Alberta Seniors Benefit: What Is It, Who Qualifies, and How to Apply
Several Canadian provinces offer financial assistance programs to supplement Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). In Alberta, eligible seniors can apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit and several other financial assistance benefits.
If you’re not currently collecting the Alberta Seniors Benefit but think you may be eligible, you could be missing out on an important source of additional income.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the Alberta Seniors Benefit, including recent changes, eligibility, how to apply, and how much you can qualify for. I’ll also let you know about some other assistance programs to consider.
What Is the Alberta Seniors Benefit Program?
The Alberta Seniors Benefit provides a monthly payment to eligible seniors to assist them with essential living expenses. The benefit is sponsored by the Government of Alberta and provides a source of non-taxable monthly income. Effective January 2023, the benefit has been increased by 6%, and future increases are now indexed to inflation.
In December 2022, the Government of Alberta passed the Inflation Relief Act, which includes a number of measures designed to make life more affordable. Among the changes are an increase to the Alberts Seniors Benefit.
Specifically, for 2023, benefits will increase by 6%. This means that the new maximum benefit will increase from $286 to $303 for a single senior. The increased benefit will take effect with the January 2023 payment.
Who Is Eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit?
To be eligible to receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit, you must meet the following criteria:
- be 65 years of age or older
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be an Old Age Security (OAS) recipient
- have resided in Alberta for at least three months immediately before applying
- Meet the financial eligibility criteria
You cannot receive financial assistance if you have chosen to defer or delay the receipt of Old Age Security (OAS).
Eligibility for New Alberta Residents
New Alberta residents can be eligible to start receiving benefits on one of the following dates, whichever occurs later:
- The month following three months of your permanent residency in Alberta
- The month of your 65th birthday
How to Apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit
You can apply online for the Alberta Seniors Benefit, by following these steps:
- Head to MyAlberta Digital ID.
- If you have a MyAlberta Digital ID verified account, login to access available services.
- If you don’t have a MyAlberta Digital ID, you can create a free account here. Note that you’ll need to verify your ID using an Alberta Driver’s license or identification card.
- Once you’ve logged in, you can use you MyAlberta Digital ID to apply online for Seniors Financial Assistance Programs.
You can also access the following information on the platform:
- Check your Alberta Seniors Benefit application status, payment history, etc.
- View your Special Needs Assistance for Seniors claims, payment history, program letters, and other documents.
- View and edit your banking details.
- View and change your personal information, i.e. address, residence type, and telephone number.
Completing the Seniors Financial Assistance Online Fillable Form
When you’re ready to apply, the online fillable form allows you to enrol in the following programs: Alberta Seniors Benefit, Special Needs Assistance for Seniors, Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs.
Here’s how to complete the form, in 3 steps:
- Complete the online form. You’ll need to provide your Personal Health Number and Social Insurance Number (and your spouses numbers, if applicable)
- Once you’ve completed the form, you must print, sign, and date the application. If you have a spouse, they will also need to sign.
- Once printed and signed, you can upload your form online. You can also fax or email your application. Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll need to include the following documentation:
- Your completed application
- A date of birth document for you and your spouse (if applicable)
- Power of Attorney/Trustee documentation (if applicable)
How Is My Alberta Seniors Benefit Determined?
As a guideline, a single senior can qualify with an annual income of $29,630 or less. A senior couple with a combined annual income of $48,120 or less may be eligible for benefits. Old Age Security pension benefits must be included in the income for eligible seniors.
Your benefit amount is dependent on the following criteria:
- Your benefit amount
- Whether you receive OAS
- Your accommodation category
- Your marital status
The Alberta Seniors Benefit is income-tested, which means that the amount you receive depends on your income level during the previous tax year. For example, your benefit payment amount in 2023 will be based on your 2022 income (January to December). The higher your income, the lower your benefit amount.
Maximum Annual Benefit – Single Senior
Type of Residence Max. Benefit Amount
Homeowner/Renter/Lodge Resident $3,431
Long-Term Care or Supportive Living $11,771
Other Residence Categories $2,390
Maximum Annual Benefit – Senior Couple
Type of Residence Max. Benefit Amount
Homeowner/Renter/Lodge Resident $5,146
Long-Term Care or Supportive Living $15,202
Other Residence Categories $4,779
Alberta Seniors Benefit Payment Dates for 2023
- January 25, 2023
- February 22, 2023
- March 27, 2023
- April 24, 2023
- May 25, 2023
- June 26, 2023
- July 25, 2023
- August 25, 2023
- September 25, 2023
- October 25, 2023
- November 24, 2023
- December 18, 2023
Other Seniors Financial Assistance Programs
In addition to the Alberta Seniors Benefit, other provincial benefits are designed to cover specific expenses, including appliances, health and personal support, dental and optical services, prescription drugs, ambulance services, home nursing care, and more. Here’s a closer look at the other available programs.
Supplementary Accommodation Benefit
The Supplementary Accommodation benefit is combined with the Alberta Seniors Benefit, providing financial assistance to low-income seniors who qualify. Its purpose is to offset accommodation expenses for seniors who live in a designated supportive living or long-term care facility.
Special Needs Assistance for Seniors
Low-income seniors may qualify for financial assistance to offset the cost of certain appliances and other health and personal supports.
Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors
This benefit allows eligible low-income seniors to qualify for basic dental and optical services.
Coverage for Seniors
Coverage for Seniors provides coverage for prescription drugs, diabetic supplies, ambulance services, home nursing care, chiropractic services, psychological services, and more.
Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
Eligible senior homeowners can defer all or part of their annual residential property taxes with a low-interest home equity loan.
Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program
The Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program helps Alberta seniors offset the cost of home repairs and renovations with a low-interest home equity loan.
Final Thoughts on the Alberta Seniors Benefit
If you want to apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit, make sure you’ve completed an income tax return for 2021, as it is a prerequisite to qualify. Remember, the Alberta Seniors Benefit is only one of many benefits you may be eligible for. Take a look at the others to determine your eligibility. By not applying, you could be leaving valuable benefits on the table.