An Overview of Provincial Government Benefits for Seniors

Previously, I wrote about federal government retirement benefits available to seniors in Canada. In this follow-up article, I summarize the provincial retirement benefits (income) that seniors have access to on top of the federal programs like the Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), Allowance, Allowance for the Survivor, and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

If you are interested in the federal retirement benefits available to seniors, check out the article here.

Provincial/Territorial Retirement Benefits for Seniors

Provinces and territories in Canada have programs in place to provide additional income to low-income seniors who may or may not be receiving OAS/GIS benefits. Some of these programs and available benefits include:

Manitoba

55 Plus Program

This program is also known as Manitoba Income Supplement, provides quarterly benefits to eligible low-income individuals who are 55 years of age or older. The current maximum quarterly benefits are $161.80 (single individual) and $347.80 (couples).

The Manitoba 55 PLUS benefit year runs from April 1 to March 31 and benefits are mailed four times a year in April, July, October and January.

For more information on Manitoba’s 55 Plus program, call them at 204-945-2197 or 1-877-587-6224, or by email at [email protected].

British Columbia

Senior’s Supplement Program

This is a monthly benefit paid to low-income seniors who are recipients of OAS/GIS, or who receive an Allowance. The amount received is based on how much you already get in federal benefits. Currently, you could get up to a maximum of $49.30 (single senior), $120.50 (couples), or $49.83 (spouse receiving an Allowance).

If you need more information regarding British Columbia’s Senior Supplement Program, contact them at 1-866-866-0800 or email at [email protected].

Alberta

Seniors Benefit Program

This is a monthly benefit paid to low-income seniors in order to supplement their OAS/GIS pension. Currently, single seniors with a total annual income of $28,785 or less, and couples who have a combined annual income of $46,745 or less are eligible for the benefit.

A single senior can qualify for up to a maximum amount of $11,771 per year and for a senior couple, it is up to a maximum of $15,202.

For more information on Alberta’s Seniors Benefit program, contact them at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992.

Saskatchewan

Seniors Income Plan (SIP)

This is a monthly benefit paid to seniors whose annual income is below the specified threshold. The current maximum benefit per month is $270.

For more information on Saskatchewan’s Seniors Income Plan, call them at 306-787-2681 or 1-800-667-7161.

Ontario

Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

This is a monthly benefit for low-income seniors. The amount is updated every quarter to account for inflation and the current maximum monthly payment is $83.

For more details on Ontario’s GAINS program, call 1-800-277-9914.

New Brunswick

Low-Income Seniors Benefit

This is an annual benefit paid to eligible low-income seniors. Currently, the benefit is $400 per year. Senior couples who live together and who both receive the GIS, are eligible for only one $400 benefit.

For more information on New Brunswick’s Low-Income Seniors Benefit, call 1-800-277-9914 (English) or 1-800-277-9915 (French).

Newfoundland and Labrador

Seniors’ Benefit

This benefit is paid to low-income seniors. The maximum annual benefit is $1,313, and the recipient must be 65 years old in the year they start receiving the benefit.

For more details on NL’s Seniors’ benefit, call 709-729-3166 or email them at [email protected].nl.ca.

Nova Scotia

Caregiver’s Benefit

Eligible caregivers of low-income seniors who have a high level of disability or impairment, as determined by a Home Care assessment, can receive $400 per month. Here’s more information about the program.

Seniors who are at least 65 years old can also benefit from the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program.

Nunavut

Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit (SCSB)

This is a monthly benefit paid to low-income seniors in Nunavut who are 60 years of age or older and receive the GIS or Allowance. The current monthly payment is $175.

For more information on Nunavut’s SCSB program, contact them here.

Northwest Territories

Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit (SCSB)

This is a monthly benefit to low-income seniors who receive GIS benefits. The current monthly benefit is $196 per month.

For more information on NWT’s SCSB program, call 867-767-9355.

Yukon

Seniors Income Supplement

This is a monthly benefit to low-income seniors who receive OAS/GIS benefits and are 65 years of age or older. The current maximum monthly benefit is $253.25 per month.

For more info on Yukon’s Seniors Income Supplement program, call 867-667-5674 or 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5674.

Related Posts:

Employment and Income Assistance

In addition to the different seniors’ benefits provided by Canadian provinces and territories, there are also provisions to assist seniors who have no other source of income, are unable to pay for basic necessities, and who may not be eligible for government retirement benefits such as OAS/GIS.

Depending on the province/territory, these benefits may be referred to using different names such as Income Assistance, Hardship Assistance, Social Assistance, etc.

Other benefits that are available to seniors include discounted bus pass programs, GST/HST credits, housing programs, and more. To search for health and income programs available across Canada, use the Benefits Finder located at CanadaBenefits.gc.ca.

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Enoch Omololu

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 has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

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.

21 thoughts on “An Overview of Provincial Government Benefits for Seniors”

  1. Hi Enoch,
    I’ve recently discovered your Blog and find it well tailored to Canadians. I would have enjoyed reading on Quebec’s services for seniors. Will you cover it in a future part II?
    Cordially,
    Anne

    Reply
  2. These steps have been on my mind since my parents both recently retired. What’s been interesting is that since they retired we have been talking about money more openly. It’s somehow been less taboo to talk about since they stopped working.

    Reply
    • @Curious Frugal: Interesting observation. I wonder what makes money-topics less of a taboo now that they have left the workforce. However, I think my parents were the same. In my case, I assumed it was because they felt I had a good grasp about the concept of money and the days of me being “naive and flippant” about finances were far behind.

      Reply
  3. I currently am 66 and get a gis with my cpp. What is gains.
    I’m having trouble making ends meet As a home owner
    Are there programs that I could be utilizing?

    Reply
    • @Christine: The provincial benefits specific to seniors in Nova Scotia are not apparent when I view the applicable govt. sites online which is why I haven’t listed any.

      A few rebates that may be of interest are Nova Scotia Seniors’ Pharmacare program and the Property Tax Rebate for Seniors.

      Reply
  4. Mr. Omololu,

    Thank you for your blog. I find your work to be a very useful resource in planning for my own low-income retirement in Canada (choosing a province as a domestic migrant).

    Reply
  5. I forgot to ask my question…

    Is it possible that your data is inaccurate or not up to date? I just consulted the website of Nunavut and it claims that the monthly supplement is $175 (not $200). Perhaps *they* are incorrect and haven’t updated the Territory government website?

    Reply
  6. Hello Mr.Omulolu

    I really enjoy your information that you provide for low income seniors and the various benefits for people of Canada. As I am 63 years old, I find myself caught between 60 when I retired and 65 when I will be eligible for OAS, GIS and the Newfoundland Seniors Benefit. Due to health issues was more the reason I had to retire, I was told by two doctors not to bother applying for the disability benefit, because I would need a letter from God to get approved. My question is this, why does the Canadian Government not have a bridge benefit to bridge some benefit between ages 60 and 65. My income is $14,855.00 it is very hard to live on this income, I am single, I have a budget for food and bills, but all shopping outside of groceries is non exsistant.

    Reply
    • @Patrick: Glad to hear you have found the information to be useful. Unfortunately, there is not much available between age 60 and 65 that I can think of other than the Survivor’s pension which may not be applicable. It is understandably tough to qualify for disability benefits. That said, you could still try it out if health problems are preventing you from working.

      Reply
  7. Hello, is there a company or individual that can help understand all the available funding for a senior (75 years old)? My mother is a low income senior in Ontario and I’m in Alberta and she does not have the skills to find everything.Appreciate your help. Thx

    Reply
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