CANADIAN PENSION PLAN (CPP)
CPP Retirement Pension: This is a monthly benefit payable to eligible contributors aged 60 years and older. The amount received depends on the age at which you apply and how many years’ contributions were made.
CPP Survivor Benefits: These payments begin six months after the contributor’s death and are made to the deceased contributor’s estate, spouse or dependent children.
CPP Disability Benefit: This benefit is available to those who have made enough contributions and whose disability prevents them from working.
OLD AGE SECURITY (OAS)
OAS Pension: A monthly benefit for those aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements, an OAS pension is not based on financial or employment status. You must apply to receive benefits.
OAS Widowed Spouse’s Allowance: Based on previous year’s income, this benefit is designed for low-income spouses of deceased OAS recipients.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS): A monthly tax-free benefit for Canadians aged 65 and older who receive the OAS pension, a GIS provides an amount based on previous years’ income and marital status.
Spouse’s Allowance Program: This program offers a monthly tax-free benefit for the spouse of an OAS or GIS recipient between ages 60 and 64. The amount is based on the combined incomes of the OAS recipient and spouse.
Widowed Spouse’s Allowance: This tax-free benefit is for low-income spouses of deceased OAS recipients.
This program may provide retirement, disability or survivor benefits to eligible individuals who have lived or worked in another country, or to the surviving spouses, common-law partners or children of eligible individuals who have lived or worked in another country.
VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA
War Veterans Allowance Program: Providing financial assistance to low-income war veterans, this program’s benefit is based on previous years’ income. The minimum age for males to apply is 60, for females, 55.
Services Disability Pension: This provides benefits to any veteran who has become disabled during service.
People over age 65 who want to continue working may still be eligible for employment insurance.
PROVINCIAL INCOME-SUPPLEMENT PROGRAMS
Several provinces offer top-up programs to provide extra support to low-income seniors. In some cases, the benefits kick in through the tax program and, in others, you have to apply. For example, Manitoba’s 55 Plus Program provides quarterly incomes. Saskatchewan offers a supplement that is not reliant on income and reduces income taxes for all seniors in the province.
HOME REPAIR/HOUSEHOLD HELP PROGRAMS
Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence Program: The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation offers financial assistance for minor home adaptations that will help low-income seniors aged 65 and older perform daily activities in their homes independently and safely. Financial assistance is available in the form of a forgivable loan of up to $3,500.
Several provinces offer help to low-income seniors. Quebec allows for a reduction in the hourly rate charges for domestic help. In Alberta, a doctor’s note allows for monetary support for yard work and housekeeping. To learn more, call your provincial government.
PROPERTY TAX-BREAK PROGRAMS
Several provinces offer grants to help offset property taxes for seniors with low to mid-level incomes who own their own homes. To learn more, you can contact your provincial government.