When you felt you could no longer work question on CCP-D form. Unsure how to answer

I’ve been on LTD since September 2017 and they have requested I apply for CPP-D. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017 (my employer covers short term for 6 months at full salary). I returned to work on a graduated basis in late August 2019. Although not in my previous position but one with lighter duties. I have chemo induced peripheral neuropathy, chemo-induced fatigue, and cognitive problems from chemo. I lasted in that position until the end of October 2019. By the beginning of October was when “I felt” I could no longer work. But I pushed myself and I ended up having a physical and mental collapse and couldn’t get out of bed for 3 weeks. Do I put the beginning of October? And in Section E2, I’m assuming I describe my previous position (held from 2004 to 2017) not my return to work job and add a note about the return to work? Thanks.

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I would put the beginning of Oct and put in your “story” that you persevered.

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You are likely going to want to use the date you originally stopped work for LTD back in 2016 or 2017. Problem with using the October 2019 date is that it may put you outside of your minimum qualifying period. That would disqualify you from any CPP disability.

In a case like this I would start by figuring out when your minimum qualifying period ends, before deciding on how to present your story and claim. For example, you may want to focus on showing how your entire return to work from August onward was not sustainable and could be seen as a failed return to work attempt. However, I can’t say that would be best without knowing all the facts.

With these types of technical cases I always recommend working with an experienced advocate or disability lawyer.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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Thank you David for your response. I finally was able to get through to someone at Service Canada yesterday. She said to use the October failed RTW date. And that it makes sense GWL would have sent me these forms now. That my minimum qualifying period to apply is 4 months after last date of work. Since my last day of my return to work was late October that brings the 4th month to February. And they have obviously determined medical recovery is not expected. Also, she suggested to include extra info on my failed RTW. In addition, she said to put the RTW position in E2 and my previous position in E5.

Thanks Jammer. I spoke with Service Canada yesterday and she said to use the October date. And, yes to put lots of info about why it was too much for me. I wish I didn’t have to do this. I loved my job and would love to be back at work. I haven’t given up hope yet that all my long-term side effects from the cancer treatments will resolve. Even if I could work PT or volunteer would be wonderful.

I caution against taking advice from Service Canada for something like this. The people you speak with in their call centres mean well, but can give wrong advice and aren’t considering the best way to present your case.

For example, the MQPs end as of Dec 31 for each year, so it couldn’t go to February. So I would trust them that it is tue that your MQP will end on December 31, 2020, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to use the October 2020 as your last day capable of working.

I don’t know your full situation, but from what you have told me, I would lean strongly toward having your story use the date back in 2016 or 2017 (whenever it was) and this recent return to work should be presented as a failed return to work attempt. I expect that approach would fit better with the evidence you have from years earlier.

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Thank you David. I understand what you are saying about Service Canada advice; I do take everything with a grain of salt. I agree that the return to work was a failed attempt. I certainly wasn’t capable on my last day in Oct 2019, nor was I really capable the 1st day in August 2019. I just wanted to be back at work so much I had to give it a try. A position opened up (at the end of Aug 2019) with less reponsibility in the dept. I had worked in for 15 years and it was offered to me so I took it. So, as far as my personnel file would indicate I was given a transfer from my position of 15 years to this other position; that is 2 different positions with the same employer. This is what is getting me a bit muddled on the current job question. On the MQP question I’m now confused about how that all works. She said 4 months after the last day work, now you advise it is a year end of Dec for each year. If the 4 months comes into play, that would mean MQP would be the end of April? I’m now not understanding about this 4 month thing. I do have long term brain fog and it’s sometimes difficult for me to understand certain things and to explain myself; so I hope that makes sense. Thanks again.

The 4 month waiting period and MQP are two separate things. With very limited exceptions, MQP end on Dec 31 of each year. You would need to confirm your MQP ends December 31, 2019 or December of this year.

The four months she is referring to is the waiting period. It means that benefits cannot start until 4 months after your last day capable of working. So if you chose the October 2019 as your last day capable of working, you would be eligible to have benefits start until March 2020. If you choose the earlier date in 2017 or 2016, then the four months would be applied from that date. So if you choose the October date, you could be potentially losing out on some months of back payments as compared to using an earlier disability onset date as I have discussed. The service Canada person wouldn’t explain this to you, or even realize it was an issue.

CPP disability applications can more complicated in some situations than fist meets the eye.

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Ok, now this is making a bit more sense. I will get a hold of Service Canada again and confirm the MQP date. I’m not sure if I should be worried about back payments because GWL is going to take that. Yes, CPP-D can be quite complicated in some situations - but I kind of expected this wouldn’t be simple. Like all unknown situations it’s a matter of learning the right questions to ask to get you through. Thank you for helping me and others. It’s greatly appreciated.


Hi David - I agree with most of what you have said, but I want to clarify a couple of small points.
First, if the MQP isn’t an issue and if they used Oct 2019 as the date of onset, payment would be effective Feb 2020, not March 2020. Second, since the date of application was no earlier than March 2020, the maximum retroactive “date of onset” would be December 2018, so payment after the 4-month waiting period could never be retro to 2016 or 2017. That doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t claim to have been disabled since 2016 or 2017, but I wouldn’t want anybody to think that it could result in retro payment back that far.


Yes I completely agree. I definitely did not community that clearly! Thanks for clarifying Doug.

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