CPP Disability and CERB

I was earning just under $500 a month self-employed while receiving CPP Disability. That income has been wiped out due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I never paid into EI because they claw back whatever benefits you received (and regular income loss isn’t covered anyway), but what about the newly announced CERB? I looked at the legislation wording and didn’t see anything that would exclude me from eligibility except that the $2000 they are offering far exceeds what I was earning. Should I still apply? My wife has also lost her self-employed income and even with her CERB (assuming she gets it), we will still be losing money.

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I just listened to PM Trudeau. A journalist asked him the same question. He said that the goal of this benefit is that people can stay at home. I understood that it doesn’t matter how much you earned before you’ll still get $2000/month. They may, of course, revise this program soon to take into consideration previous income.

I heard that this amount is not taxable then you won’t need to declare it on your tax return. But in case if it is taxable then you’ll have some explaining to do to Service Canada about the income. If Service Canada pays these benefits then even without a tax return they would know who received it.

Nobody really knows how all these new programs work yet. You’ll have to talk to Service Canada to make sure that CERB is not going to affect your CPPD payments.

Mark - you are probably in good shape. As long as you’ve been filing your income taxes and declaring this $500 self-employed monthly income to CRA, then you are likely eligible for something (but not EI as you explained).

Anyone who has been working “under the table” for cash and not declaring their income on their taxes will not be eligible for any compensation for “lost income” because they never lost any income.


Thanks for the comments.
I was concerned that if I was eligible for the CERB and collected it for more than a month, it could put me well over the allowable work income, but thinking now that while it might be taxable it shouldn’t be considered work income. And I can’t recall anything I read that said you are not allowed to receive another taxable government benefit while collecting CCP Disability. Am a right to think that? While we really need the money right now, the last thing I want to do is waive a red flag at a CPP Disability auditor.

I just saw this was updated 2 hours ago today.

As per CBC report - Trudeau to recall Parliament to unlock billions of dollars more in COVID-19 emergency aid | CBC News

“The online portal to apply for benefits, which opens April 6, will work on a system ordered by birth date. People born in January through March can apply on April 6, those born in April through June on April 7, those born in July through September on April 8, and those born October through December on April 9.”

So how is a person approved for cpp-d and still able to make an income …yet those still awaiting for approval and cannot work even modified usually get denied the first time?. Why aren’t those who have no short term or long term disability from work and who exhausted 15 week sick leave at home with no income not able to work and not able to qualify for CERB… ? Waiting 4 mos on service Canada is too long …And what if the individual doesn’t qualify for ow or odsp?. The system is terrible .

I would apply if EI Sickness benefits ran out.

To apply for CERB you must fulfill the following criteria: You must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old. You must have a valid social Insurance Number. You must have stopped working because of COVID-19 related reasons or are eligible for Employment Insurance – regular or sickness benefits.

Lawyers who deal with cpp-d denial letters please!

But can you still apply if you have been off work because you cannot work before covid came into play and utilized all sick benefits still cannot go back to work no income. And for sure a doctor would not
Sign me back on bc of the covid.

Call Resolute Legal. They helped me to win my CPP disability. They work remotely but very effectively.

Can you not respond for reconsideration on your own ? Why does a lawyer change anything

You can. Just sharing my experience.

I have no problem going to tribunal.

The legislation governing CPP Disabilty allows recipients to earn $5700 a year while receiving benefits. CPP Disability is paid to those whose disability makes them unable to work regular employment hours.

I know that… which makes it even more bizarre and reason to
Challenge. They are denying those who cannot commit to when and
If they can commit to a weekly work schedule for minimal work. And those who are able to give one day or two are approved . How does
That make sense. You either can or cannot most people who apply
Cannot work and those who maybe can one day or two cannot comit
To to what day or hour that will be therefore it classifies as ‘ not gainful
Employment because you cannot comit as your condition determines
When your reasonable good day is. And cppd denied . Not fair at all and a lawyer shall now take over. We are ready.

Hi Butterfly,

This is a great question. It is important to keep in mind that CPP disability cases are no approved based on the “truth of the situation” as you know it, rather they are approved based on how well the truth is communicated to the decision-maker.

A good lawyer or advocate will know how to best communicate your story in a way that is convincing to that decision-maker. This is the hardest part of every case – how to best present your claim. This is a skill that people get better at over time through practice and education. That is why some lawyers are more effective than others. I discuss this in any article called The Best Story Wins - The Secret to Winning Your Disability Claim.

The other challenge that anyone faces when representing themselves is that it is hard to take an objective view of your situation. This is why judges discourage lawyers from representing themselves or close family members. There is a saying that a lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client. People are more likely to gloss over the weak points of their case, or present their story in the wrong way when doing it themselves.

Not everyone needs a lawyer and we encourage people to represent themselves. There are some cases; however, where people can’t be successful without a lawyer even if they are legitimately entitled to benefits. This is one of the challenges of having a legal system based on the adversarial model. But on the whole, the benefits of the adversarial system outweigh the shortcomings in my opinion.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.

Thank you David. I think it would be best to place it into a lawyers hands it’s too stressful to summarize all sequence of events that gives
Service Canada a better picture and understanding, sometimes
I get the feeling they deny because they have to each case is different
And I also feel they discriminate against age. If a doctor is clearly
Stating severe and prolonged condition that makes it not an option to work at anything why do they not listen. Are they second guessing the doctor. What if the individual falls or gets hurt at work?. WSIB does
Not pay individuals whom have underlying conditions. Do you sue service Canada who was clearly told the circumstances…

I am in the same situation. Can I collect CERB in place of the part time work I was doing while on CPPD?

If you meet the eligibility.
See the government website.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help.