The federal government has rolled out several benefits to help Canadians cope with the economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 12, 2020, the government announced a new one-time benefit of up to $500 for seniors who are recipients of the OAS and GIS pension benefits. This federal aid is expected to cost $2.5 billion.
COVID-19 OAS and GIS Benefits Boost
Seniors who qualify for Old Age Security benefits will receive a one-time $300 extra payment.
In addition, low-income seniors who qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will get a one-time payment boost of $200.
Individuals who are eligible for both OAS and GIS will receive a total payment of $500 in addition to their regular OAS and GIS payments.
Recipients of the Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor benefits will receive $500.
The $500 payment will not be taxable.
Old Age Security (OAS) Benefits
OAS is a taxable monthly benefit paid to eligible seniors who are at least 65 years old and have lived in Canada since turning 18. You can read more about the OAS pension and eligibility rules.
Seniors can choose to start collecting OAS at the regular age of 65 or they can delay for up to 5 years in exchange for increased benefits.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
The GIS benefit is an additional income-tested benefit under the OAS program.
The maximum monthly GIS benefit for a single senior in the July 2020 to September 2020 quarter is $916.38.To qualify for this amount, your annual income cannot exceed $18,600.
Learn more about the GIS program.
The next regular OAS and GIS payments date is June 26, 2020.
How To Apply for the OAS and GIS One-Time Payment Boost
No application is required to receive the OAS and GIS top-up benefit. Payments will be processed automatically and you can expect to receive the extra payout along with your OAS and GIS benefits in the coming weeks.
When will it be paid out?
The information available from the feds is that you can expect to get paid a one-time tax-free payment during the week of July 6.
Approximately 6.7 million seniors are expected to receive the $300 OAS top-up benefit while 2.2 million will receive the additional $200 GIS benefit for a total of $500.
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In addition, the government will continue to make GIS payments to seniors who haven’t yet filed their 2019 income tax return until October 1, 2020.