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How to Apply for Canada Pension Plan

Get step-by-step instructions on how to apply for Canada Pension Plan. Learn more about the eligibility criteria, documents required and application process

Applying for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) can be a daunting task, especially for those who are not familiar with the process. However, it is important to understand the steps involved to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits that you are entitled to.

At the outset, it is essential to note that CPP is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program. As an employee, you contribute to the CPP fund throughout your working life, and when you retire or become disabled, you receive benefits based on your contributions.

Eligibility criteria for CPP

To be eligible for CPP, you must have made at least one valid contribution to the program, and you must have reached the age of 60. However, you can start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60 or opt for an increased benefit if you delay receiving benefits until the age of 70.

It is important to note that if you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to receive CPP disability benefits, even if you are under the age of 60.

How to apply for CPP

To apply for CPP, you can complete and submit an application form online, by mail or in-person at a Service Canada office. The application form requires you to provide personal and employment information, including your social insurance number (SIN), your contact information, and your work history.

In addition to the application form, you will need to provide supporting documents such as your birth certificate, passport, or other government-issued identification, and your marriage or common-law partner information, if applicable.

If you are applying for CPP disability benefits, you will also need to provide medical information about your disability, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Once you have completed the application form and provided all the required supporting documents, you can submit your application to Service Canada. The processing time for CPP applications varies, but it usually takes between four and six months.

How to appeal a CPP decision

If your application for CPP benefits is denied or you disagree with the amount of benefits you have been awarded, you have the right to appeal the decision. The first step in the appeal process is to request a reconsideration of your application.

To request a reconsideration, you must complete and submit an appeal form to Service Canada within 90 days of receiving the decision. The appeal form requires you to provide detailed information about the reasons why you believe the decision should be reconsidered, as well as any additional supporting documents.

After you have submitted your appeal form, Service Canada will review your application and make a decision. If your application is still denied, you have the right to request a hearing before the Social Security Tribunal. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of your case.


Applying for CPP benefits can be a complicated process, but it is essential to ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to. By understanding the eligibility criteria and following the application process, you can increase your chances of receiving the maximum benefits.

If you have any questions or concerns about CPP, it is advisable to consult a qualified professional who can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions about your retirement or disability benefits.