How Do You Manage Financially While Waiting for Benefits?

I am curious as to how people manage their basic living expenses while waiting for LTD/CPP-D/etc. My savings were depleted within 4 months (I hadn’t had much opportunity to save, and had been having to miss more and more work the 6 months prior to going on leave), EI sick benefits lasted 13 weeks, and I have only just barely kept my head above water with small loans from family. To be honest, the financial stress is almost as bad for my levels of anxiety as my medical condition has been.

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I was lucky I guess.
There was a “salary continuence” (like STD but no waiting period) that paid part of my salary so I never had to get EI Sick Benefits.

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Hey there Nip. The struggle is real. I have been waiting for my CPPD for almost 5 months now. I’ve been told by a few that’s it has been approved and others say that it’s not possible for anyone to even know that. My family has exhausted all of our savings and, like you, loans from the family members who can help. I can’t imagine how people do it without family to help. 5 months zero money can certainly cause more problems than disability…it’s can cause homelessness. Hope you get through to the light at the and of the tunnel.


After my EI sick benefits ended, I tried to get my GP to fill out my CPP-D application but he refused and told me he didn’t do it for any of his patients. I had no insurance and all my savings were exhausted at that point.

Fortunately, my relatives let me move in with them and allowed me to live rent-free and they paid for my food. Occasionally my parents and sister sent me money to pay my bills. I signed up with BC’s Fair PharmaCare and they covered all my medical expenses and medications.

I also found this site called Swagbucks where people can earn points through online shopping, answering surveys, watching videos, playing video games, etc., which can be converted to cash and deposited into a Paypal account. Most days I only had the energy to answer surveys and would let the videos play in the background while I slept. I made an average of $25/month.

Occasionally I mystery shopped stores in my area, which paid between $10-$15 an assignment and I found these jobs online on various mystery shopping sites.

After three months of doing all that, I finally found another doctor who was willing to fill out my CPP-D application. I submitted my completed application and got a phone call a week later informing me that it was approved. I received my payment two weeks later.

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I am sorry to hear you are going through all of this. First of all I would fire your current Doctor and find one that cares about their patients. I know it is a pain for the physicians to fill out all these forms but that is really part of the job and they know that is the only way you can get support from these government / insurance benefits. Simply saying to your patient, I am not doing this is disgusting and cruel and they should think about a new profession. If they disagree with you applying for these benefits and maybe think you are capable of working, then they need to talk to you about that. But that does not seem to be the case from what you are saying. Your Doctor simply does not want to fill out benefit forms. Are you seeing any other specialists that would fill out the medical part of the CPP-D application. I also think allied health professionals can also fill out the forms now. I would call CPP and explain the difficulty and see if they have another solution for you.
I don’t know your whole situation but can you apply for EI etc. I would go to a Service Ontario office and enquire. Thinking of you & hope things improve for you.

My apologies - my previous response has gone to the wrong person and I don’t know how to cancel it. However, I do hope things turn around for you - not an easy situation.