipients who try to return to work. On January 31, 2005, the Canada Pension Plan was amended to include automatic reinstatement of disability benefits. Here’s how it works:

  • Automatic reinstatement is a financial safety net for CPP disability clients who inform Social Development Canada they want to stop benefits to return to work.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a client can return to regular employment and request a reinstatement of benefits — important for clients with episodic disabilities.
  • If within two years of stopping benefits they can’t continue working because their disability recurs, they simply have to ask Social Development Canada to re-start their monthly CPPD payments.
  • Two simple forms are to be completed: one by the client, stating that they could not continue working because of a recurrence of their disability; and another by the client’s doctor.
  • Clients have one year from the time they stop work to request a reinstatement of benefits.
  • Benefits are reinstated starting the month after the client was no longer able to work. The amount of the benefit is generally the same as what the client received prior to returning to work. Upward adjustments to the benefit are also possible to take into account new contributions paid while the client was working.
  • Eligible children of CPPD clients will also have their benefits reinstated.

Since January 31, 2005, CPPD clients who report a return to regular employment and have their benefits stopped receive a personalized “departure kit,” which explains how automatic reinstatement works, should they need it in the future. Some clients have already taken advantage of this new CPP entitlement, and had their benefits reinstated.

Automatic reinstatement of disability benefits is a flexible and responsive addition to the Canada Pension Plan. It builds upon other CPP disability benefit provisions to support clients who try returning to work. These include:

  • a paid work trial of up to three months, during which clients can test their ability to work while continuing to receive their CPP disability benefits;
  • allowable earnings of up to $4,100 (in 2005) before reporting these earnings to the Canada Pension Plan (this amount is not a cut-off point at which
    benefits are stopped; it is an opportunity to see whether some additional assistance can help clients return to work on a regular basis, if their condition permits);
  • a range of vocational rehabilitation services for clients who meet the eligibility criteria;
  • a fast-track reapplication process, available for up to five years after benefits are stopped, which is faster than a regular application, but eligibility is not automatic; and
  • encouraging clients to volunteer or attend school, neither of which affects benefits.

Contact Social Development Canada at 1-800-277-9914 (toll-free); 1-800-255-4786 (TTY); or visit www.sdc.gc.ca.


Le rétablissement automatique est une nouvelle disposition à laquelle ont droit les bénéficiaires de prestations d’invalidité du Régime de pensions du Canada
(RPC). Il leur permet d’essayer un retour au travail, tout en sachant que leurs prestations d’invalidité peuvent être rétablies rapidement s’il leur est impossible de continuer à travailler en raison de la récurrence de l’invalidité, dans les deux années suivant l’arrêt de leurs prestations.

Pour d’autres renseignements sur le rétablissement automatique, le Programme de prestations d’invalidité du RPC ou d’autres prestations et services du RPC, veuillez communiquer sans frais avec Développement social Canada au 1 800 277-9915 ou au 1 800 255-4786 (ATS). Vous pouvez aussi consulter
le www.dsc.gc.ca.


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