Yes I am still here.
I was in a meeting recently when one in the group of people stopped to ask me if I was going to blog again. This person will know who they are as I was quite delighted someone enjoyed reading what I had to say.
The last six months have been extremely interesting in the CPP disability world. It is hard to know where to start and I will endeavour to share what I have learned during the course of these months.
I have found that the Minister responsible for the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, Minister Jean Duclos, is very receptive to making changes to the program in the hopes that it better serves Canadians. He and his staff (of whom there are too many to mention) have been honest and diligent in their dedication to hearing from stakeholders to help them understand the barriers faced when trying to navigate a program that is inaccessible to many people with disabilities.
At a recent meeting I was at, Minister Jean Duclos shared his commitment to the work that is being done to the disability program and spoke eloquently about the responsibility of having a seat at the table. I take this seat and opportunity seriously and have worked hard with all those in attendance to make recommendations that we all hope, will improve the CPP disability system that has unfortunately failed, in many cases, the people who need this benefit.
I have been very anxious to blog for sometime but my time for writing is sparse.
I have sat on the CPP Disability Roundtable now for two years my next engagement with the roundtable is in November. I would like to say that we have a variety of people who attend the roundtable who again have worked very hard to ensure positive change. Is the CPP disability program going to be perfect? Unlikely. Is the denial rate going to change? I cannot say. But I do know there has been a lot of effort put in. But in CPP disability world - I am not sure how this is going to translate to all applicants as we have such a vast country with divergent and multi-faceted needs. Throw in all kinds of disabilities people deal with and accessibility to medical care, each case is a different case and one size never really fits all.
So what I would like to tell you to start with - there is a new CPP disability application that was released in August 2018 You can find it here https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/apps/EForms/pdf/en/ISP-1151.pdf Also on this link, you will find the CPP disability medical report that can now be signed by a Nurse Practitioner.
I had mentioned in previous posts about the Service Canada service standards. It is 120 days for CPP disability applications - 5 days for terminal illness and 30 days for grave illness. However, when I phone Service Canada the telephone agents state that the adjudication period at the moment, seems to be much longer and I would say it is closer to the 5-6 month range for CPP disability applications that are not of a grave or terminal nature.
I would also like to encourage those who have been denied, to contact email@example.com Please do not give up - there are a lot of people who do - and it is prudent to have the denial reviewed. Our office is great, if I do say so myself, at being able to help you navigate your way through the application and appeal system. There is a cost - but at DCAC we do what we can to ensure that we try to help as many people as we can in a fair and equitable manner. We understand that there are those who need help and we do what we can to ensure this help is accessible. So don't be fearful to call us - we have you covered.
If there is something specific that you would like me to blog about - something that you think would be helpful - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org