Self employment while on CPP


my spouse has been approved for his CPP disability status, after being on PWD for the last year. He has been self employed (sole proprietor) for his gardening business but the work carried out in his business has been carried out by myself and other family members for the past two years. The business is in his name still and all monies earned go to his business account although he does not participate in any of the actual work. I am wondering if the $5400 limit to allowable income applies to him still as the business is still in his name but he does not do any work.
Thanks Angela


Probably it doesn’t matter what his duties are. He still generates an income from a source that is considered “a self-employment income” and it is higher than the allowed maximum.

You may choose to call Service Canada to explain the situation and discuss the options.


My understanding is they look at self employment on case by case basis but would likely attribute income to him. The $5400 is not a limit, it is just the threshold at which you need to report the income to them. They may start reducing your payment once you cross $5400, but not necessarily will they cut off payments totally. In my experience the CPP program is very reasonable when you are up front with them and work with them. However, if they think you are hiding things they come down hard.

Also, they don’t just look at revenue, they look at income after expenses paid.

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 reliabile 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.


Thanks you for your response David. My spouse received his retroactive payment a few days ago of which he paid a sum back to PWD. Would the income he needs to claim if he reaches his threshold start from January 2017 or from the month in which his CPP disability payments have started which are this month.
Thanks Angela


Good question.
I would phone the CRA and ask.

I have no idea but my opinion is:
I think his CPP-D income started the day the retroactive payments started needing to be pay back.
Even though he never saw the income, it is technically income.