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Government of Canada Seniors' Benefits

Province: CA

What Pensions Are Available For Seniors in Canada?

While some benefits are available to all seniors based on age, others are specifically for seniors with a low income. Financial assistance for seniors with a low income may involve an application like GIS or, may be automatic based on your tax return and/or other submitted and approved applications.

OAS - Old Age Security - must be 65 and a Canadian Resident for a minimum of 10 years - must apply

GIS - Guaranteed Income Supplement - for those getting no other income besides OAS - supplement is based on income and marital status - must apply

Allowance - for those between 60 and 64 - spouse must get OAS and be eligible for GIS - must apply

Allowance for Survivor - for those between 60 and 64 - deceased spouse, little or no income - must apply

For info on OAS call 1-800-277-9914 or visit

CPP - Canada Pension Plan - for those who have worked and paid into the plan

QPP - similiar to CPP but for those in Quebec  - contact 1-800-463-5185 or for information

CPP does have provisions for child rearing, surviving spouses and those who are divorced or separated. An application form must be completed before benefits can be obtained. CPP payments can begin as early as 60 but the later you wait to apply, the greater the benefit. Applications should be submitted at least 6 months in advance of when you want to receive benefits. For more information call 1-800-277-9914 or visit

Provincial Benefits - for those eligible for GIS, you may also wish to investigate benefits available through your home province for low income seniors. Contact 1-800-622-6232 to find out who to contact.

 To find out what you might be eligible for visit




Esther Goldstein, B.Sc., B.S.W., RSW


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