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Government support measures for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic

From tax expert Gerry Vittoratos
May 20, 2020

The federal government recently announced new measures to help seniors during the coronavirus pandemic. What are they? Let’s find out.

Increase in Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments

A one-time payment of $300 will be made to seniors who receive the Old Age Security (OAS) pension. This payment will be tax-free.

In addition, a one-time payment of $200 will be made to seniors who are eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This payment will also be tax-free.

The federal government will also temporarily extend GIS and Allowance payments for seniors whose 2019 income information has not been assessed. To avoid delays in payments, seniors must submit their income information through the relevant forms (see below) by October 1, 2020.

Income information form for a first-time GIS applicant:

https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=ISP3025

Income information renewal form for a current GIS recipient:

https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=ISP3026

Reduction of RRIF minimum withdrawal

As mentioned in a previous blog posting, the required minimum withdrawal from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) will be reduced by 25% for 2020.

Temporary increase in GST credit

Also mentioned in that blog posting, a one-time additional payment for the GST credit will be made. The average boost to income for those eligible for the credit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

For more information on these announcements, please consult the following links:

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/12/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-canadian-seniors

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

 

 

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