Government Support For Seniors During COVID-19

May 15, 2020 Erin Kann

The Government of Canada has announced additional measures to help alleviate the financial burden Canadian seniors may be feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.If you’re a senior who is financially impacted by COVID-19, here are some of the resources available to you from the federal government:

One-Time, Tax-Free Payment for Seniors Who Qualify for OAP, GIS

The federal government announced a one-time, tax-free income top-up to help seniors manage unexpected expenses inflicted by COVID-19. In his daily briefing on May 12, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that this one-time payment for seniors is intended to help with immediate unexpected expenses, and more support could be made available to seniors if the impact of the pandemic continues.

Seniors who qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will be eligible to receive a one-time payment of $300, and those who qualify for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will be eligible for an extra $200. Anyone who is eligible for both both will receive $500.

Seniors who are already receiving OAS and GIS do not need to apply. The payments will be applied automatically.

There are currently 6.7 million seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension and 2.2 million who are eligible for the GIS. If you’re not currently registered for OAS and GIS, find out if you’re eligible at

Working Seniors Can Qualify for CERB

On March 15, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) came into effect to support working Canadians, including seniors, who lost income due to COVID-19.

Pension income does not affect your eligibility to the CERB. To qualify, you must have earned at least $5,000 from employment or self-employment in 2019, or over the previous 12 months at the time of applying. However, you do not qualify if you voluntarily quit your job.

Find more information about Canada Emergency Response Benefit here.

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