This week I have had at least three phone calls from people who have been denied CPP disability benefits because they have been on CPP early retirement benefits longer than 15 months.
When I tell them I cannot help them, they become very frustrated with me - see there is not a lot of other financial support available to this age group - 60 to 65 - and if you have to live off your CPP early retirement and you do not have access to another income source or you cannot work due to disability then you are kind of hooped.
Think about it. If you have aches and pains and problems in your fifties, it is not likely these issues are going to lessen when you are in your sixties. I am really not sure why someone would take an early retirement benefit - perhaps they take it cause they are able to work some - but disability increases as you age.
Now the Feds do not advise people of the implications of taking these benefits - so when people want to switch over to CPP disability - and they are like 62, 63, 64, and collecting early retirement since 60 - they cannot. And the amount you get on CPP early retirement is lower than you would if you were on a CPP disability - which is why I wrote the blog about CPP and the Dangling Carrot.
I had to deal with a very unhappy gentleman this week - let's call him Jim. Now Jim is 63 years of age. He has been collecting CPP early retirement and received $830 dollars per month. He has been denied help from Social Services, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and CPP disability. He had been passed around from one department to the other and contacted me with his problem. I contacted him back and explained to him the "technicality" he had been hooked on - the 15 month rule - and he was not pleased to say the least - and at the end of the day accused me of being a pretend agency that pretends to help people and that I should be ashamed of myself. Nice. When I corresponded back that I thought his words were not cool - he did apologize and explained that he was frustrated - which I understand.
So I get to the office this morning and then I have had another two calls about the same type of denial.
I do not know what the solution is - I really think the Feds should disclose the implications to CPP disability some where - but then again why would they? Perfect demographic to have this rule apply to - seeing as the baby boomers are aging and disability increases with age - and I believe the baby boomers exist in significant numbers.
Just wanted to get the word out there again for your information.