English

Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

Region: Ontario Answer # 728

Old Age Security

Old Age Security (OAS)  is a benefit paid monthly to most Canadians aged 65 or older.  The OAS Program is administered by the federal Department of Employment and Social Development Canada through Service Canada.

 

Who can receive Old Age Security ?

Eligibility for OAS benefits depends on the following three factors, and is different depending on whether you live in or outside Canada:

For people living in Canada

  1. You must be 65 years of age or older.
  2. You must live in Canada and be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time your pension application is approved.
  3. You must have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after turning 18.

For people living outside Canada

  1. You must be 65 years of age or older.
  2. You must have been a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada the day before you left Canada.
  3. You must have lived in Canada for at least 20 years after turning 18.

However, if you do not qualify in either of these categories, you may still be eligible for benefits depending on agreements that may exist between Canada and the countries that you have lived in or presently live in. Depending on how long you have lived in Canada after the age of 18, you may receive either a full or partial pension.

 

How to apply

You may or may not need to apply for the Old Age Security pension: The month after you turn 64, Service Canada will send you one of the following:

  • A letter informing you that you were selected for automatic enrolment. In such a case, if the information in the letter is correct, you do not need to apply for OAS. You will automatically start receiving payments the month after you become 65, or
  • A letter that states you may be eligible for OAS, together with an application form. In such a case, you will need to apply for OAS right away. You must complete the form that was sent with the letter, and mail it to Service Canada. It is important that you submit the form right away, so that your application can be processed and you can start receiving payments the month after you become 65.

If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada the month after you turned 64 years of age, you should apply for the OAS pension right away. If you are already 65 years old when you apply, you will not lose any payments because the government will pay you retroactively from the date you turned 65.

There is also the option, however, of deferring (delaying) receipt of your pension for up-to five years. In exchange for delaying receipt of your pension, your pension payments will be increased every month, to a maximum of 36% at age 70. This option may be desirable if you are still working because the OAS is reduced once a person reaches the maximum annual income allowed.

 

When do benefits start?

Once you apply, your pension payments will begin during one of the following months, whichever is latest:

  • the month after you meet the residence and legal status requirements,
  • the month after your 65th birthday, or
  • the month during which you ask to have the payments start.

 

Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit

In addition to regular Old Age Security benefits, there is the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit (GIS). The GIS provides benefits in addition to the OAS pension, to seniors whose income or combined income with their spouse is very low. You only need to apply once for the benefit and will not need to re-apply, as long as you file an income tax return each year. If you do not file an income tax return, or if more information is required by the government, you will be sent a renewal application form in the mail.

To be eligible for the GIS, you must first meet the eligibility requirements for the OAS pension. Also, the combined income of you and your spouse or common-law partner, cannot exceed a specific amount determined by the federal government.

 

Age of eligibility change – starting April 2023

Eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS benefit will, over a six-year period, gradually increase from the age of 65 to 67, and be fully implemented by January 2029. This change affects people born on April 1, 1958 or later.

 

What are Allowance benefits?

If you are the spouse or common-law partner of someone who is receiving the GIS benefit, you may be eligible to receive the Allowance benefit. To qualify:

  • you must be 60 to 64 years old (you can include the month of your 65th birthday),
  • your spouse (or common-law partner) must be receiving the OAS pension, and is eligible for the GIS,
  • you must be a Canadian citizen or resident,
  • you must live in Canada and have done so for at least ten years since the age of 18, and
  • you and your spouse’s (or common-law partner’s) combined income must be less than the maximum amount (set by the government every year).

 

What are Allowance for the Survivor benefits?

If your spouse or common-law partner is deceased, and you have a low income, you may be eligible for Allowance for the Survivor benefits. To qualify:

  • you must be 60 to 64 years old (you can include the month of your 65th birthday),
  • your spouse (or common-law partner) must be deceased, and you have not remarried or entered into a common-law relationship,
  • you must be a Canadian citizen or resident,
  • you must live in Canada and have done so for at least ten years since the age of 18, and
  • your yearly income must be less than the maximum amount (set by the government every year).

The amount of the Allowance benefit or the Allowance for the Survivor benefit you will receive, is determined based on your income or combined income (whichever is applicable), up-to the maximum amount set by the government.

For more information about Old Age Security benefits and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or to access forms online, visit Employment and Social Development Canada at canada.ca.




								

You now have 3 options:

Was your question answered?


Yes    No


What information would you like to see added?


Submit an Edit Request










What are your changes?*

Website by Turnbull & Co.

Top

Page loaded. Thank you