Retirement is like a never-ending vacation, but only when you have planned it well just as you plan for your regular vacation. To live a comfortable lifestyle after getting retired, you need to start saving money as early as possible. That will help you build wealth for yourself and your family. You can do so by investing your money in various financial instruments, and at the same time, government benefits for seniors in Canada can also help you in achieving that.
There are two types of benefits by the Canadian government you can get, the first one is Federal Benefits and the second is Provincial benefits. The federal benefits include Allowance, Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), etc. For this article, our focus is various provincial retirement benefits for seniors in Canada.
Provincial Benefit Programs for seniors in Canada
In Canada, you need not fret if you are a citizen from the low-income slab, as the territories and provinces of Canada have special programs in place for you, in case you do not receive GIS/OAS (Federal) benefits.
Here are some of the benefits government benefits for seniors in Canada.
British Columbia Seniors Supplement Program
This benefit is passed on monthly for the low-income group eligible for OAS/GIS or have an allowance. The benefits are calculated in consideration of the federal benefits that are already being given to you.
The maximum amount that a citizen could get for this is $99.30 if they are single, and if it’s a couple, they can get $220.5, in which the spouse gets an allowance of $99.83.
To inquire more about this government benefit for seniors in Canada, you can reach them at 1-866-866-08008 or send an email at [email protected].
Manitoba 55 Plus Program
Manitoba 55 Plus program or the Manitoba Income Supplement gives quarterly benefits to qualified individuals with low income. To be eligible, your age should be 55 or older. The maximum benefit that you can yield from those benefits every quarter as a single individual is $161.80 while couples get $347.80.
This benefit is applicable from 1st April to 31st March, these benefits are mailed to you 4 times a year in the months of April, July, October, and January.
If you seek more information on this program, you can contact them at 204-945-2197 or email them at [email protected].
Alberta Seniors Benefit Programs
This is also a monthly benefit that is valid for citizens in the low-income group. This program is supplementary to the OAS/GIS pension program. If you are a senior citizen whose annual income is $29,285 or less, or a couple whose annual income is $47,545 or less, you are qualified to receive this benefit.
The maximum amount that you get from this program as a single is $11,771 annually, and a couple can get a maximum amount of $15,202.
To know more about this program, you can visit their website or call them at 780-644-9992 or 1-877-644-9992.
Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)
This program provides monthly benefits to the seniors who have a low income in Ontario. This amount is updated every quarter to be aligned with inflation. The maximum monthly payment is $83.
To gain more details about this program, contact them at 1-800-277-9914.
Saskatchewan Seniors Income Plan (SIP)
This government benefit for seniors in Canada is calculated monthly for people who have an income below a fixed amount. The maximum benefit that you can take monthly is $300.
If you need more information about this plan, you can contact the officials at 1-800-667-7161 or 306-787-2681.
New Brunswick Low-Income Seniors Benefit
This benefit is paid to people who earn a low income. At present, the maximum benefit is $400 annually. If you are a senior who is living with your spouse, and both of you are eligible for the GIS benefit, you will get only a single benefit of $400.
For queries or other information on this program, you can contact them at 1-800-277-9915 (French)1-800-277-9914 (English).
Nova Scotia Caregiver’s Benefit
This program is for the seniors who have low income along with impairment or a disability or being assisted by a care facility. If so, they receive $400 every month.
Seniors beyond 65 years of age are also eligible for the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program.
Newfoundland and Labrador Senior’ Benefit
Low-income seniors can get up to $1,313 if they are of more than 65 years of age during the year in which they receive this benefit for the first time.
If you want to enquire more about this benefit, you can email at [email protected]. Or contact them at 709-729-3166.
Nunavut Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit (SCSB)
This benefit is delivered monthly for the low-income seniors from Nunavut. It is for individuals whose age is 60 years or older, and they can also receive a GIS allowance. The payment that you can get presently every month stands at $300. Know more about it!
Northwest Territories Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit (SCSB)
This monthly benefit is for seniors who also get GIS benefits. Currently, you can get $196 per month.
To inquire more about this program, contact them at 867-767-9355.
Yukon Seniors Income Supplement
This government benefit for seniors in Canada is calculated monthly for low-income individuals who are also eligible for OAS/GIS benefits of age 65 or beyond. The maximum benefit that you can get monthly is $253.25.
To know more about this program, you can call on 867-667-5674 or on 1800-661-0409 with the extension 5674.
The Bottom Line
Aside from the government benefits for seniors in Canada, the provinces and territories also provide assistance to the seniors who are devoid of any income or employment and are not able to afford the basic necessities. That applies to people who are also not eligible for benefits like OAS and GIS. The names of these programs differ on the basis of different provinces. For example, Social Assistance, Income Assistance, Hardship Assistance, etc.
The Canadian government also provides help to people with other benefits including GST/HST credits, housing programs for first-time home buyers, discounted bus pass programs, etc. The only thing you have to do is research for programs and apply as per your eligibility.
In the meanwhile, you can also save money by implementing strict personal finance habits in places such as setting a budget, not buying things you don’t need, setting automated payment system to apply savings each month, saving money in different financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, GICs, fixed deposit, mutual funds, and more. Have a long-term view of your finances as that is what matters the most when you save for your retirement.