Who is eligible for the Canadian government's new COVID-19 aid for seniors?
TORONTO -- The Canadian government has announced additional aid in the form of a one-time payment of up to $500 for eligible seniors to offset any increased living expenses they have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, the federal government said the new financial support will cost $2.5 billion and is in addition to previously announced relief measures for seniors, including the one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit in April, and investments in community organizations, such as those that deliver groceries and medications.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The newly introduced one-time, tax-free payment is available to the following people.
- $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension
- $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Anyone who receives both the OAS pension and the GIS will be eligible for both payments for a total one-time payment of $500, according to the government. The payments will be applied automatically.
Old age security (OAS) pension
The OAS program is funded out of the federal governments’ general tax revenues and individuals do not have to pay into it directly. The pension is a monthly payment available to seniors over the age of 65 who meet Canadian legal status and residency requirements.
Seniors who are not automatically enrolled may have to apply.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
The Guaranteed Income Supplement provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.
Individuals must be receiving OAS and their annual income must be lower than “maximum annual threshold,” which is calculated by taking into account several factors that are detailed here.
NO APPLICATION NECESSARY
Seniors who are already receiving the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) do not have to apply for the new one-time payment as it will be applied automatically.