There are several different benefits available from the Government of Canada and the Ontario government for senior citizens and older adults. Please also visit our Canada Pension Plan (CPP) page.
Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Allowance/Allowance for the Survivor financial benefits for older adults
The Government of Canada may provide several types of financial benefits to people who are aged 60 years or older and who meet residence requirements. The Old Age Security (OAS) program provides a modest monthly pension, often called the Old Age Pension, for people aged 65 years and older. The OAS program includes the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) which provides extra financial benefits for lower income Old Age Pension recipients. The OAS Allowance is a monthly benefit for spouses or partners (aged 60 to 64 years) of low income Old Age pension recipients. The Allowance for the Survivor is a monthly benefit for low-income people aged 60-64 who have been widowed or lost a common law partner, and have not re-married or co-habitated with anyone since.
If you think that you may be eligible for OAS, GIS or an Allowance, you should apply as soon as possible. The application process can take some time so you should apply at least 6 months before you think you will be eligible to start receiving a benefit. If your application is denied, you can request a reconsideration of the decision within 90 days but you should get legal advice right away (see Getting Legal Help below).
You can get more OAS/GIS information from the Government of Canada: toll-free telephone 1-800-277-9914, TTY toll-free 1-800-255-4786, https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions.html.
Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) for Senior Citizens
The Government of Ontario provides the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) supplement, which is a small benefit for low income Ontario senior citizens aged 65 years or older. You do not need to apply for GAINS because your eligibility is assessed automatically when you apply for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (above).
Here is a link to GAINS information on the Government of Ontario website: www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/gains/.
Getting legal help
The law can be very complicated, so if you have a question or problem, we recommend that you get legal advice about your situation:
- People living with HIV in Ontario can contact us for free legal advice.
- You can contact your local community legal clinic to find out about services in your community. You can find your local community legal clinic as well as specialty legal clinics using the Legal Aid Ontario website: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/.