Yes I am still working here at the Clinic. It has been some time since I have been able to blog. Many things have happened and I have case managed a lot of files in the last six months that have been interesting to say the least!
My reason for blogging today?
Well in the mail today I received two files that were sent to me for review - and unfortunately both of these cases were rightly denied based on what are late MQPs.
A MQP or Minimum Qualifying Period date - is what I like to call THE MAGIC DATE. It is critically important to the adjudication of a CPP disability claim.
You know you have to be found "severe and prolonged" - but you also have to be found severe and prolonged at the time of the MQP.
If you have a late MQP your denial letter may say something like this -
"Unfortunately, you do not have enough earnings and contributions. However, Canada Pension Plan has a late application provision that allows us to consider if you had a disabilty that was both severe and prolonged and has been continuous since you made enough contributions to the CPP to qualify. In your case, you had made enough contributions to qualify until December of a given year"
Okay like I said this is a magic date and the decision makers have to find the applicant disabled as of that time and continuously to present - the lady whose file I reviewed this morning had an MQP of December 1997. This means she has to be found disabled from December 1997 until present. This is tough because it would require 14 years of continuous medical evidence to support this claim - sometimes this is easy to do - there may have been an accident or medical condition that has been clearly related to that time period - but most times I will say with a late MQP like that, is a challenge to establish disability.
Sometimes, there is a late MQP, and then a person tries to work after that MQP, and the feds deny because they say there is evidence of work capacity after the MQP.
This happened recently with a lady called Cindy. Cindy is very young 29 years - but she had been chronically sick with chrons since she was 19 years old - and I mean sick - surgeries, infections, abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition -the medical evidence was pretty conclusive - but the problem in Cindy's file was that she continued to try and work, and try to go to school, and try to do all those things that a young woman wants to do.
Cindy had earnings after her MQP - the Feds denied her because of this - they realized she was disabled now - but she was not disabled at the time of her MQP. Well her earnings were substantially gainful but she only lasted a short period of time - six months - before her chrons kicked up and she was hospitalized again - not to mention that throughout her work she repeatedly had to decline work shifts and often had to leave work because she was so sick - I really admired Cindy cause she continually tried to work and she felt so guilty because her parents were continually having to support her financially. I do not know what the results of the appeal will be but I will let you all know.
So you can see here how important the MQP is - it really is a magic date - it is like when your coverage expires like an insurance policy.
The calculation of the MQP is very complicated and there are so many different ways the Feds calculate the MQP - all different requirements and legislative tenants go into the calculation of the MQP. But I just wanted to get it out there that the MQP is critical in the adjudication of a claim.
In the files that I reviewed this morning - the applicant went through the hearings without any understanding of the MQP - bad move.
If you have a hearing or your are appealing the denial of a CPP disability benefit - then make sure you know the MQP. If you have any questions about this send me an email. One thing I will tell you - if you have an MQP say December 2006 and you have only submitted medical evidence from 2009 forward then you have not met your responsibility to establish your disability at the time of your MQP. So that means you will need to submit medical information from December 2006 in order to establish that you were disabled at this time.
Hopefully this has all made sense to you!
For those of you who want further reading on this subject - the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals has a good explanation of the MQP calculation rules and the link for that is