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:
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].
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].
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 $28,150 or less, and couples who have a combined annual income of $45,720 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.
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.
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.
April 2020 Update: The GAINS benefit will be doubled for 6 months and increase to $166 per month for singles and $332 per month for couples.
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
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].
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.
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 $200.
For more information on Nunavut’s SCSB program, contact them here.
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.
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 $258.82 per month.
For more info on Yukon’s Seniors Income Supplement program, call 867-667-5674 or 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5674.
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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.