In short, the answer is usually yes.
If you are wondering about this issue, you probably have a long term disability insurance claim. You may have a claim with Manulife, Sunlife, Great-West Life, or some other insurer. Your policy may be through your work, or purchased privately by you. In either scenario, there will be an insurance policy document that outlines the coverage details and everything surrounding it. In that policy, it will almost invariably include wording that requires you to apply for CPP benefits if you are actively ‘on claim’ with your long term disability benefits insurer. Failure to apply for CPP disability benefits can constitute grounds for an insurer to deduct what they feel the CPP benefit amount might have been from your monthly LTD payments.
Applying for CPP disability benefits is not something to be feared, and as a claimant you should avail yourself of this potential financial resource. CPP disability benefits involve a very strict legal threshold test. Your disability has to be ‘severe and prolonged’ which are loaded words that carry with them a lot of caselaw that interpret them. By applying for CPP however, you are doing yourself a favor in a number of ways:
1. If you qualify you will receive monthly disability cheques from the government, which is a much more stable source of income than the cheques coming from your insurer. You won’t have to worry about the government questionning your disability all the time like your insurer might choose to do. An insurer can choosed to cut you off your benefits for any reason at any time. That reason can be justified, or not.
2. If you qualify and receive CPP benefits, it will support your claim that you have a very serious disability and make it far more difficult for your LTD insurer to cut off your insurance benefits. Yes, the CPP will be a deduction from your LTD entitlement, but your monthly overall take home coverage will be mostly the same. This means you are a winner. You have also strenghtened your position with your insurer.
The interrelation between the CPP benefits system and the LTD benefits system is at times tricky and can play an important part of your overall coverage picture. Sometimes it is critical that an initial rejection by CPP be appealed. Our office has had a lot of success appealing initial CPP denials on behalf of clients. A successful CPP appeal can have a serious impact on your LTD entitlement with your insurer.
Guerette Rajagopalan LLP (our office) are experts in CPP appeals and long term disability litigation. If you have any questions give us a call, we will provide you with a free consultation.