How to Obtain the Proper Evidence and Documentation to Support Your CPP Claim

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      How to Obtain the Proper Evidence and Documentation to Support Your CPP Claim

      How to Obtain the Proper Evidence and Documentation to Support Your CPP Claim

      When applying for CPP disability benefits, it is critical that your application be carefully completed, and that any and all underlying documentation be included. This initial step lays the foundation for your claim. Should your application contain inaccuracies, or should there be information missing, this may compromise your claim down the road. It also increases the likelihood that your claim will be denied, meaning you are then faced with a lengthy appeal process during which time you will not be receiving your benefits.

      When completing your application, there are some key documents that are of importance.

      Medical Report

      You will need to obtain a medical report from the doctor who is most familiar with your disability. This may be a family doctor or a specialist. It is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor for the specific purpose of discussing your CPP application. Be sure to speak to your doctor about how your disability affects all aspects of your day to day life, not just your work life. Ask your doctor about the prognosis and likely duration of your disability, and whether they foresee that you will be able to return to work at some point in the future.

      When the report is completed, ask the doctor to return the report to you rather than have them submit the report directly. This way you will have an opportunity to review the report, and address any inconsistencies or inaccuracies before it is submitted.

      Other Supporting Documentation

      Your claim may be bolstered by submitting reports from other doctors or treatment providers. Ask your specialist, or physiotherapist to provide you with a support letter setting out the nature of your disability, how it affects your day to day life (including work), and how your disability is likely to progress. Be selective about which doctors or treatment providers you approach, and make sure that they are familiar with, and knowledgeable about, your disability.

      Questionnaire for Disability Benefits

      You must also take particular care in completing the Questionnaire for Disability Benefits, as this is the document that, in conjunction with your medical report, will most likely be determinative of the outcome of your application. Essentially, the Questionnaire provides you with the opportunity to describe your disability, and the effect it has on your day to day life. You should take care not just to describe the impact of your disability on your work life, but also describe how it impacts your other activities such as driving, housekeeping, volunteer work, social activities and personal care.

      You will be asked on the Questionnaire about the date you stopped working, and why you stopped working. If you were terminated from your job because of your disability you should include that information. The Questionnaire also asks when you felt that you were no longer able to work because of your disability. This will most likely coincide with the last day you worked. If these dates are not the same, you will need to provide a reasonable explanation as to why not.

      You will also be asked about the prognosis of your disability, and whether you have any plans or intention to return to work. If the answer to this question is yes, then your application will most likely be rejected. If however, you do not foresee that you will be able to return to work, then you should mention that in the Questionnaire. It is also tremendously helpful to include any information from your doctors about your inability to work.

      When asked about the nature of your disability, you should provide a complete and exhaustive list of your “illnesses or impairments”, and describe them in a clear and concise manner. Refer to your doctor’s medical report for a descriptive overview of your condition. Be sure to mention other health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or depression, which, although not directly connected to your disabling condition, may act in concert, rendering you unable to work. Be thorough when listing all medical practitioners you have seen, including family physicians, walk-in clinics, specialists, and hospital admissions. Also include a list of medications, and therapies including acupuncture, occupational therapy, physical therapy and massage.

      The application package also includes an Application form; an Authorization to Disclose Information / Consent for Medical Evaluation; and a Child-rearing Dropout Provision form (this may be relevant if you were out of the work force for a period of time with young children). Make sure to complete the entire Application package and submit all of the forms at the same time.

      The amount of information required in support of a CPP application can be overwhelming. A disability lawyer who is knowledgeable about the law surrounding CPP disability benefits can provide you with invaluable assistance by ensuring the application is properly completed, and that all supporting documentation is submitted. It is critical that you be as detailed and accurate as possible in the initial stages of applying for benefits as this will bolster your chances of success.

      Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.