The federal government will be issuing a one-time, tax-free payment to seniors this week.
The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, made the announcement on Monday morning. The payment will be available to seniors that are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or allowances.
There’s no need to apply, and seniors living in Canada can expect to receive the payment through direct deposit or by cheque this week. Those that live outside of Canada will receive it later this month.
“Many seniors are facing higher costs for food and services due to physical distancing restrictions,” reads a release from Employment and Social Development Canada. “Others are paying more in dispensing fees to get the same medication or paying a premium for deliveries.”
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The payments will range from $300 to $500 and are part of a $2.5 billion investment to help Canadian seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we go through this unprecedented challenge, we are providing a variety of measures that support seniors and ensure they know that we are with them and they are not left behind,” says Schulte.
There are approximately 6.7 million seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension and 2.2 million who are eligible for the GIS, all of whom will benefit from the payment.
Additional measures for seniors include expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.