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Survivors Finances and disability Government programs

Government programs

Service Canada

The federal government’s Service Canada website provides Canadians with a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits.

Some of the benefits that cancer patients and survivors may want to access are:

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

Through the federal government, employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with financial assistance up to 15 weeks if you claim begins before December 18, 2002 or after December 18, 2022 up to 26 weeks (NEW) if you:

  • cannot work because of sickness
  • have paid sufficiently into the plan
  • have seen your normal weekly earnings drop by more than 40%
  • meet other eligibility criteria

If you work while receiving the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit, the government will deduct the entire amount you earn from your benefit.

See this link to learn more about eligibility for the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit and how to apply for it.

Regular Employment Insurance

The federal government will partially replace your wages if you:

  • have paid sufficiently in the plan within the last 52 weeks
  • are not working
  • can work
  • are actively looking for work
  • meet other eligibility criteria

If you receive regular Employment Insurance, you may be able to work. Your earnings will be deducted from your employment insurance payment. See Service Canada’s Working While on Claim for more information.

Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit (CPP-D)

You may be eligible for the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit if you meet the following criteria (for Quebec residents, please consult Quebec pension plan for more information):

  1. You cannot work at any job on a regular basis because of a severe and prolonged disability or illness.
  2. You have paid sufficiently into the plan.
  3. You are under 65 years of age.

Even if you receive CPP-D Benefit payments, you may be able to earn a certain limited amount of income. If you go back to work but find it too difficult because of disability, a fast-track system allows you to go back onto CPP-D Benefits.

For more information on the CPP-D Benefit program, see the Government of Canada’s Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit – Overview.

If you are receiving CPP-D benefits, you may have access to vocational rehabilitation support as well. See the Government of Canada’s Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit – Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Quebec Disability Pension Benefits

If you live in Quebec and contributed to the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefit pension, you may be eligible if you:

  • have a severe and permanent disability
  • are under 65 years of age
  • made sufficient contributions
  • are unable to do any substantially gainful work because of your state

For more information, see Disability and the Québec Pension Plan from the Retraite Québec website.