I was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was 27 years old, about 5 years ago. I had many complications from the surgeries, infections, and spent roughly a year in a hospital bed. I was off and on LTD through my private insurer throughout the past 5 years as I tried to get back in the work force.
About 2 years ago I tried to go back to work full-time but I could not handle full time hours and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So currently I am working 10 hours a week while private insurance covers the rest.
By all accounts I am eligible for CPP disability, with the exception that I would be considered gainfully employed as my earnings from work are above the maximum allowable earnings (more employment income than CPPD would pay out, but just barely). I maxed CPP every year from 2007 -2017 except for 1 year when I was collecting LTD from a hospital bed. The past year (2018) I was on modified work with low pensionable earnings but still to high enough to be considered gainfully employed.
What I am worried about is if my condition deteriorates and I am no longer able to work part time is that my CPP disability will be greatly reduced because my pensionable earnings will be low for 2018 and on. If CPP disability is based on pensionable earnings in 4 out of the past 6 years it probably won’t amount to much, as most of my pay is from my insurance company. My LTD through private insurance is not indexed to inflation, so CPP disability would be ideal if I can no longer work at all. Is there anything I can do right now, such as voluntarily top up my CPP just in case my condition deteriorates to ensure maximum CPP disability. Are there any exceptions to the gainfully employed rule as I am not even close to working full-time (10 hours/week)? Can/should I apply for CPP disability regardless?
I am pretty young, inflation is really going to be a big problem for me down the road, CPP disability could help mitigate some of that risk. Not to mention how much CPP disability will help out when/if I reach retirement age.
I know this is a lot of information to unpack, just worried about the future.