The Federal Government announced on Monday, July 6 that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or Allowances will receive their one-time, tax-free payment this week without needing to apply.
“It is important that we help seniors in Canada through this difficult time. With this one-time tax-free payment, we are continuing to support seniors to ensure they are able to get the essentials they need. As we go through this unprecedented challenge, we are providing a variety of measures that support seniors and ensure they know that we are with them and they are not left behind, ” Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors said in a release.
This announcement comes because seniors across Canada continue to face health, economic, and social challenges due to COVID-19. Many seniors are facing higher costs for food and services due to physical distancing restrictions, while others are paying more in dispensing fees to get the same medication or paying a premium for deliveries.
Seniors who reside in Canada can expect to receive the payment by direct deposit or cheque this week, whereas seniors who reside outside Canada can expect this one-time payment in July for those on direct deposit, or by cheque with delays given international postal disruptions.
Through several measures, the Government is providing about $900 for low-income single seniors and more than $1,500 for low-income senior couples, in addition to their existing benefits, to help with extra costs during the pandemic.
The large majority of OAS pensioners, nearly 85 per cent, have after-tax income below $50,000. Seniors receiving the GIS live on incomes below $18,600 a year for singles and below $24,576 a year for couples.
Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those seniors also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200, for a total of $500. Allowance recipients will also receive $500. This $2.5 billion investment in financial support will help Canadian seniors cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.
Approximately 6.7 million seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension and 2.2 million who are eligible for the GIS will benefit from this payment according to the release.