Manulife is forcing me to apply for CPPD or they will reduce my benefits by an estimate of CPPD benefits

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been on long-term disability related to mental health with Manulife for the past year. In December 2023, Manulife emailed me, urging me to apply for CPPD (Canada Pension Plan Disability). They emphasized the importance of providing them with the CPP Notice of Entitlement or denial letter promptly. They explained that if they’re uncertain about the status of my CPP application, they may have to estimate the CPP Disability benefits and subtract that amount from my LTD (Long-Term Disability) benefits. To prevent this, they asked that I send the CPP Notice of Entitlement or denial letter as soon as I receive it.

However, I’m currently not in a mental capacity to handle the paperwork required for applying to CPPD. The Manulife benefits I receive are just enough for my survival, and the application process for CPPD seems overwhelming right now. I’m also concerned that if I get denied for CPPD, Manulife might discontinue my benefits. Could someone clarify whether insurance companies are permitted to estimate and subtract CPPD benefits if the insured person doesn’t apply for CPPD? I’m particularly anxious because Manulife gave me a one-month deadline to apply for CPPD, and my case manager is not responding to my emails.

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Yes, they are allowed to deduct it if you don’t apply. Do you have a family member or friend who could help you with the forms? I would not worry about being cut off regular LTD if you don’t get approved for CPPD, the requirements are different.

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Hi Caro, thanks for the prompt response. I will call Manulife to ask for an extension and see if a friend can help me with the forms. There are so many forms and I also need to get my GP to fill out some forms.

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Yes, they are allowed to do that. Furthermore, some bad news… if your LTD benefits are non-taxable then you may end up actually losing money per month if you are approved for CPP. This is because they will deduct $ for $, but CPP is taxable and you may end up owing retroactive taxes etc. There is a thread on this forum about it. It’s a loophole.

In regards to being denied CPP affecting your LTD, it shouldn’t technically - they are two seperate things. But then, the reality is, it might. Or it might cause manulife to look further into your file and see why you were denied and if that denial reason might apply to their policy. That being said, on the flip side, getting APPROVED for CPP will definitely help your LTD benefits out. After I got approved for CPP-D they left me alone.

As far as not having the mental capacity to do the forms, I hear you. I held off initially applying for LTD for 8 months because I literally couldn’t get out of bed. But, unfortunately, that isn’t considered a valid reason to not get the forms done. I went through the same thing with my LTD and their answer to me was “If you’re that bad, then you will end up in a mental hospital and then you can get the Dr. in the psych ward to fill it out for you”. They literally said that to me. Basically you need to apply for CPP-D and you really have no choice about it, it sucks. It is a quite comprehensive form to fill out and takes a lot of effort. It also may cost you money to have someone fill it out. And if you don’t have a family doctor, good luck finding anyone to do it.

Sorry, not trying to be negative, but it brings back bad memories for me. Sorry I don’t have better news. Good luck.

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Yes, most LTD policies allow the insure to “estimate and deduct” the CPP disability benefit. Typically the LTD insurers will not deduct as long as they see you making good faith progress in filing the CPP application or appeals. Once you get you past the application, the LTD insurer may arrange for advocates to help you with the appeal.

As far as getting less money overall if you are approved for CPP, that can happen as mentioned by Adam above. Often people will get that money back as part of their annual tax return. Also, you can apply for the disability tax credit which will also help ensure you get back any money deducted from CPPD for income taxes.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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Hi Adam,

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like a difficult journey but one I have to undertake. This whole long-term disability insurance system seems like a sham - why do I have to apply for government disability if I have been paying a private company for it? So much paperwork and a potential reduction in benefits.

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Hi David,

Thank you for clarifying the points and for running this forum.

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Make sure you ask for the Resolute CPPD book and work book, it really helped me complete my application. will be months until I know if it was accepted or not. Mailed it Dec 2023.
same thing, told they would reduce payments. Im approved for DTC, my benefits from Canada life are not taxable. And I struggled filling it out over 6 weeks short shifts at the dining table, collecting my medical records. I was able to get an extension (2 weeks).

Facts and data, I wish you success.

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Manulife is asking me to sign and witness an Agreement Regarding CPP/QPP Disability and LTD Benefits with the following quote: I recognize that Manulife Financial has the right to estimate the amount of CPP/QPP benefits, which may be awarded to me, and to deduct such amount from the LTD benefits payable to me under this group insurance plan. I understand that Manulife Financial reserves the right to resume estimating my CPP/QPP entitlement at any time and the right to resume payment of the less amount at any time"

I have already applied for CPP-D Benefits and informed my Manulife caseworker about it. Does signing this means that Manulife will be able to deduct this estimate even before CPP approves my benefits?

Thank you for your input. I was finally able to complete the form and send them to Service Canada. Now, I am waiting for a response from CPP. In the meanwhile, I am wondering if Manulife can still deduct an estimate even if I have applied to CPP?

They did’nt in my case, they waited for approval by CPPD. Maybe someone else has had a different experience. Different factors may come into play. Take care.