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Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance, and Allowance for the Survivor (2023)

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), Allowance, and Allowance for the survivor are additional income-tested benefits available to low-income seniors through the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.

Read on to learn how to apply for the old age security supplement, the eligibility requirements, and GIS payment dates in 2023.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The GIS is a monthly benefit available to seniors who have a low income and are living in Canada. Unlike the universal OAS and Canada Pension Plan (CPP), GIS benefits are not taxable.

Guaranteed Income Supplement payments are not taxable, and your first payment starts after you turn 65.

GIS Payment Dates in 2023

GIS is paid by direct deposit to your bank account on the following dates in 2023.

  • January 27, 2023
  • February 24, 2023
  • March 29, 2023
  • April 26, 2023
  • May 29, 2023
  • June 28, 2023
  • July 27, 2023
  • August 29, 2023
  • September 27, 2023
  • October 27, 2023
  • November 28, 2023
  • December 20, 2023

Eligibility for the GIS and Benefit Amounts

You qualify for the GIS if:

  1. You are receiving the OAS pension; and
  2. Your annual income is lower than the maximum annual threshold; and
  3. You reside in Canada.

If incarcerated for two years or more, GIS eligibility is suspended.

The amount of GIS benefits you qualify for depends on your income level and marital status. Your net income (excluding OAS and GIS income) for the previous calendar year is used to determine benefit amounts.

For couples, the combined annual net income is used to calculate their guaranteed income supplement amount.

Guaranteed Income Supplement for 2023

Below are the GIS amounts for individuals receiving a full OAS pension between April and June 2023.

ScenariosMaximum monthly paymentMaximum annual income threshold
If you are a single, widowed, or divorced pensioner$1,032.10$20,952 (individual income)
If your spouse/common-law partner receives the full OAS pension$621.25$27,648 (combined income)
If your spouse/common-law partner does not receive an OAS pension$1,032.10$50,208 (combined income)
If your spouse/common-law partner receives the Allowance$621.25$38,736 (combined income)

The table above shows that for 2023, you are eligible to receive GIS if you are:

  1. A single senior with a total annual income of less than $20,952.
  2. A couple both receiving OAS and with a combined annual income of less than $27,648.
  3. A couple with only one person receiving OAS and a combined annual income of less than $50,208.
  4. A couple with one person receiving the Allowance and a combined annual income less than $38,736.

GIS benefit amounts and income levels are updated every quarter using the Consumer Price Index. For the most updated Service Canada GIS rate calculation, see here.

How to Apply for the GIS

You may have to apply in writing for the GIS. This can happen immediately after you have started receiving the OAS. The application form can be found here.

For subsequent years, once you file an income tax return, your eligibility for GIS will be assessed automatically.

Related: Complete Guide To Retirement Income In Canada.

Allowance Benefit

The Allowance is one of the supplementary monthly benefits available to low-income individuals who are the spouse or common-law partner of someone who is receiving the GIS. It is a non-taxable benefit.

Who is Eligible for the Allowance Benefit?

To qualify for Allowance benefits:

  1. You must be between the ages of 60 and 64;
  2. Your spouse or partner must be receiving the OAS and be eligible for the GIS;
  3. You must be a Canadian resident;
  4. The combined income of the couple must be lower than the maximum amount threshold, i.e. $38,736 for 2023.

The maximum monthly payment payable as Allowance benefits is $1,312.25 for the April to June 2023 period. You will stop receiving Allowance benefits the month after your 65th birthday.

How to Apply for the Allowance Benefit

You must apply in writing if you want to receive the Allowance. You can send in your application starting the month after your 59th birthday.

Related: Understanding the Old Age Security (OAS) Pension.

Allowance for the Survivor

This is the third supplemental benefit under the OAS program. It is a non-taxable benefit available to low-income seniors between the ages of 60 and 64 whose spouse or common-law partner has died.

Who is Eligible for the Allowance for the Survivor Benefit?

To qualify for OAS survivor benefits:

  1. You must be between the ages of 60 and 64;
  2. You must be a Canadian resident;
  3. Your annual income must be less than the maximum threshold ($28,224 for 2023);
  4. Your spouse or common-law partner has died, and you have not remarried or entered into another common-law relationship.

The maximum monthly benefit payable under the Allowance for the Survivor benefit is $1,564.30 for the April to June 2023 period. Allowance for the Survivor benefits stops the month after you turn 65, at which time you may qualify for the OAS and/or GIS benefits.

How to Apply for the Allowance for the Survivor Benefit

You must apply in writing to receive the Allowance for the Survivor benefit. You can send in your application the month after your 59th birthday. Your eligibility for the benefit in subsequent years is assessed automatically based on your income tax return.


In some cases, your income for the current year can be estimated to compute how much benefit you will receive. This may result from lower income from a recent retirement, a reduction in pension income, a change in marital status, etc.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility for the Old Age Security benefits, you can contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914. You can also download general application forms for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance, and Allowance for the Survivor here.

Guaranteed Income Supplement FAQ

What is the maximum income to qualify for GIS?

You can qualify for GIS benefits as a single senior if your income is less than $20,952 per year. Couples can also qualify for GIS with income ranging from $27,648 to $50,208, depending on whether their spouse qualifies for an OAS pension.

What is the maximum monthly GIS amount per month?

The maximum monthly GIS amount is $1,032.10 for the April to June 2023 payment period.

Does CPP affect GIS benefits?

Yes, the income you receive from the Canada Pension Plan can put you over the maximum threshold for GIS benefits and result in OAS clawbacks.

What is the maximum OAS amount in 2023?

The maximum OAS benefit in 2023 is $691.00 for seniors aged 65 to 74 and $760.10 for seniors aged 75 and older. When your annual income exceeds $129,757 (age 65 to 74) or $129,757 (age 75 and older), OAS benefits go to $0.

Can I get GIS if I have an RRSP?

You can receive GIS benefits even if you have a hefty RRSP balance by lowering your RRSP withdrawals and keeping your income below the GIS income threshold. Note that there are mandatory withdrawals from an RRIF starting at age 71, which may put your income above this threshold and result in OAS/GIS clawback.

Can I delay CPP and get GIS?

You can delay your CPP benefits until age 70 and collect GIS if you are eligible. Here are some reasons to delay CPP.

Also Read:

Have questions about the Guaranteed Income Supplement? Leave them in the comments.

Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor. Learn about all you need to know about these retirement benefits, eligibility requirements, and how much income you can expect to receive. #GIS #OAS #pension #benefits #retirement #financialplanning #personalfinance
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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

97 thoughts on “Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance, and Allowance for the Survivor (2023)”

  1. Gravatar for brendawilliams

    We both applied for guarenteed income and we have not got anything back to say if we are getting it or long does it take to process applications? We applied April 12th 2017.please reply back.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      Hi Brenda,
      Five months is a very long time to wait for your application to go through. I would expect it to have been processed well before now. I suggest you call Service Canada on their toll-free number 1-800-277-9914 and ask them what’s going on.

      • Gravatar for Brenda

        I applied for the allowance in October 2018 and have still not heard if I will be receiving it. I called twice in December and February and was told they received my application but it had not been processed. I was told to call back in May. I have tried for two days sporadically throughout the day from 8:30- 4:00 and receive a message indicating that all line are busy?? Is there no other way to contact them. I feel defeated.

        • Gravatar for Yvette Séguin

          I have applied in December for the Allowance called twice second person talk to said said she would send a note to department because I should have had answer by now so she did and received news within a week. So person you talk to should send message to department that do the process.
          Good luck!

        • Gravatar for Randy Maracle

          I had the same problem in 2017. I strongly suggest that you contact your member of MP. I finally had to contact Murray Rankin for Victoria, who had my application finalized in 2 weeks. Good luck.

        • Gravatar for MErcey Mercado

          My mom was not getting a response after I submitted her application in March 2017. After 3 months I sent a follow up letter- nothing happened. After 6 months I started calling and different agents kept saying they would elevate the application – I called every week for 2 months and they were saying the same thing – nothing happened. Got fed up – sent a letter (detailing each call, the date and the person I talked to ) to our MP and at the same time furnished a copy of this same letter to the office of Minister of Families, Children and Social Development) – after a week or so I got a call from one of the minister’s staff saying the money should be in my mom’s account the following week!

        • Gravatar for Jeff Otto

          contact your mp that is why they have a job.

          • Gravatar for Jannet lane

            I had it done by the income tax place, as soon as I started getting my CPP I was now entitled to receiving the allowance. My husband and I are 10 years apart so when he turned 65 and started receiving his OAS, I was only 55. Had to wait until I turned 60 to apply early for my CPP and once I started getting my pension I was now allowed to receive the allowance. Had we not got our taxes done by the income tax people I would have never knew because it is up ourselves to apply for it.

  2. Gravatar for brendawilliams

    We applied for guarenteed income.we haven’t received anything saying if we are getting it or long does it take to approve it or when we will know what’s going on please let me know.we applied April 12 th 2017.

  3. Gravatar for mary barkhouse

    Thanks. .question so the $17,000 plus i see is excluding OAS and GIS. .does that mean the GIS IS CALCULATED on just the CPP received plus some allowed income from another source such as a provincial program for caring for a disabled family member (nova Scotia ???

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Mary: Yes, the $17,784 net income excludes GIS and OAS income received during the previous year. Other pension like CPP, etc. would be included. I do not know much about the Nova Scotia Caregiver Benefit, but suspect that it would count towards your net income. Please ask the relevant provincial body in charge to ensure you get accurate information.

  4. Gravatar for Franco Vivona

    Can anybody refer me to the legislation ( laws and regulations) regarding Old Age Security, particularly in what concerns the calculation of the GIS and the spouse’s allowances? The usual documentation made available to the public by Internet is too general and totally useless.

    For reasons which I fail to understand, both my wife and I have received GIS and Allowance payments which do not correspond to our combined income according to the calculation Tables they provide by Internet.

    It appears that the Minister of OAS have not used my taxable income shown on the official Notice of Assessment of Revenue Canada , as I expected, but a considerably higher income which, unlike Revenue Canada, ignores a $ 8000 deduction for previous years ‘s capital losses.
    OAS told me phone that, for G.I.S./Allowance purposes they calculate the income differently (!?). I intend to formally appeal their decision and eventually go before the Old Age Security Tribunal, if necessary.
    In order to prepare my case, I looked at the Pension Act, the Income Tax Act, the Income Tax Regulations and the Old Age Security Act, but I was unable to find any provisions to the effect that for OAS purposes the income should not be the same as the one within the purview of the Income Tax Act.
    Are there any other laws and regulations I should look into?

    Franco Vivona

  5. Gravatar for Mario Mo.

    Hi, I am Canadian 73 years old, 3 months ago I have applied for OAS but they rejected my application for not providing my Citzenship ID that had lost it years ago and not applied for replacement so far! But the questions are:
    1. When I applied I provided my Canadian passport & Social Insurance ID,
    2. What the law says and what documents should I provide them?
    3. After 2 months they called me & said “application kept pending & when got replacement of the Citizenship ID, then apply again!!?” and its really redicules!
    4. As you know who ever hold Canadian passport it means the person already hold citizenship ID and the passport normally issued based on that ID.

    I am really disappointed with this issue and I don’t know what to do at my present miserable life I am experiencing now & almost homeless unfortunately. Anyway hope some one concern and advise what should I do? Kindly get back to me at: [email protected], thanks.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      Hi Mario: Unfortunately, I do not know how the process works with eligibility for the OAS and citizenship card. I would suggest you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to clarify what the next steps are. I’m sorry you had to go through this and hope you get some answers fast!


      • Gravatar for Judy Mccaffrey

        Does welfare claw back the allowance for the survivor?

        • Gravatar for She Rah

          To my knowledge, yes, they do, as does ODSP (if you reside in Ontario).

          If your allowance is equal to or more than your welfare or ODSP, your benefits will cease.

          As far as medical benefits provided through social services, you may still be eligible if you meet certain requirements, i.e. your currently covered monthly medical costs exceed the difference between the benefit and the allowance.

          • Gravatar for John W Austin

            In Newfoundland and Labrador, you are eligible for the Prescriptoon Drug Program as soon as your GIS is approved

        • Gravatar for Jeff Otto

          yes, they do, this is why these benefits need to be tax-free for anyone making less than $ 30.000 per year. An MP such as miss May of the Green party or any other mp gets a full index pension for serving 3 terms, If we ttried this we go to jail.

          • Gravatar for John W Austin

            If you are a Canadian Citizen, you can run for elected Office. Some actual knowledge, skills and popular support would be an asset.

      • Gravatar for Mario Mo

        Hi & thanks, would you please advise what is the formula! or how they calculate the GIS & what is the minimum might be, thanks.

        • Gravatar for Joyce Moore

          I am a 78 year old recently widowed 3/2019. I only have CPP benefits 7300.00. Other Pension income 4223. I have small investment interest income 395. for year 2018 which will all cease in 2019. How much GIS am I entitled to? Thank you

    • Gravatar for Shah

      Do you have a landing paper from when you landed in Canada as a Permanent Resident ( Landed Immigrant ).

      Maybe the will accept that.

  6. Gravatar for Kenn

    IS THE GIS a monthly benefit or yearly benefit ? if it is a yearly benefit it is hardly a benefit at all…Is it added to your c.p.p? so say your c.p.p. paid you 6000 a year…you go to the income tables and it says you get 1100 total OAS/GIS at this income….but it says its a monthly payment not an annual payment so is the 1100 added to your 500 a month c.p.p.?

    • Gravatar for Kate

      GIS, OAS, and CPP are all monthly benefits.

    • Gravatar for John W Austin

      Obviously, it is a monthly benefit. Depending on your other income and province of residence there are additional tax benefits that may come to you. GST Credit, Canada Workers Benefit are two of them.

  7. Gravatar for Jagdish Singh

    Sir we are Indian H/W 71,72 years old ,we are PR from June 2013, in Canada Ontario, We have no work, and sponsor my son,Plz let me know that we are eligible any financially benefit from govt. of Canada or Ontario??guide us, Thanks.

    • Gravatar for kENN

      NO….you do not qualify for any benefit. You must contribute through taxation for 64 years before you get OLD AGE pensions. You must live in Canada for 40 years after your 18th birthday. At your age you will have to work, many older Canadians that did not work when they are younger now must go back to work, UNLESS THEY HAVE NOTHING AND NO DEBTS, then they can apply for welfare…it is only 750.00 a month, that is all available to you. check with YOUR PROVINCIAL WELFARE OFFICE. Your son will have to look after you. He must be working,he must pay taxes…if he tries to not pay taxes…he will receive no benefits when he is older. Benefits are based on contributions to the government they are not just free handouts.

      • Gravatar for Kate

        That’s not true, Kenn. They will get no OAS or CPP but they might qualify for GIS (and if they do qualify it may be supplemented to some degree because they don’t qualify for OAS).

        Also, no one has to contribute through taxes for 64 years before getting old age pension! Nor does anyone have to live in Canada for 40 years after their 18th birthday in order to qualify for some sort of old age pension.

        • Gravatar for Roger

          You can qualify for partial OAS if you live in Canada for at least ten years. At least 40 years qualifies for maximum OAS.

      • Gravatar for John W Austin

        Patently false. This post might even be tiptoeing close to something we call racism. If you has said that you were Norwegians, his response would have been different. After Donald Trump stated that he thought Norwegians would make ‘the best immigrants, I looked at the US Immigration statistics published on the US Gov web site. Pitifully few Norwegians seem to find the US attractive.

    • Gravatar for Kate

      Canada has a social security agreement with India to provide pensions for people from India who are now residents of Canada. You will have to go to a Service Canada office where you live to discuss your options.

    • Gravatar for Shah

      To the best of my knowledge from June 2023 when you complete 10 years in Canada you will be eligible for OAS & GIS.

      Bef that on compassionate grounds you might get some GIS or Welfare, but usually you won get it ad you son sponsored you, so technically he has to take care of you.

    • Gravatar for Murali

      Sir, You are are eligible for your OAS plus GIS from June 2023. All you have to do is to file your income tax every year whether you work or not in Canada.
      Meanwhile, Keep your self healthy by participating in volunteer activities in your community (Gurudwara) to receive your first pension compassionate Canadian Government.

  8. Gravatar for Kate

    If you are a resident of Canada who originally came from another country, you may be eligible for some Canadian old age pensions IF Canada has a social security agreement with your home country.

    Here is a link listing all the countries that Canada has an agreement with:

    Contact your nearest Service Canada office for more information.

  9. Gravatar for Nick

    Trying to help out my neighbour but literally can’t get in touch with anyone at Service Canada for this so hoping someone here might know or could point me in the right direction. My neighbour would qualify for Guaranteed Income Supplement given her income.

    Her and her husband do not live together and are separated but not divorced. As a result would she qualify for the full amount of GIS as a single individual or would that only be if she is officially divorced? If so, I would like to let her know she needs to move forward on the paperwork to officially file for divorce to maximize her GIS amount and reflect the true nature of her situation.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Nick: I am not sure of the answer to your question. I suspect it would depend on what her official status is as per the government i.e. whether she is divorced or not. Her best bet is to confirm with Service Canada directly. Sorry, I couldn’t be of more help.

      • Gravatar for Nick

        Thanks Enoch!! Would you happen to know the best number to contact? I tried the number tied to the OAS website but it keeps telling me they are busy and to call back later. I’ve tried 5 separate times now.

        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          @Nick: This is the number I see online: “please contact OAS at 1-800-277-9914 (TTY: 1-800-255-4786).” Note that it is generally difficult to reach Service Canada by phone.

          • Gravatar for Nick

            Thanks Enoch! Really appreciate your guidance. Is there an alternative way to contact Service Canada that would be more effective?

    • Gravatar for Denise Womacks

      I don’t see why she would have to be divorced in order to qualify for any of the benefits offered to low income seniors.
      My sister is receiving all the benefits and she is not legally divorced. Probably just have to prove separate addresses which should be accepted when filling income tax.

  10. Gravatar for Thuy


    My husband will turn 64 in June 2019. I He plans to apply for OAS and GIS in July- August 2019.

    I’m 61 now. I would like to apply for Allowance for people age 60 to 64 .

    Could I apply at the same with my husband or I need to wait until my husband receive approval.

    Could you suggest the best time for me to send my application for the allowance ?

    Thank you.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Thuy: From what I understand, your approval for the Allowance would be contingent on your husband being approved for GIS. So, I would think its best to wait until his application goes through before putting yours in. Cheers.

      • Gravatar for Judy

        If I get GIS how many hours can I work per week without losing my supplement?

        • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

          As indicated above “The amount of GIS benefit you qualify for is dependent on your income level and marital status. Your net income (excluding OAS and GIS income) for the previous calendar year is used to determine benefit amounts.”

          It is difficult to state how many hours you can work per week before you lose the supplement. The numbers in the table above can help guide your financial planning. You can also speak to Service Canada directly or a financial accountant.

          • Gravatar for Brown

            Thank you for this reply. I am also seperated January 7 2020 and was curious if I would receive GIS benefits with my oas in 2021

        • Gravatar for Kate

          For 2019, a recipient of GIS can earn additional income up to $5000 before there is a GIS clawback. The allowable amount of additional earned income allowed before GIS clawback will increase slightly each year (based on inflation, cost of living, etc). Any clawback to GIS payments occurs in the following year from when the income is earned i.e income over $5000 in 2019 will affect GIS payments in 2020.

          • Gravatar for Jax

            My mom applied for retroactive GIS which she had not yet received prior to her death. What will happen to the retroactive

          • Gravatar for Shah

            Hi Kate,

            Do you know if the new higher income before GIS clawback only applies to employment
            income or does it apply to Interest income from banks also?

            Right now whatever bank interest I get 50% is clawed back in GIS.

            I am guessing the 3,500 to 10,000 increase is only for employment income and not bank interest income. Am I correct?


            Changes to GIS clawbacks. There is some good news for GIS recipients starting in July 2020. Currently, GIS recipients can earn up to $3500 of employment income without affecting their GIS pension. However, if they earn more, the GIS is reduced by 50% of the excess earnings. That’s a steep clawback.

            Beginning with the July 2020 to June 2021 benefit year, which are based on income earned in 2019, GIS recipients can earn up to $5,000 from employment or self-employment before their GIS is reduced. In addition, 50% of the next $10,000 of employment or self-employment income will also be exempt.

            These changes would allow working seniors to earn up to $10,000 more in 2019 while still receiving benefits under the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

          • Gravatar for John W Austin

            For 2019, the exempt income is $3,500 of employment income (not self-employment, so no gig-economy jobs). In 2020 it changes to $5,000 and extends to self-employed income.

      • Gravatar for John W Austin

        Apply as soon as your husband does. They can repay missed payments but are limited to 11 months prior to the date of your application. That 11 month sate is from your date of application and the retoactive payments accumulate from that date.

  11. Gravatar for Delphine Koster

    Hi , I am a 67 year old woman , widowed. I have applied for Gis and was accepted and the letter indicated that the payments would start in July. I have received a large payment this month ( end of March/19) and was wondering what this large payment has included . I don’t want a claw back in the future when I have a very low income . Could you inform me of what this extra money included with my oas came from.
    Thanks ahead of time.

    • Gravatar for Katie

      You will have to contact Service Canada with your question 1-800-277-9914

  12. Gravatar for Maria

    Hello, Enoch,

    I am a 63 year old single woman. Do I understand correctly that spouses of those that have OAS and GIS are permitted an Allowance and those of us that do not have spouses are not? This does not seem to make sense, or, am I missing something?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @ Maria: That is how I understand it too. For better clarification, it is best to contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

    • Gravatar for Diane

      Hi Maria, I agree, this does not make sense, I am 62, separated, and am now NOT eligible for the Allowance, however, if I was still married and my husband was getting OAS, CPP and GIS, then I WOULD be eligible for the Allowance. It should be the other way around!
      I feel if you are single, separated or divorced you should still qualify for the Allowance as long as you meet the Canadian residency status, age and income threshold. I plan to contact my MP and the government about this. This is discrimination based on marital status.

      • Gravatar for Kate

        I agree! As a single woman who raised a family alone on just my income, it really stings to watch my girlfriends, all married with decades of double incomes, start getting money from the government as early as age 60 while I have to continue working until age 65 (and still only one income). What a rotten deal! Just for being single!!!

        • Gravatar for Kate

          I meant to say “and I have to wait until age 65”

  13. Gravatar for Gail

    my mother receives an LRI benefit survivor annuity from my fathers estate does she have to declare this on her Guarenteed Income Supplement form.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Gail: Sorry, I am not familiar with how this works.

    • Gravatar for John W Austin

      The instructions specifically exclude assistance from family members AND inheritences. An annuity from an estate would be in a Trust and pays tax at the highest rate out of the Trust.If you inherit a large sum and invest it, you would report income generated by the investment.You do not report the prinicipal but would report taxable capital gains.

  14. Gravatar for Sharon Clarke

    I am a widow since Jan 2016. I retired in Junec2016. My TAXABLE income for 2018 was only $15,084. Should I be receiving the Income supplement? I turn 64 in July 2019.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Sharon: The GIS kicks in if you are eligible when you start collecting OAS at age 65. You should make inquiries through Service Canada (1-800-277-9914) if you are eligible for the Allowance for the Survivor Benefit.

      • Gravatar for S Sm

        You mention in your blog that those eligible for the allowance for the survivor are aged 60-64. I know of one woman who is 82 and collects it. The federal government this year enacted changes to the GIS, among the changes are self-employment income is now eligible. And the first $3,500 of earned income is exempt from the GIS eligibility calculation.

  15. Gravatar for Gerry Berndt

    Why were there cuts to the CPP in 2006 to 2016 most people aged 50 at the time took a 36% reduction in that ten years and now slowly getting in back if they wait till 65 to receive cpp. I had a statement from my employer back in the eighties showing if i stayed working till age 60 my cpp benefit would be 1060.00 per month so our government cut cpp back 36% from 2006 to 2016 making my ccp at age 60 to under 700.00 per month if the cut did not happen i should be receiving about 1400.00 per month so what stopping the government from ever doing this once again.

  16. Gravatar for Patricia Mevold

    THIS IS DISGUSTING. GIS HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM…GET THIS…if your income (married) combined is too high, or if you are single, separated, divorced, widowed or living apart. THAT MEANS EVERYBODY !!!!. Taking from Canadians to fill the pot for others JUSTIN ? I am a widow that is struggling in this economy and you take $607.46 away from my budget ? May you never, never get a place of power again. Canadians unite, we are paying for JUSTINS SINS

    • Gravatar for Kate

      Eligibility for GIS has always been based on income. It is intended for seniors with very low incomes, and any single person/married couple who makes over a certain amount will have their GIS reduced accordingly (or will not be eligible for GIS at all). GIS has not decreased under Trudeau (nor has he changed the system in any way), it is indexed to inflation and has only gone up. Perhaps it is some other form of income, personal finance, pension, etc, that has changed for you?

  17. Gravatar for Dts husband and I are both canadian citizens, receiving OLd Age Pension and the GST/HSTC and the GIS.
    We want to retire in another country now. We have been here since 1988.
    What should we do to report these information?
    Or can you help me?
    I read your blog always.

    Thank you.

  18. Gravatar for Doreen Gee

    Dear Enoch:

    I find the whole income exemption issue around the GIS to be absolutely confusing. What does the $3500 income exemption refer to when any income over $24 reduces the GIS by a small amount — $1 for each $24 earned. Does the $3500 income exemption only refer to the level of earnings when 50 cents is taken off for every dollar? By the way, when is 50 cents taken off for every dollar?

    Service Canada also talks of $3500 being the level at which the GIS is clawed back.What does that mean? Does it mean that the senior stops getting the GIS altogether? What is so confusing is that the GIS is also clawed back when a person makes even $24! It is only $1 but it is still a clawback.

    Then there is the initial $3500 income deduction when a person applies for GIS!

    My God, are the feds deliberately confusing seniors – hoping that we will not know what hit us!

    Could you please devote one of your articles to explaining the complexities of income exemptions with the GIS? Thank you.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Doreen: Thanks for your comment. To be honest, I do not fully understand how the clawback works myself. I will look into it more and if I can get my head around the government’s legalese, I will definitely devote a post to it soon.

      I found these posts online and wonder if they help clarify your question a bit?


    • Gravatar for Lynn

      Hi Doreen,

      The $3500 exemption is only for employment income for seniors who work part-time to supplement the pension. But the federal government has now increased that to $5,000. What that means is if you work, $5,000 of earned income will not reduce your GIS at all and anything over that will reduce it by around 50 cents on the dollar. Any other taxable income will reduce it from the first dollar except for OAS.

  19. Gravatar for Shelley m

    Dear Enoch:

    My mom is 66 (single & divorced) and her 2017 income was $11,455 and she received GIS $383 + OAS = $984/month.

    Her marital status did not change and her 2018 income was $11,813 (an increase of $358/year) and they reduced her GIS to $274/month.

    Does it sound logical from your knowledge that her annual income increased $358/year so they decreased her GIS $1,308/year ($383-$274=$109*12=$1,308)? Does the GIS fluctuate that much year to year?

    Thanks for any information you can provide me.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Shelley: No, this sounds like a big cut. I would suggest that she reach out to OAS to get an explanation for the decrease in benefits.

  20. Gravatar for john

    hi Enoch Omololu; I’d like to see your response to this question asked above, but not seeing your response, as my question is pretty much identical.
    With thanks!

    Franco Vivona on March 6, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Can anybody refer me to the legislation ( laws and regulations) regarding Old Age Security, particularly in what concerns the calculation of the GIS and the spouse’s allowances? The usual documentation made available to the public by Internet is too general and totally useless.

    For reasons which I fail to understand, both my wife and I have received GIS and Allowance payments which do not correspond to our combined income according to the calculation Tables they provide by Internet.

    It appears that the Minister of OAS have not used my taxable income shown on the official Notice of Assessment of Revenue Canada , as I expected, but a considerably higher income which, unlike Revenue Canada, ignores a $ 8000 deduction for previous years ‘s capital losses.
    OAS told me phone that, for G.I.S./Allowance purposes they calculate the income differently (!?). I intend to formally appeal their decision and eventually go before the Old Age Security Tribunal, if necessary.
    In order to prepare my case, I looked at the Pension Act, the Income Tax Act, the Income Tax Regulations and the Old Age Security Act, but I was unable to find any provisions to the effect that for OAS purposes the income should not be the same as the one within the purview of the Income Tax Act.
    Are there any other laws and regulations I should look into?

    Franco Vivona

  21. Gravatar for Brenda Cameron

    I just recently got a legal separation from my husband but still living in the same house with completely separate living quarters until i can afford to get an apartment since it is much cheaper to pay half the mortgage payment each month than it is to pay approx. 1200.00 monthly for an apartment. Can I receive the GIS if i am living in the same house as my ex because of financial reasons?

  22. Gravatar for David Snuder

    In reading the desperation contained in the pleas for help in navigating our Pension System if you are a Senior it deeply upsets me to see how our Government seems determined to punish seniors, to keep them living to the point of near starvation on the amount they dole out. Most have pain good money into the pension pan all their working lives, paying in thousands upon thousands and receive only a tiny bit back each month from our own money they have been using all these years. It is our money, not the governments and seniors deserve to have it returned in a livable amount each month. I had no idea our government was so pitiless on the senior population living at or below the poverty level, and IF by chance they get a few extra bucks,,they risk having it grabbed back and are in danger of having their pittance pulled permanently. BAD indeed

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @David: I totally agree that many of the benefits processes could benefit from simplification and easier access.

  23. Gravatar for Mario Mo.

    Hi, I am Canadian citizen benefiting from CPP, OAS & GIS based on single applicant in Canada. Frankly to say I have married legally out of the country with someone who is not Canadian & I am wondering if she can get some benefits! Kindly advise in this regard, thanks.
    Mario Mo.

  24. Gravatar for Norman and wendy stapley

    My wife and i applied for Oas and gis benefits My wife applied for spouse allonance i got oas $613 00 2 times now service Canada send a letter they want me to send them $1100 00 before they will give me gis and my wife spouse allonance i didn’t think we have to pay them $1100 00 before they will give me gis and my wife spouse allonance someone needs to shake There head

    • Gravatar for John W Austin

      That sounds fishy. You need to make sure that the letter is really from the Government of Canada. It sounds like an “Advance Fee Fraud”. If they are asking you for payment in any form other than a payment through a Canadian Chartered Bank, you should ignore it. If they are asking for an untraceable payment such as a prepaid credit card or any plastic card that you would then send someone a numeric code it certainly is a scam.

      Talk to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: or your Member of Parliament.

  25. Gravatar for James

    My wife applied and received OAS, CCP and GIS at the age 65 when she applied she was told that her husband “ME” could apply for Allowance for people aged 60 to 64. I did, and received the Allowance for people aged 60 to 64. My question is, I’m also on long term disability with an insurance company, Do I need to call them and tell them about this Allowance for people aged 60 to 64? and will it be deducted from my long term disability?

  26. Gravatar for Ronald Bartholomeusz

    I am over 65 years receiving cpp and OAS my question is will my WSIB benefits add to the cpp in calculating my GIS please advice as I live outside Canada just wondering if its worth coming back and living the 6 months to qualify for GIS

  27. Gravatar for joe Maciocia

    HI im a male 77 years old on c.p.p. and o.a.s , my wife of 62 lost her job do to covid , she thinkin of apply for her c.p.p. canada pension, this is my question ,presently she is on E.I., no other income ,do we qualifyfor gis supplement ? thanks.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Joe: Your eligibility for the GIS would depend on your net income. She wouldn’t qualify for OAS/GIS yet until age 65, however, if you already receive GIS, then she may qualify for the Allowance benefit.

  28. Gravatar for Annabella VNIWC Mohammed

    Why did my GIS taken away due to receiving CERB for Covid assistance this has caused me to be in a very difficult position my rent is 1250 per month and now my pension is 981. how am I going to live the government should have not offered this assistance to seniors who worked a very little part time to live and now i am on the street my monthly pension can not pay my rent bills or food where can i get some kind of assistance due to the this.


    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Anna: It is best to contact GIS directly using the phone number provided so you can get accurate details about your payment amount and any discrepancies you are seeing.

  29. Gravatar for Marla

    Hello Mr. Omololu,

    I receive OAS calculated on 17 years(at the date of application,when I turened 65)as permanent resident.

    My husband(Canadian,born and never lived outside Canada)receives the full OAS and is elligible for the GIS.We have no other income.

    My question : How much GIS am I elligible to and how much as a couple will we receive?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Marla: Based on the second-quarter figures for 2022, the maximum GIS payment is $583.20/month if your spouse qualifies for the full OAS pension and your combined income is $25,968 or less (based on 2021 income).

  30. Gravatar for Greg MacDonald

    Help…My wife and I just received a notice that we can both apply for the GIS. We both receive OAS and CPP, but not the full amounts. I was told once that if my wife applied for the GIS, my CPP would be reduced. Is there any truth to that or would they be affected in any way?…..Thanks

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Greg: Your CPP is not dependent on GIS, but your GIS eligibility could be impacted by your CPP payments.

  31. Gravatar for jdornski

    What line number on my tax return is used to calculate my income for GIS purposes?

  32. Gravatar for Ruth

    Has anyone else not gotten their gis for July, 2022. I received gis clawback in April.

  33. Gravatar for Art

    I’m on odsp, I was expecting to receive gis,oap, and a small cpp of about 260 a month,they have agreed to oap and cpp but sent me a form for cpp disability which I don’t think I qualify for my question is do I still have to fill it out,I just had a second open heart surgery, valve replacement in 8 years haven worked in more than 10 years or contributed more than 25 years, also if I get about 260 a month on cpp how much will gis take from my cpp

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

      @Art: I think it is best to give CPP a call to clarify which one you should be applying for.

  34. Gravatar for Shelly0

    Hi Enoch, my husband recently passed away. He was drawing CPP & OAS which have both been discontinued/lost. I am 63 and on CPP-D. In case I have missed available benefits…Do you happen to have information on whether I qualify to apply for the OAS “Allowance”?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

      @Shelly: You could qualify for the OAS Allowance for the Survivor Benefit if you meet the income threshold, which is currently $28,080 for 2023. Best to contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to check your options.

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