Retirement plans and disability
Do you have a disability? Here's a look at what retirement pension plans provide.
Québec Pension Plan
The Québec Pension Plan (QPP) pays a disability pension to workers with a severe and permanent disability who are under 65 years of age and have contributed sufficiently. It also pays disabled workers a supplement for children under the age of 18.
- To be eligible
You must have contributed for at least:
- 2 of the last 3 years in your contributory period*
- 5 of the last 10 years in your contributory period
- half of the years in your contributory period and for at least 2 years.
You must also be deemed to be disabled by Retraite Québec. For example:
- your disability must be severe and permanent
- you must be incapable, due to your state of health, of doing any substantially gainful work for which you would earn more than $16 347 a year in 2019.
* Your contributory period begins in the month following your 18th birthday or on January 1, 1966, when the Plan came into effect, if you turned 18 before that date. Your contributory period ends in the month as of which Retraite Québec deems you to be disabled.
Contributors age 60 to 65 who are deemed to be disabled because they are unable to do their usual work must prove that they recently worked. In order to be eligible based on this requirement, you must have contributed to the Plan for at least 4 of the 6 years preceding the date as of which you are deemed to be disabled. The eligibility requirements in the case of a contributor age 60 to 65 who is unable to do every type of work are mentioned above.
Retirees under age 65 can receive an additional amount for disability if they become totally disabled. The amount is paid to retirement pension beneficiaries who contributed to the Plan for 4 of the last 6 years and who can no longer cancel their application for a retirement pension in order to receive a disability pension.The date as of which you are deemed to be disabled cannot be before January 1, 2013.
The fact that another organization, such as an insurance company, considers you to be disabled does not automatically entitle you to a disability pension under the QPP. The criteria could be different.
In the medical assessment of your capacity to work, Retraite Québec only takes into account your state of health.
- If you are age 60 to 64, you could be eligible for a disability pension if you had to leave your usual employment as a result of your health and you are no longer able to do your usual work.
- If you have ever contributed to the Canada Pension Plan or a pension plan in a country with which the Québec or federal government has a social security agreement, those contribution years can be added to your QPP contribution years to give you entitlement to a disability pension.
How much will you receive?
The disability pension has 2 components:
- a fixed amount of $496.33 and
- an amount equal to 75% of your basic retirement pension.
The maximum amount is $1362.27 a month in 2019.
For an estimate of your disability pension, consult your Statement of Participation in the Québec Pension Plan. Retraite Québec automatically sends it to contributors every 4 years. You can also request a copy at any time.
The disability pension is payable as of the fourth month following the month in which you became disabled.
All QPP pensions are indexed in January of each year in order to account for inflation. They are also taxable.
When you reach 65 years of age, your disability pension will automatically be replaced with a retirement pension. You could also be entitled to the Old Age Security (OAS) pension from the federal government. For more information on the OAS pension, consult www.servicecanada.gc.ca .
Do you have dependent children under the age of 18?
If you are granted a disability pension, your dependent children under age 18 will be entitled to a pension for a disabled person's child. This pension, which is added to your disability pension, is $79.46 a month for each child in 2019.
The definition of "contributor's child" changed on January 1, 2012. Retraite Québec considers a contributor's child to be:
- the contributor's minor biological or adopted child
- the minor child who has lived or was living with the contributor for at least one year, if the contributor serves or was serving as mother or father to the child.
For more information on disability benefits under the QPP, consult www.retraitequebec.gouv.qc.ca under "Disability."
Canada Pension Plan
If you work somewhere else in Canada, you probably contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This plan also pays a disability pension, but the legislative provisions that govern it differ from those that govern the disability pension under the QPP.
For more information on the disability pension under the CPP, consult www.canada.ca .
Private pension plans
If you participate in a private pension plan, you could be eligible for a disability pension. Consult your plan administrator to find out whether such a pension is offered.
Other benefits in case of disability
In addition to disability benefits under retirement pension plans, other benefits are provided by various organizations in the case of disability.
Some insurance companies offer individual or group disability insurance. If you hold this type of insurance policy, contact your insurance company for benefit terms and conditions. If you are entitled to a disability pension under the QPP and from your insurance company, the benefits paid by the insurance company could be reduced by the amount of your disability pension under the QPP.
Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail
The Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) provides benefits for persons who become disabled due to a work-related accident or occupational disease. For more information, consult your employer.
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
A person that becomes disabled due to a traffic accident must apply to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). For more information, consult www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca .
Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale
The Québec government offers financial assistance to persons without any income. A person who becomes disabled and is not eligible for any disability benefit can obtain financial assistance from the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. For more information, consult www.mess.gouv.qc.ca .
Assistance for victims of criminal acts
Québec has implemented measures to help and compensate victims of criminal acts. For more information, go to www.ivac.qc.ca .
Worth knowing about...
Each plan or program has its own definition of disability. Therefore, you must check this definition with each organization that could pay you a benefit. A disability pension could be paid for a limited time. Make sure you are familiar with all payment conditions from the start.