Canadian seniors across the country are facing significant health, economic, and social challenges due to COVID-19. Physical distancing is weighing heavily on those who are separated from their families and rely on help to get groceries and other essential items. We need to support seniors and to be there for them, as they have been for us.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive their special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6.
Through this measure and others, the government is providing nearly $900 more for single seniors and more than $1,500 for senior couples, on top of their existing benefits, to help these vulnerable Canadians with extra costs during the pandemic.
Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200, for a total of $500. Allowance recipients will also receive $500.
This $2.5 billion in financial support will help Canadian seniors cover increased costs caused by COVID-19, and give them greater financial security in this time of crisis.
Canada’s seniors have done so much for our country, and we need to be there for them during this challenging time. We know that the last few weeks have been difficult for seniors and their families across the country, especially those most vulnerable. That’s why we are continuing to support our seniors during this pandemic, with measures that will protect their health, and ensure their economic and social well-being.”The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Since the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of measures to support seniors, including those most vulnerable. This includes a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit in April, which provided an average of $375 to single seniors and $510 to senior couples, helping over 4 million low- and modest-income seniors.
The government is also investing an additional $20 million in community organizations that offer services to seniors and have reduced minimum withdrawal requirements for all types of registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for the year 2020. In addition, we have taken steps to make sure seniors would continue to receive their GIS benefits if they were unable to submit their 2019 income information on time.
As the economy gradually restarts, the Government of Canada will continue to support all Canadians, including seniors and those most vulnerable, and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.
Seniors do not need to apply for this one-time special payment. The payment will be issued automatically during the week of July 6, and seniors who reside in Canada can expect to receive the payment by direct deposit or cheque that week. For seniors who reside outside Canada, the one-time payment will also be received in July for those on direct deposit, but delays can be expected for cheques, given international postal disruptions.
By: Marites de Jesus, Far West Herald