How successful is DCAC?


We thoroughly review all Canada Pension Plan cases before we agree to represent an appellant. Therefore, if DCAC agrees to take your case, you can be confident in the knowledge that we believe your appeal has merit.

DCAC is also a well recognized organization and the officials at the various levels of appeal are usually aware of our services, we have a good reputation.

DCAC is confident when they state that all efforts to win your claim will be undertaken, however, there are always unknown variables to any appeal. For the most part DCAC has an excellent success rate.

Is DCAC a free service?


DCAC does not charge money up front for their services. Instead, they charge a portion of the back payment that you will receive when your CPP disability benefits are approved. If DCAC is unsuccessful, there is no charge for the services.

Utilizing the services of an advocate can be incredibly beneficial. It is important to consider the value of your time, effort, and energy. DCAC will take away a lot of the stress associated with the appeals process due to their extensive knowledge and experience in assisting clients appeal their denial.

Additional fees may apply for disbursements. These are the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by DCAC in pursuing the appeal and may include the cost of medical reports, some travel expense etc. Any fees incurred by DCAC on your behalf are discussed with and explained to the client.

I used to be at work but I have been staying at home to raise my children. I am now disabled. Can I get CPP disability benefits?


CPP has a Child Rearing Provision that may help you qualify for or receive a higher CPP benefit amount. Parents who have taken time out of work to raise their children may apply for this provision.

The amount of benefits paid under the Canada Pension Plan is based on how long and how much you have contributed to CPP while you were working. The years that a parent had little or no earnings can be excluded from the 4 out of 6 rule calculation. If you were not working or had low earnings while caring for a child under the age of seven, the Child Rearing Provision can be used to exclude these periods of time for the calculation of your benefit. This may help you qualify for benefits or increase the benefit amount you can receive.

To qualify for the Child Rearing Provision you must submit the appropriate forms enclosed in the CPP disability application.

How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled before I can apply for CPP disability benefits?


You do not have to wait to apply for Canada Pension Plan disability benefits. Some individuals who have a critical incident that causes immediate disability apply right away. Some people who become disabled over years may wait until they have completed all their medical tests before applying.

There is no specific provision as to when you can apply for CPP disability but keep in mind that under the legislative criteria, a disability must be both “severe and prolonged”. Therefore, your disability application will likely be denied if there is an expectation that your disability will be short term.

Canada Pension Plan disability does not allow for closed-periods of disability. A disability cannot be prolonged unless it is determined to be of “indefinite duration”. The CPP is not used for short term compensation for temporarily disabled persons no matter how severe their disability is or how long their recovery period may be.

Each situation is unique – so please contact an advocate to discuss any questions about applying for CPP disability.

I am still on sick leave from my employer. Can I file for CPP disability now or do I have to wait until my sick leave is exhausted?


If your disability is both severe and prolonged you can apply for CPP disability benefits while still receiving sick leave from your employer.

What is the definition of disability used by Canada Pension Plan?


Section 42(2) of the Canada Pension Plan defines disability. It says that:

(a) a person shall be considered to be disabled only if he is determined in prescribed manner to have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability, and for the purposes of this paragraph,

1. a disability is severe only if by reason thereof the person in respect of whom the determination is made is incapable regularly of pursuing any substantially gainful occupation, and

2. a disability is prolonged only if it is determined in prescribed manner that the disability is likely to be long continued and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.

In order to qualify for CPP disability benefits you must show that your disability is both severe and prolonged.

There are several decisions from the Federal Court and the Pension Appeals Board that have interpreted the legislative criteria. Here are some examples:

This requires a realistic review of the “whole person” – the person in respect of whom the determination is made. This means that age, education level, past work, and life experience should be taken into consideration. It is also not a medical diagnosis of a condition that determines disability but its effect on the person.

Incapable means that as a result of the disability, an individual would not be able to work in any substantially gainful occupation. Incapable of work does not relate to profitability. It must be established that an individual’s disability directly affects his or her capacity to work.

This means that the limitations associated with a disability are persistent to the point of being continuous or uninterrupted. This means that you cannot commit yourself to a work schedule with reliability or predictability. Predictability is the essence of regularity.Pursuing
Pursuing means to actually engage in an occupation. Pursuing is not used in the sense of seeking work. A person who is not looking for work may be capable of or work and, conversely, a person who is looking for work may, because of their disability, not be able to "pursue" work.

Substantially Gainful Occupation
A substantially gainful occupation means an occupation where the remuneration for the work performed and the services rendered was at a substantially gainful amount. The substantially gainful amount is a benchmark of earnings that likely indicates whether a person is showing regular capacity for work. This does not mean that you cannot work at your old job, but that you cannot work at any job – full or part time – for which you are or could become reasonably qualified.

Prolonged is only considered after the “severe” criterion is met; that is, only after it has been determined that a person has a severe disability. An applicant must demonstrate that both the "severe and prolonged" criteria are simultaneously met. This means that you do not expect to be able to return to work. if there is a reasonable expectation of recovery, you will not qualify.

Are there different types of CPP disability benefits?


The CPP disability benefit is a monthly payment. It is available to people who contributed to the Canada Pension Plan while they worked, and then become unable to work. Benefits for the child of a person receiving a CPP disability benefit is a monthly payment to a natural or adopted child or a person receiving CPP disability is entitled to a benefits up to age 18. A child between 18 and 25 may receive continued benefits if they are attending school full time at a recognized institution. For additional information on this benefit please contact Service Canada. CPP disability does not provide medical coverage for prescription drugs or treatments.

Do You Have a Case?

DCAC will assess your particular situation and provide prompt feedback on your chances of a positive outcome.