Retirement » Government Benefits

Understanding GIS: What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

Understanding GIS: What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is one of the “supplementary” benefits payable under the Old Age Security (OAS) Act. Other such supplementary benefits include the Allowance and the Allowance for a Survivor; they will be discussed in a future article.

GIS is a monthly non-taxable benefit that is paid to eligible pensioners in addition to the basic monthly Old Age Security Pension amount.

Who is eligible for the GIS?

In order to be eligible for the GIS:

  • You must be receiving the basic OAS.
  • You must be resident in Canada.
  • Your income must be lower than the maximum allowed income level.

What are the maximum allowed income levels?

There are different maximum allowed income levels for the GIS depending on your marital status and whether your spouse is receiving the OAS or the Allowance. The four different marital status rates for GIS are known as:

Table 1: Single, widowed or divorced OAS pensioner.

Table 2: Married or common-law OAS pensioner and spouse is also OAS pensioner.

Table 3: Married or common-law OAS pensioner and spouse is not an OAS pensioner.

Table 4: Married or common-law OAS pensioner and spouse receive the Allowance.

The maximum allowed income levels for these four different rate tables effective Jan 2024 to March 2024 are as follows:

Rate TableMaximum Allowed Income
(combined income if a couple)
Maximum monthly GIS

Note that the government uses a combined annual income for couples. These income levels and maximum GIS amounts change quarterly based on increases in the Consumer Price Index.

Monthly Guaranteed Income Supplement payments are re-calculated each July and are based on your net income in the previous tax year. If your annual net income changes, your GIS payments can increase or decrease. If your income rises beyond the maximum threshold for GIS, you may lose the benefit entirely.

What is considered income for GIS purposes?

Mostly, income for GIS purposes is the same as your net income reported on your Income Tax return (excluding OAS).

A note on the OAS Recovery Tax

While this won’t impact anyone receiving a GIS, there is an income threshold beyond where you will begin to be clawed back some of your monthly OAS benefits. This is known as the OAS recovery tax, and for 2024, it kicks in when your income exceeds $90,997. If your annual income exceeds $148,179, you will lose your entire OAS monthly payment, regardless of age.

Again, this won’t apply to GIS earners, as the maximum income threshold is only $20,951 for a single OAS pensioner.

What year’s income is used for GIS purposes?

Normally, GIS entitlement for any payment year (July through June) is based on income for the previous calendar year. For instance, GIS entitlement for the period of July 2024 through June 2025 is normally based on your income for the 2023 calendar year.

I say “normally” because there is a provision under the GIS where your payment can sometimes be based on your current year’s income instead. This occurs when you have had a loss or reduction in some regularly recurring income (for example, employment earnings, pension income, or Employment Insurance benefits). If this applies to you, contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and ask them to mail you a form for estimating your income for the current year.

How is my GIS payment calculated?

For the most part, your GIS payment is reduced from the maximum payable by 50 cents for every dollar of other income that you have (Note: Due to a couple of GIS “top-ups” that have occurred, there are income ranges where GIS is reduced by 75 cents for every dollar of other income).

The actual amount of GIS is determined using a set of complex rate tables. You can get use this OAS/GIS estimator on the CRA website to find out what your OAS and GIS benefit amounts will be.

How do I apply for GIS?

When you first apply for OAS, a question on the application form asks if you also want to apply for GIS. If you answer “Yes,” you will be mailed a separate application for GIS.

If you were not eligible for GIS when you first applied for OAS but became eligible later, contact Service Canada to request an application for GIS.

Once you are receiving GIS, you renew your benefit automatically each year simply by completing your income tax return.

Can I receive GIS outside of Canada?

As mentioned previously, GIS is payable only if you reside in Canada. Under the OAS Act, residing in Canada means that you “make your home in Canada and normally live in Canada.”

Having said that, GIS is payable for temporary absences from Canada, up to six months in duration.

Are there other reasons why I won’t be eligible for GIS?

Some other reasons why you might not be eligible for GIS include:

  • If you are a sponsored immigrant, GIS is not normally paid during the period of sponsorship.
  • If you are incarcerated in a federal prison for two years or longer, your GIS eligibility will be suspended.

Do both spouses get GIS?

If you have a spouse or common-law partner and you are receiving the GIS supplement, they may be eligible to receive a GIS allowance if the following apply:

  • They are between the ages of 60 and 64
  • They live in Canada
  • Your combined income (annual) is less than the maximum income threshold for the allowance

For January to March 2024, the maximum income threshold for the allowance is $39,984.

Final Thoughts on GIS

GIS is intended for low-income seniors who are receiving the OAS pension. It is not welfare, however, and there should be no stigma attached to receiving GIS. If you are eligible for GIS and aren’t receiving it, apply today!

Indeed, nearly one-third of all OAS recipients in Canada qualify for and receives GIS.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for GIS, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 or check out their website. For information on the Canada Pension Plan, check out this guide to CPP payments.


  1. Katerina

    Mr Doug.Please can you answer to this question? In JULY 2014 is increase only OAS 1.3% or both are increase within GIS?

    • Don Asagar

      Hi Doug,

      I sponsored my parents and I signed the 10-year sponsorship undertaking that would not benefit them from social assistance in Canada during the sponsorship period. I know that they are qualified to receive the OAS as per Canada and Philippines social security agreement. My question is are they qualify to receive the GIS? Is GIS considered social assistance?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Don – No, they are not eligible for GIS while they have less than 10 years of residence in Canada and while they are under your sponsorship agreement.

        • Steve

          Hi Doug, a good forum for the many folks confused by the GIS benefit. I have a question maybe you can shed some light on. Why are married and common-law couples regardless of gender penalized by reduced payments as compared to singles and widowed persons? This seems like obvious discrimination against couples to me.Just wondering what your take is. Thanks

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Steve – I think it is based on the belief that the total expenses for a couple living together are less than double the expenses for a single person. Then again, the single person wonders why they pay the same amount for CPP contributions as a married person, when the single person won’t be able to leave a surviving spouse’s benefit to anyone.

        • Patti Alcorn

          Hello Doug. My parents (in New Brunswick) live together in assisted living and both receive the GIS. If they need to separate, due to one of them moving to a nursing home, how will that affect their income? New Brunswick nursing homes take all of a person’s income up to about $3500 a month (neither of them make that) so if one of their incomes was completely taken, the other person would not have enough to continue living on their own in the assisted living facility. Should they reapply for GIS based on their individual incomes? Thanks

      • Ms C. Wilson

        I’m Recieving OAS/CPP. I’m 73. I Didn’t Get All of My OAS in July with No Reason. My Brother too,Which has Really Messed Us Up with Bills and Food.

        • Doug Runchey

          You should call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

    • Simon

      My wife and I have lived in Canada for 12 years and plan to retire next year. It is better for both of us not to apply for OAS as we can get more by applying GIS alone?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Simon – You can’t receive GIS unless you’re receiving OAS, so I would recommend that you both apply for OAS and GIS.

        • Gertie Boone

          How much money can I make before losing my GIS

      • Demmons Pamela A.

        If a senior is already getting the supplement but inherits money from the sale of a house do they forfeit the supplement? Is it still counted as income if they gift it to a relative?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Pamela – Money inherited from an Estate is not normally taxable in my experience, in which GIS would not be affected.

      • Gertie Boone

        How much money can I make without losing my GIS

  2. Doug


    Both OAS and GIS are increased equally, every 3 months.

  3. Richard

    Your article states that “For the most part, your GIS payment is reduced from the maximum payable by 50 cents for every dollar of other income that you have.

    The actual amount of GIS is determined using a set of complex rate tables, available at:”

    The Old Age Security Act specifies that the GIS should be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar (lets ignore employment income, capital gains issues etc). Yet the rate tables provided by Service Canada occasionally deviate from this rule resulting in a larger reduction. This may be what you mean by the rate tables being “complex”. I have asked Service Canada to explain this but they cannot/will not. This costs my parents about $1000 per year in GIS.

    I’m hoping you can shed some light on this for me. Thanks.

    • Don Bethune

      Sometimes asking for an interpretation bulletin for a specific topic can be helpful. In my situation, I am troubled by the fact that it may and probably will, take nine months to process an application.

      • Harvey Merriam

        Richard – Your parents are not really losing money. They receive the full low income “top-up,” and then this top-up is reduced by 25 cents on the dollar for income in a certain range. (On top of the usual 50 cent reduction.)

        The penalty reduces the top-up, but not past zero. So in other words, everybody who is being penalized at the 75% is still getting at least some of the top-up, and is still ahead of the game.

  4. Doug


    It sounds like you’re already fairly knowledgeable on this subject, so I’m not sure how much more light I can share with you.

    For the most part, the cause of the deviation from the 50 cents-on-the-dollar rule was the introduction of a “top up” for people with very low income. The only way that the government could pay more to the neediest GIS recipients without giving it to everyone, was to accelerate the reduction somewhere within the table. The way that they’ve chosen to do this is very poor in my opinion, but then again they didn’t ask me for my opinion.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t have a better answer for you than that.

  5. Merve Silva

    Hi Doug!

    Both my wife and I are GIS/OAS recipients. Do you know how Income Security Programs compute our annual entitlements? I there any way we could check to ascertain whether we are getting the right entitlement?
    Would appreciate your response. Thank you.

    • Doug


      Your GIS entitlement is normally calculated on the basis of the income that you reported on your income tax return, with a couple of small adjustments. The easiest way to check this is to call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and ask them what income they are using for you. From there you could validate your GIS amount using this weblink:,+ISPB-185,+ISPB-341&utm_term=/oasamounts&utm_content=Mar+2013,+eng&utm_campaign=OAS+Pension+2013,+Benefits+for+Low+Income+Seniors

      • A K

        Hi Doug, I am getting partial OAS pension and working. I shall retire on Dec 31, 2018 and shall get my accumulated vacation funds in January 2019. Will Vacation funds count as income of 2019 for the purpose of determining / calculating GIS? Thanks

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi AK – I’m sure that they will affect your GIS entitlement, but I’m not 100% sure exactly how. I think they might just delay when they will start using your estimated income, based on how long the vacation payout is equivalent to. In any event, report the amount and Service Canada should know how to account for them (or not).

          • A K

            Hi Doug, Could you please advise estimate processing time for ISP 3041 Form submitted to Service Canada for estimated 2019 income after retirement.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi A K – It’s my understanding the Service Canada’s service target 35 weeks to process these forms. Totally unacceptable in my mind.

      • Joan mckelvey

        Hi Doug just heard that you can now earn more than_3.500 before you are affected do you know how much you can earn in 2020?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Joan – For 2019 and subsequent years, the $3,500 exemption for employment earnings has increased to a maximum exemption of $10,000 (100% of the first $5,000 of earnings and 50% of the next $10,000 earnings). In addition, beginning in 2019 this exemption now applies to earnings from self-employment and/or employment, instead of just earnings from employment.

        • Margaret

          I will be 69 on Nov. 5 and I receive full OAS and $544 in CPP. Up until May 10 I worked full time and then was replaced after 9 years due to my age and a change in management. I was able to receive EI which will terminate Oct. 31. 2020. My income will drop by 70%. to only OAS and CPP. Does this mean I will have to wait till July of 2022 to be eligible for the GIS?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Margaret – Assuming that you’re single, you will qualify for GIS effective Nov 2020,the month following your EI ending. You should apply immediately for GIS, and indicate that you have stopped working and that your EI will be ending soon. You will be sent a form to estimate your 2020 income after your EI ends, and that’s mostly what will be used to determine the amount of your GIS effective Nov 2020.

          • Sandra

            I repaid a large amt back because of an error al

        • Antonio

          Married 65 year old low income senior with 56 year old spouse. IfWe meet the combined income threshold are we eligible for the GIS supplement?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Antonio – Yes, you will be eligible for GIS if you are eligible for the OAS.

      • Jackie Allen

        I am unemployed due to COVID and have collected CERB/CRB. I turned 65 last year and I am getting OAS.

        Because of never having a good job and always just scraping by,, I have no savings and do not own a home. Renting and day to day expenses eats up all my income and always has.

        I understand I can leave Canada and still receive OAS. What happens if I leave Canada for a year BEFORE I get GIS?

        For instance, Mexico is a lot more affordable on my very limited income. Can I “travel” in Mexico and wait out the appalling lag time between qualifying for GIS and actually receiving it?

        Example: My total income for 2021 is going to be about $28,000, but my income will drop to about $460/mth as of the end of October. As I understand it, I am unlikely to receive GIS before July 2022 at the absolute earliest.
        Obviously, I am not going to be able to manage.

        1. So, if I leave Canada to “travel” November 1, 2021 and return April 30, 2022 am I breaking any rules?

        Hope this made sense. The whole GIS program gives me a massive headache and seems designed to benefit the well off who have assets to draw on.


        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Jackie – First, as long as Canada is still your permanent home even when you’re not staying here, going away for 6 months of temporary absence will not affect either your OAS or GIS eligibility. Second, depending on what income sources and amounts you had in 2020 and 2021, you could be eligible for some GIS sooner than July 2022 or you may not be eligible until July 2023.

          • Richard

            … leaving Canada in 2019, what with insane skyrocketing rents driven by the housing bubble that government policy encouraged,, and the high cost of living. I realized I could not survive in Canada on a pension income. I now live in Mexico, got residente permanente status. have a nice air conditioned casita and do just fine on my CPP and OAS. My rent is less than $450/month. Ford never kept his buck a beer election promise; but you can find it easy down here. On OAS without the GIS and a decent CPP pension you can do OK down here… you won’t live rich but you’ll do OK. While you have the resources at hand, apply for residente temporal at a Mexican consulate in Canada.. do not come as a tourist.

  6. Lindsay

    If your income taxes are filed late and you receive a letter stating that it will be stopped, does it automatically resume once you taxes have been processed? And do you receive a back payment for months missed?

    • Doug


      It should happen automatically, and it will be fully retroactive as long the delay in filing your tax returns isn’t more than a year.

      • Lindsay

        Unfortunately automatically is not in the vocabulary of our federal government. it does not resume you have to actually call in!!! Even though everything was received and updated they still require a phone. I wish there was more information online.

        • Gabriel

          I am not working right now because of the pandemic. I will turn 65 on december and i been here for almost 14 years now my common law partner is receiving a little on old age security. I received a letter that i I can apply for oas and gis, partner will also apply for gis and we wont be having any income next year because she will turn 70 and she will stop working too. How much do you think we can received for both gis and oas. Thank you so much.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Gabriel – If neither of you has any other income, you should each be eligible for a combined OAS/GIS of $1,174.49.

  7. mike cohene

    Hello Doug,

    Please consider answering my question when conveniently possible.

    I am 76 and my wife is 70. We are solely dependent on OAS/GIS/CPP and I am the only one getting a private pension and our total joint income is in the range of $30,000. Our rental is approximately $14,000 and my son chips in to cushion the difficulties confronting us. I am also approved for the Disability Tax Credit by CRA since 2006. We do not generate any employment or self-employment income and hence no taxes become involved.

    Is there any useful purpose in saving our eligible medical expense receipts and TTC metro passes?

    BTW, does my DTC have an impact (more money) on my GIS entitlement?

    Thank you.

    • Doug


      I’m afraid that I can’t tell you whether there’s any tax advantage to saving your medical receipts and TTC metro passes, but I can tell you that your DTC has absolutely no impact (up or down) on your GIS entitlement.

      • Sharon Dunn

        I have 30 years experience in preparing tax returns primarily in Ontario and PEI. Without knowing the distribution of your income between you and your spouse, that is, what you each earn, it is difficult to be specific. However, regarding medical expenses, I advise my clients no matter their income, to keep those expenses for the year, and then submit them to me when I prepare their returns. If I can use them on their return, I will; if not, I return them to the client. It is always better to have them available, than not.

    • J green

      I earned 8500 dollars working in 2019 will l loose all my gis

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Josie – No, $8,500 of employment earnings in 2019 should only cause a decrease in your GIS of approx. $73.00 per month, beginning in July 2020

      • Julienne Fournier

        Hi I stop working 2020 and was receiving EI now it will end soon on 18 sept 2021 do I qualify for GIS.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Julienne – You may qualify for GIS, but you will have to notify Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 that you have stopped working and that your EO will soon be stopping. They will send you a form to estimate your current income to determine if/how much GIS you might be entitled to. Be aware though, that this process is not quick.

    • Maria

      Hi Doug
      I am almost 62 and I am receiving 1.165 for allowance and for involuntary separation, I worked 3 months last year and now I star receive 864. How I know what Income they use that determine this reducción?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Maria – They likely used your 2018 income from July 2019 through June 2020 and they likely started using your 20198 income effective July 2020 through June 2021.

  8. Ray


    My wife and I are both low income seniors. In mid July 2014 Service Canada sent me a letter indicating that I may be entitled to retroactive benefits (i.e. additional supplements) based on our joint income for 2010 and 2011. I filled out Form 3041C-Statement of Estimated Income for 2012 and submitted along with copies of my tax return for 2012.
    I was told by no less than three Service Canada agents that the processing time will not exceed 9 weeks in my case. My subsequent inquiries reveal that it is going to take approximately 6 months and there is no point in making calls or visiting Service Canada Centre. It appears Service Canada has erred in their calculation of my entitlement but prefer to keep me waiting. Is this normal? Having worked for Income Security Program, you may be able to throw some light on this!Thank you.

    • Doug


      No, this is not normal and I would suggest that you try calling your MP to see if they might have any better luck.

  9. helen

    I retired Dec 31, 2014. I got my lump sum pension but it all on my rrsp. What I am getting now is just my CPP & OAS, which is less than $12k/year. When will my GIS kick in?

  10. Doug


    Assuming you mean that you will retire in the future on Dec 31, 2014, your GIS will kick in effective Jan 2015 BUT only if you have contacted Service Canada to tell them about your retirement and once you have completed the necessary forms to estimate your 2015 income.

    • Kathy

      I am wanting to retire at age 65, 2 more years. I will need to receive the GIS but I am wondering if the RRSP’s that I have should be transferred to TFSA before I apply in order to access without penalty. I also wonder if I go a year with only my OAS and CPP before receiving the GiS?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Kathy – You should consult a good financial planner with these questions, because there’s too many variables to give you a complete answer in this forum.

        • Sharon Dunn

          If I understand correctly, you are still working and want to cash out your RRSPs before age 65. If, for instance, you have a total of $50,000 in RRSP and withdraw them while still working, you will be taxed on the whole amount of your employment income AND the RRSP. For example, if you earn $50,000 per year and take out the whole of the RRSP balance, you will be taxed at the end of the year at $100,000.
          Financial institutions are required to withhold a certain percentage at withdrawal which at $50,000 is 30%, but that would not be sufficient enough to cover your tax liability when you file.

          You are not required to start withdrawing from your RRSP (it then becomes a RIF – Retirement Income Fund) until the end of the year in which you turn 71. Once you turn 71, you have take a minimum amount out each year based on your age; in the past it has been around 5-7%. As Doug said, you should check with a financial planner to determine the best financial strategy based on your situation.

      • Lilyana

        Hi,My husband is born 1944.I am born 1948.Can we deduct our net employment income in statement of income for GIS with 3500$? Thank you!

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Lilyana – It depends on what year you’re talking up. For employment earnings for 2018 and earlier years, yes you can deduct $3,500 from your total employment earnings for GIS purposes. For 2019 and later years, that earnings exemption has been increased to $5,000 plus 50% of any employment earnings between $5,000 and $15,000 for a total exemption of up to $10,000. The exemption has also been expanded to include earnings from self-employment as well as employment.

    • Zara

      Hi Doug,
      I recently applied for GIS for my parents. Can you tell me the processing time for the application?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Zara – I’m sorry, but i think there’s just so much variance that the best answer is 1 to 12 months.

  11. Carol

    I submitted my GIS application end of December 2013 and received the 1st payment the end of September 2014.

    In the beginning of February 2014 they were giving themselves 12 more weeks to process my application. By May (you have to keep calling to prod them on and also to inquire if you have to fill out the duplicates of documents you keep receiving – you don’t) they determined they didn’t have to have mine processed until September due to the “volume” of applications. Everyone and their dog is applying for GIS it would seem.

    Getting a result in September required 3 phonecalls in the first 2 weeks and two “Urgent Requests” put forward by call centre representatives to the processing agent to get it off their desk.

    Retroactivity is supposed to make this all okay.

    Good Luck everyone.

    • Doug

      Carol – Sorry to hear about all of the delays that you experienced, but good on you for being persistent!

  12. Hal

    My spouse is eligible for the allowance in May 2015, will my GIS be reduced automatically or will it still be based on 2014 income?

    • Doug


      Your GIS will continue to be based on your 2013 income until July 2015, at which time it will become based on your 2014 income; but it will be reduced under a different rate table once your wife turns age 60 and starts receiving the Allowance.

      If I knew your current rate, I could predict what you will both receive at that time.

  13. Bartek


    My parent was resident in Canada for 10 years (he have Canadian citizenship). Now he is 60 years old. From 20 years he live in Poland. He didnt have any income in Canada in last 20 years, only work in Poland and fill polish Personal Income Tax. He said me that since he came to Poland he never filled Canadian Personal Income Tax (he had 0 income in Canada). Do you think that could be a problem? Please help me to find out is everything ok and if not, what I can do to help him do fix that problem.

    Regards, Bartek

    • Doug


      If I correctly understand that your father lived for 10 years in Canada but hasn’t lived here since he was 20 years old, it is unlikely that he will be eligible to any OAS or CPP benefits.

      If I’ve misunderstood you, please clarify when your father lived/worked in Canada.

  14. Renu Zee

    My husband and I are low income seniors (aged 75 and 67). In July 2014 my husband was surprised to receive retroactive benefits for a previous payment period, namely, 2010/2011 which was most welcome. I was told to submit Form 3041C (Statement of Est.Income for 2012) within 30 days and that any delays may result in a potential loss of benefits. I was also told that “we will inform you of our decision after we receive and review the requested information.”

    I submitted the requested information in person together with my tax papers for 2012 on August 01, 2014. Service Canada agent took copies and also gave me an acknowledgment of the documents I produced.

    I have been getting my OAS/GIS payments without any problem and I believe this could be a retroactive payment for the year 2010/2011, if any. I am clueless why Service Canada sent me Form 3041 (2012) if no retro payment is involved in my case.

    My several telephone calls to Service Canada since September onwards to date says “keep waiting, we are not the one’s who do the processing”. I would kindly appreciate your response, Doug. Thank you.

    • Doug


      I’m afraid that I’m almost as much in the dark as you, about what Service Canada is doing. I can tell you however, that the ISP3041 form that you completed for your 2012 income would not affect your 2010/2011 entitlement at all.

      Your 2012 income would normally be used to determine your and your husband’s entitlement from July 2013 thru June 2014, but it could also be used for part of the 2011/2012 and/or 2012/2013 fiscal years if some income that you had been receiving decreased or stopped in 2011 or 2012.

      If you want to email me at [email protected] I may be able to help you a bit more.

  15. Renu Zee

    Hello Doug!

    It appears I made a typo error in my question to you yesterday! I was 65 years last June (2014). This may help you to analyze my question, please. Thank you.

  16. jeff swan

    Hi Doug,
    If you are recieving GIS (full or partial) and a cpi increase is announced, is the indexed increase applied consistently across all GIS amounts. I noticed some differences in what an idexed increase would be at some levels and the actual GIS values contained in the spreadsheet table data that Service Canada provides with each increase.

  17. Doug Runchey


    That’s a very good question!

    The short answer is “NO”. The increase is applied to the maximum GIS amount only, and every other rate is determined by subtracting amounts from that maximum based on other income.

    The actual percentage increase is therefore larger at the lower end of the GIS scale (e.g., if the CPI increase was 1% and the maximum GIS went up from $700 by $7.00, someone who was previously only receiving $1.00 GIS would go up to $8.00).

  18. Jim Kirkpatrick

    My wife and I both receive the OAS and GIS. Am I correct in assuming that if I take a part time job, the GIS will not be affected until sometime in 2016? Or will the supplement then be ‘clawed back’ retroactive to when I started working?

    • Doug Runchey


      You are correct, unless your GIS is currently being paid based on your estimated 2015 earnings. This would be the case only if you had previously retired or you had a reduction of pension income in 2013 or 2014.

      So, assuming that your GIS is currently based on your 2013 income, your 2015 part-time earnings will affect your GIS for the period of July 2016 through June 2017.

  19. haraka

    Hello Mr. Doug Runchey,

    My wife and I are both GIS/OAS recipients. We are currently receiving $693 each (July 2014 – June 2015)as GIS/OAS. We have no other income other than CPP/Private Pension which jointly amounts to $16,633 for taxation year 2014. Will we get the same amount of GIS/OAS ($693 each) every year as long as our joint income is below $22,560?

    Secondly, does Service Canada mail out our letters of GIS entitlement during the first or second week of July or can I call them by end of June to ascertain our entitlement? The purpose being we are depending on our GIS for the payment of our rent. I look forward to your response, Mr. Runchey. Thank you

    • Doug


      If your current OAS/GIS is $693.63, that is based on your 2013 income which was probably somewhere between $16,320 and $16,368. Based on you 2014 income of $16,633, your OAS/GIS will drop slightly to $687.63 effective July 2015, plus whatever cost of living increase might happen.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know what Service Canada currently does as far as communicating this change, but calling them at the end of June if you haven’t heard sounds quite reasonable.

  20. Haraka

    Thanks Doug. I appreciate your quick response.

  21. Haraka


    Sorry to bother you again. Just one more question. I am currently getting CPP of $397 a month while my wife gets $167.
    In case of my demise it was understood that my wife will get 60% of my CPP added on to her Canada Pension. Service Canada Representative disagree. Is this information correct?

  22. Doug Runchey


    It would be that simple only if you started receiving your CPP retirement pension right at age 65 and if your wife wasn’t receiving her own CPP retirement pension.

    Because she is receiving her own CPP, the survivor’s pension will be subject to the “combined benefit rules” that I wrote about in this article:

    If you want me to do a calculation for you (for a fee of $25), email me at [email protected]

  23. James


    I have become aware that I have not been receiving my GIS payments for the last 2 years (it was confusion on my part). According to my income tax assestments for those years, I had been qualified for the GIS for those last 2 years. If I apply for the GIS now, can I get retroactive payments for the last 2 years, also? If so, how do I do so?

    • Doug Runchey

      James – GIS is normally limited to 11 months of retroactivity. I recommend that you visit a Service Canada site ASAP, to complete an application for July 2014 to June 2015 (based on your 2013 income) as well as for the period of July 2013 to June 2014 (based on your 2012 income).

  24. Bruce

    The investment income of my wife and I has dropped dramatically in 2015 and will remain very low for 2015 and 2016. We did not have employment, pension or EI income in 2014 or 2013. We are resident Canadians, having lived all our lives in Canada. I am 66 and my wife is 62. I have not yet applied for OAS. Our 2015 net incomes will no doubt qualify me for GIS and my wife for the Allowance.
    If I apply for OAS and GIS and my wife applies for the Allowance in June 2015, will we qualify for retroactive payments of my GIS and her Allowance back to Jan. 2015?
    Or would GIS and Allowance payments only start in July 2015 (based on anticipated 2015 net income)?
    Or, would we have to wait until July 2016 for me to start receiving the GIS and for my wife to receive the Allowance based on our 2015 income tax returns?
    There is reference in some posts I have read regarding using current year income (2015) in calculating GIS and the Allowance, if there is a loss of some types of regular recurring income such as employment earnings, pension income and EI benefits but there is no reference to loss of investment income. There is also reference to a Form (for anticipated 2015 net income) but I cannot find it.
    Would loss of investment income from that earned in 2014 qualify to allow a person to use 2015 anticipated income in calculating GIS and the Allowance from Jan. 2015?
    Or would it only start in July 2015 at the earliest?
    Or would we have to wait to start receiving the GIS and Allowance until July 2016 (based on actual 2015 net income)?
    Depending on whether anticipated 2015 income can be used, there may be an extra 6 months (July to Dec. 2015) or possibly 18 months (Jan. 2015 to June 2016) of GIS and Allowance available that would otherwise be lost? I am wondering which time period would be applicable for the payments?

    Thank you for your consideration,

    • Doug Runchey


      Unfortunately, your GIS can’t be paid on your estimated 2015 income when it is investment income that has been reduced. If your 2013 and 2014 income exceeded the threshold for GIS and Allowance, that means that you won’t be eligible for those benefits until July 2016, when your actual 2015 income will come into play.

      You could however apply for your OAS now if you wanted to.

  25. Gail

    Hi Doug – do you know how soon after one is approved for GIS that the first payment will start? We received a letter showing a starting date which was the retroactive date, but nothing to indicate when payments would begin. Do you have any ideas about this? Thanks.


    • Doug Runchey


      I wouldn’t think that it should take any longer than a few weeks max, depending on whether they issue the retro portion as a separate payment or simply include it with your next regular month-end deposit.

  26. Bruce

    Thank you Doug; I have a follow up question.
    By waiting as we must until receiving Notices of Assessment for our 2015 taxes (probably in late Spring 2016) would we then be able to obtain retroactive GIS and Allowance back to Jan. 2016 instead of just starting in July 2016?

    Thank you again,

    • Doug Runchey


      I regret that I again have a negative reply for you. GIS eligibility for any payment year (July to June) is based on income in the previous calendar year, so your 2015 income will be used for the period of July 2016 thru June 2017.

  27. rima yeghian

    We are seniors solely dependent on our GIS/OAS/CPP and we are aware that we can stay away from Canada for not more than six months in any particular year. Since we are both persons with severe disabilities, can we escape the winter months. Our son has promised to cushion our air fare each year. Will Income Security have a negative thinking of our decision? If they do, they are dead wrong. They have been giving us negative answers. Your feedback would be much appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey


      You’re entitled to your CPP wherever you live and your OAS also, if you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after age 18.

      As long as you continue to “reside in Canada” you are allowed to have temporary absences up to 6 months in length and still be eligible for GIS. For OAS/GIS purposes, residing in Canada is defined as “making your home in Canada and ordinarily living in Canada”.

      Unfortunately, this definition is a bit vague so that once your presence/absence in Canada starts getting near to 50/50, it starts to become questionable as to whether you’re “ordinarily living in Canada”.

      It helps if your other attachments are clearly stronger to Canada than to any other country (e.g., home ownership here versus renting there, where you pay taxes, where you hold a driver’s license etc…), as that will at least make sure that you meet the “make your home in Canada” part of the definition.

      I’m sorry, but that’s about as firm an answer that I (or anybody else) can give you.

  28. Abbass

    Mr. Doug

    We are seniors in receipt of GIS/OAS/CPP. All what we have to do is send in our tax returns to CRA every taxation year. We do not apply for the GIS. It is given automatically based on our tax returns. Supposing one of us die, will the survivor be called upon to apply for the GIS all over again? Also, will the GIS be higher for the surviving partner? Your response, please. Thank you.

  29. Doug Runchey


    The first part of your question is easy, and the answer is “No” the survivor won’t have to apply for GIS all over again.

    The second part is quite complicated. Depending on what income sources/amounts you both have, GIS for the survivor could go up or down. If it would decrease though, there is a provision that the higher married rate could remain payable for the balance of the fiscal year (ends with June). If the GIS increases, that would be done immediately.

    If you tell me all of your income sources and amounts, I’ll try to explain how your GIS might change.

    • abbass

      Thank you Doug. I did miss stating that I was getting an Omers pension.
      Our joint income is computed as follows:

      Self: CPP 401; GIS/OAS 693; and Omers 870
      Spouse:CPP 170; GIS/OAS 693 (no private pension)

      We have no other sources of income.

      • abbass

        Sorry, my Omers pension is 830 NOT 870.

        • Doug Runchey


          Based strictly on the above incomes, if you died first your wife’s OAS/GIS would increase to approx. $1,243 per month, but if she died first your OAS/GIS would decrease to approx. $660 per month.

          Assuming however that if you died first your wife would receive a survivor’s pension from CPP and/or Omers, that OAS/GIS estimate of $1,243 would decrease by approx. half of whatever she receives as a survivor’s pension.

          The same would be true for your OAS/GIS estimate of $660, if your wife made enough CPP contributions for you to be eligible for a CPP survivor’s pension if she died first.

  30. Ron

    Hi Doug I’m 67 my wife is 62 we receive $6400 in cpp between us I receive full OAS but no GIS because of 2014 income but our income in 2015 will only be the &6400 plus my OAS we withdrew $40000 in rrsp’s in 2014 to reduce mortgage that was in my wife’s name is there any reason to apply to show a income of only $6400 in 2015 so as we might start GIS before July 2016

    • Doug Runchey


      Unfortunately, your $40,000 RRSP withdrawal in 2014 plus your CPP, means that you will not be eligible for GIS until July 2016, when GIS will be based on your 2015 income.

      Did you receive GIS for July 2014 thru June 2015, or was your 2013 income in excess of the maximum also?

      • Jim

        Hi Doug are you sure on that.My understanding of it is the 2015 income can be estimated.A form is available and will be retroactive for back to Jan.

        Jim K

        • Doug Runchey


          You can be paid on your estimated current income only if there has been a reduction in a regular ongoing income such as employment earnings or a monthly pension. You cannot be paid on your estimated income to avoid claiming a lump sum RRSP withdrawal.

          • Jim

            Understood but RRSP was withdrawn in 2014 tax year.

  31. Doug Runchey


    GIS entitlement is currently based on 2013 income, including payment until June 2015. 2014 income doesn’t become relevant for GIS purposes until July 2015 through June 2016.

  32. John Hoell

    Hi Doug!
    I applied for early retirement at 60 due to the loss of my job attributed to the economy (I am currently receiving $610.00 per month and used up my RRSPs.I am 62 now and my wife will turn 65 on February 25 2016.She has applied for her CPP/OAS/GIS.Because she has lived in Canada for 29 years (has never left the country),I understand that she will not get the full OAS.Her CPP has been calculated at $6.00 per month (not a typo!) as she was a stay at home mom to raise our children.When she turns 65,I was informed that I would receive a supplement until I turn 65.Is there any truth to this or do I have to wait until 65 to receive the OAS and possibly GIS?

    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, it’s true that you could be eligible to receive something once your wife starts receiving her OAS/GIS. The spouse of am OAS/GIS recipient can be eligible for an “allowance” if they’re between 60-65 years old.

    • Jane Johnson

      Just an after-thought. Did your wife apply for the child-rearing provision when she applied for CPP? It usually helps increase your CPP benefits if I am understanding correctly.

  33. Mona

    My mother received notification stating she is entitled to GIS for Survivors & stated that she is entitled to $1,243 each month. Does this mean she will be receiving this whole amount of $1,243 on a monthly basis along with her OAS & does her OAS decrease because of GIS? Is she gaining or losing extra income on a monthly basis.

    • Doug Runchey


      How old is your mother?

      If she’s under age 65, she could be eligible for the Allowance for a Survivor, but the maximum rate would be $1,200.98 if she had no other income.

      If she’s age 65 or older, the amount of $1,243 would include her OAS and her GIS.

      Does this answer help?

  34. Brenda

    This past June, we received $666 retro as our first GIS for 2014 (based on 2013) total income. My husband was 67 this past January and I just turned 65 in May of 2015. Our total income for the year 2014, was even lower than 2013 but we’re being told that we don’t qualify for the GIS since our income is too high.

    I thought that based on the total 2014 income (and the fact that I was still 64 at that time), we would qualify again. Service Canada are telling me we don’t qualify .. using $22,608 as the maximum annual income instead of $41,088 (which I figured they’d use). Is this right? Thanks so much for your help. I love reading all the comments and questions on your website.

    • Doug Runchey

      Brenda – I’m sorry to have to confirm that $22,608 is the maximum allowable income (excluding OAS) for GIS purposes, now that you’re both over age 65 and receiving the OAS.

      • Brenda

        Thanks so much for your quick reply Doug! It’s appreciated.

        I am now thinking I probably should have applied for the Allowance for the period that my husband received the GIS, since I would have been 63/64 at that time. Is there any point in applying now, or is it too late?

        • Doug Runchey


          There is a maximum of 11 months retroactivity, so if you applied now in Aug 2015, your Allowance could be paid effective Sept 2014 thru May 2015. If your combined 2013 income was much over $20,000 however (excluding your husband’s OAS) there may not be much advantage, as your husband’s GIS would be calculated using a different rate table and his overpayment might offset most/all of your Allowance. You can never be worse off though, so there would be nothing to lose.

  35. Wayne Francis

    I have returned to Canada on June 4th after residing overseas for 20 years. My only source of income at this time is CPP and OAS. I completed the application for GIS on June 9th without any problems according to the CRA officer. My question after reading some of the responses on this site is how long does it normally take to process the application. I have heard that the normal processing time was between 4 to 12 weeks from the date of submitting the application.



    • Doug Runchey

      Wayne – I’m afraid to tell you that 12 weeks is closer to the minimum processing time, and the normal processing time seems to be closer to 4-6 months.

      • Wayne Francis

        Doug, thanks for the quick response to my question. I hope it will closer to the minimum and not the normal.



      • Eric Anderson

        I have been waiting 4 months now and was told it could take 6 months. I don’t suppose you have any idea WHY? it would take this long. In this day and age this seems like a ridiculous amount of time. Maybe they should hire a second person to work on these files.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Eric – I agree that their target processing time of 35 weeks is ridiculous, and there is no valid reason for it.

  36. Dave

    Hi Doug,

    My relative’s wife died in June. Her total 2015 income will be 4400, which was 6 months of CPP disability.

    My relative age 66, receives max OAS and some GIS. He also has his own CPP and now with her CPP survivor’s benefit to him it will total about 590 per month. Using the online (Single/Widow)tables I find he would still be eligible for about 414 per month GIS.

    Question: Will her 2015 income effect his GIS going foreword into 2016/17 or will he just be considered single (Widowed)for GIS purposes.

    • Doug Runchey


      He will be considered as single for GIS effective July 2015, so her CPP disability for 2015 will not affect his GIS at all. His actual 2014 income will be used for July 2015 thru June 2016, and his actual income for 2015 (including the 6 months of CPP survivor’s pension) will be used for July 2016 thru June 2017.

  37. Karoline A

    Hello Doug

    I’m a low income senior, receiving the GIS with my monthly CPP and OAS. I live in a subsidized unit, where I live, and I do know, that when an income is not taxable, like the GIS, is not taxable, they should not use this portion to also calculate your 30% of rent to be paid.
    In the building where I live in subsidized housing, they say that GIS is classed as income, and they take 30% of my GIS also for my rent. Is this legal?
    Please respond…thank you

    • Doug Runchey


      Your question is a bit outside my true area of expertise, but I don’t think there’s anything illegal about what they’re doing.

      Non-taxable simply means that you don’t have to pay tax on that income, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be considered as income for other purposes such as determining the amount of rent that you pay.

      • Sharon Dunn

        The GIS is not taxable, but it does appear as part of your Net Income (Line 23600) on your tax return. The GIS is deducted on Line 250 which results in a lower Taxable Income (Line 26000). Net income is used to determine other government benefits such as GST credit eligibility. An example of non-taxable income would be a Department of Veterans Affairs benefit paid to a veteran or spouse. That income is never reported on a T-slip and therefore, never appears on a tax return. This type of income would therefore not be available for assessment as part of income to determine rent subsidy.

    • Little Al

      Karoline, I suggest you read regulations on subsidized housing in your province. In my province ALL income is included in calculating 30% rent, except for investment income. Investments (like saving accounts etc) they assume to generate 1% income, so to 30% of GIS/OAS/CPP they add 1% of your capital divided by 12.

      SAFER subsidy counts everything including investment income.

  38. Dave

    If you are refering to the BC Housing. – Safer grant then it definitely does include gis as income. I have a copy of the application in hand and you must swear to your income and it specifically says gis is considered income.

  39. Lori

    Hi Doug,

    Is GIS calculated on annual net or gross income? Also what is the max annual income to be eligible for GIS? AGAIN is it net or gross?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Doug Runchey


      The answers to both of your questions can be found in the above article. For the most part, GIS is calculated on your net income, excluding the OAS itself.

      There are four different max income cutoffs depending on your marital status and whether your spouse is eligible for OAS or the Allowance. These current amounts are shown above and updated amounts can be found by using the link provided.

  40. Heather McDonald

    My husband is 67 and receives OAS and GIS payments. I turned 60 in July and started to receive the allowance in August. Today we received the deposits and what happened was they just took my allowance payment away from my husbands GIS, dollar for dollar. What is the benefit of even getting the allowance. I was led to believe that we would be getting an increase in income but instead they just took it from my husbands income and payed it to me. Seems to me a huge waste of time and aggravation, why not just leave it as is. We were very disappointed that we did not see any increase. Looking forward to your answer. Thanks. Heather

    • Doug Runchey


      You’re right that at some income levels, there is no advantage to you applying for and receiving the Allowance, as the total payable is the same.

      If your combined net income for 2014 (excluding the OAS/GIS) was less than approx. $22,500 though, your Allowance and his GIS combined would exceed his GIS on its own.

      I can’t explain why they decided to do it that way, but if your combined 2014 net income (excluding the OAS/GIS) exceeded approx. $22,500, I do agree that what you’re saying happens.

      • Susan

        hi, I realize this article is fairly old but thought I would throw my question out there in the hope that you see this.

        My parents received OAS and CPP but never GIS.
        Last June (2022) my father died. As a result the CPP and OAS amounts decreased. My mother did not apply for GIS.
        2022 tax returns were filed in April 2023.
        Mother recently received a letter that she will begin receiving GIS effective July 2023.
        I have 2 questions.
        1. Should she apply for GiS retro to July 2022 (when spouse died and income decreased)?
        2. If they are using their 2022 combined income for the GIS calculation, should she request a review of the amount as her income for 2023 will be lower?

        Thanks in advance. I am great with taxes but this GiS stuff has me confused. Also, the authorization for CRA does not extend to Service Canada so I can’t quickly call them to clarify and I would rather not bother my mother about this if it leads to nothing.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Susan

          First, has your mother applied for a CPP survivor’s pension also?

          You should call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to see if she might have qualified earlier for GIS.

          They should be using just your mother’s income now

  41. Janet

    My mother turned 65 this March. She still works 2 part time jobs to support herself (she is divorced). As her CPP and OAS totals just under $600 per month, she is not able to retire from her jobs. She recently received a letter saying that her income (~$30K) is too high to receive GIS. I understand the rules on max income. My question is regarding the best time to retire. She has ZERO savings, so in order for her to live, she need more income than CPP and OAS. She has so far made over $20K this year, so she doesn’t qualify for GIS for 2015/16. Can the decision on GIS be changed once they are notified that she has retired from her jobs? It seems like a vicious cycle… any advice would be appreciated,
    Thank you,

    • Doug Runchey


      Once you mother quits both of her jobs, she will immediately become eligible for GIS based on her estimated future income (CPP only). Even though she will be eligible immediately though, it takes Service Canada several months to process that estimate. She will eventually receive GIS retroactive to the month following the month that she retires, but that could take up to 6 months from what I’ve been hearing.

  42. Shirley

    I retired on July 31, 2014. I didn’t get any payment until July 2015. It was a very low payment, not what I was told I would be getting, and an entire year after I retired.
    At my local SERVICE CANADA office, I was told the amount I would be getting and what I get isn’t even close to that. All the retired folks I have spoken with said they waited for six months only. Can you enlighten me as to what is happening to me?

    • Doug Runchey


      Did you complete forms that estimated your income after retirement? If so, you should have been eligible retroactive to August 2014 if your estimated income was low enough. I’d need to know a lot more information on your income before and after retirement to give you a detailed answer. I’d also need to know your marital status and your spouse’s income, if applicable.

  43. Ramona

    Hi Doug:

    My parents were eligible for GIS approx 8 years ago. They received payments for 1 year, and since that time have NOT been eligible due to payments from their RRIFs. For the tax year of 2015, they will again be eligible. Do you know if they will have to reapply for GIS? Or will it automatically occur once their 2015 taxes are filed?

    Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Doug Runchey


      I’m pretty sure that they’ll have to reapply, with payment effective July 2016. I recommend contacting Service Canada in January 2016 to request and complete the application.

  44. raymi

    I have read with interest most of your answers in response to questions posed by readers. My husband and I are low income seniors getting only CPP/OAS/GIS (my husbamd is the only one who gets a small private pension). As a regular feature and with help from certain people we leave Canada during the winter months because of our disability and making sure we do not exceed our stay more than six months in any calendar year. When I contacted Service Canada recently they specified in no uncertain terms that we are doing the right thing and not finding loopholes to cheat the system. That being so how will Service Canada know that a person is away from Canada half the year? They say that they have no authority to check with immigration regarding our movements etc. whatsoever. What they expect is honesty and if one exceeds his/her stay of six months one has to keep Service Canada informed. Your response would be appreciated. Thank you.


    Dear Mr Doug,

    I am a retired and apply for a GIS in May 2015 means that is more than 18 weeks and I did not receive my first GIS cheque. When it suppose to get it…??


    • Doug Runchey


      Unfortunately, there is no minimum processing time imposed on Service Canada for GIS applications or anything else. Sometimes they are very good and sometimes they are horrible. All that I can suggest is that you follow up with them regularly by phone at 1-800-277-9914.

  46. Ron

    My Husband and I applied for GIC at the end of March.
    At the end of May I called to find out that the form
    I printed out from GIC website was the wrong one. We went down to Service Canada and filled the correct forms on June 1 I was told
    that because I did apply in March they would back date the new forms to March. Since then I have called twice once in July to
    be told oh someone is working on it. Called again in Aug to find out we have to wait another 12 weeks.

    • Doug Runchey


      You have my sympathy, but unfortunately that seems to be the current reality by Service Canada (see above comment also). The only good news is that the first payment will include retroactive GIS benefits.


    Hi Dough,

    What is the “Allowances” is it included on OAS and GIS..??? Please can you clarify. Thank you

    • Doug Runchey


      The Allowance is a benefit that is paid to the spouse or common-law partner of someone who is receiving the OAS and GIS. It is paid if they are between the age of 60 to 65.



    I have another question how to calculate my OAS..?? Please advise.



    • Doug Runchey


      OAS is “earned” at the rate of 1/40th of the full basic amount (currently $564.87 monthly) for each complete year of residence in Canada after age 18 and before you start receiving OAS.

      • Paul Duggal

        But for some reason like these exeptional times of corona virus, you get stuck outside canada for more than 6 months, would you lose your GIS benefit? Or will the Govt. Make an exception?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Paul – I can’t say for sure, but I expect that they will make an exception in this case. It would help if you could provide evidence that you had previously purchase return travel within the 6 month period of absence and that you do actually return to Canada at the earliest possible opportunity.


    Hi Doug,

    I am receiving only 225.44 $ monthly for my OAS… So, what is wrong ..?? why I can’t reach the currently amount 564.87 $..???

    Best regards,


    • Doug Runchey


      There are about 5 possible reasons that I can think of as to why your OAS might be around $225, but I’d need more details to tell you for sure. Please provide the following information:
      – month and year of birth;
      – date of entry to Canada (if applicable);
      – total income from all sources in 2014;
      – marital status;
      – age of spouse (if applicable) and 2014 income of spouse;
      – are you having any tax withheld from your OAS;


    Hi Doug,

    Here are the responses requested.

    – month and year of birth; 12/03/1948
    – date of entry to Canada (if applicable);09/14/1997
    – total income from all sources in 2014;925,44 $ Retirement CPP
    – marital status;Married
    – age of spouse (if applicable) and 2014 income of spouse;
    – are you having any tax withheld from your OAS;NO.

    Another question. Since, I deposit my application for the GIS on 6th May 2015 and we are till today over than 20 weeks since my date of deposit of my GIS Application. Is I am eligible for the retroactive for the GIS or NOT..??? Please advise

    • Doug Runchey


      I have a couple of follow-up questions:
      – since you entered Canada in Sept/97 and you would have had only 16 complete years of residence in Canada when you turned age 65, did you start your OAS effective April 2013 with a partial OAS of 16/40ths or at some later date?
      – since you’re married, I need to know your spouse’s age and her 2014 income. If she’s over age 65 I also need to know whether she’s also receiving OAS and at what rate?

      As to retroactive GIS, it depends partly on when your OAS started and what GIS application(s) you completed. If you completed only a GIS application with your 2014 income, your GIS should be effective July 2015. If you also completed a GIS application with your 2013 income, it could be retroactive to July 2014 if you were receiving OAS effective that date.



    Yes, I start to get my OAS in April 2014. My spouse up-to-date is 59 and her income 2014 was 0$.



    • Doug Runchey


      Because your OAS was approved at age 65 when you had only 16 years of residence in Canada, your OAS will always be paid at 16/40ths of the full basic amount (currently $564.87) which means that your OAS will never increase except for the quarterly CPI increases.

      The good news is that your GIS will be “topped up”, so that your combined OAS/GIS should be the max of $1,330.80.

  52. Lloyd Litke

    Hi, Doug.

    You are providing a great source of much-needed informtion with this webpage – Thank you for that.

    I turned 65 on Dec 01, 2014. My wife and I both retired from our jobs at that point. I had applied for OAS already, so in January 2015 I applied for the GIS. I filled in the appropriate etimate of 2015 earnings form, stating that my total gross income for 2015 would be $11,400 (CPP and work pension). My wife turned 60 in Aug 2015, and her CPP income will be $845 total for the balance of 2015. She has applied for the Allowance. Our total combined gross income for 2015 will be $12,245. (Note: We are also recieving $245 each month from the Alberta Seniors Benefit, or $2490 total for 2015. I can’t find any reference as to whether or not this would be included as income in our 2015 estimate. Perhaps you know?) Nine months after applying for the GIS, I still haven’t received any money. When I called them yesterday (Sept 30, 2015), they told me that they would send an “Urgent Request” in to the Alberta Processing Centre.

    Is it now normal for GIS applications to take over 9 months to process? I have been paying my bills from a small savings account, which is quickly being depleted, and I am concerned for those seniors who do not have any resources to fall back on. And secondly, can you give me a rough guess of how much my wife and I should eventually receive as GIS/Allowance? (Hopefully the retroactive pay will be enough for us to replenish our small “emergency” savings account.)

    Thank you for your time, Doug.

    All the best,

    • Doug Runchey


      I’m quite sure that your Alberta Senior’s Benefit won’t affect your GIS entitlement, as it is considered a non-taxable benefit.

      As to it taking over 9 months to process your GIS application, unfortunately that appears to be the new “norm” for Service Canada lately.

  53. Lloyd Litke

    Thanks for the reply, Doug. I really do feel concerned for those retirees who don’t have any money in reserve during this long waiting time. Service Canada really needs to hire more workers to deal with their huge GIS backlog.

    Would you hazard a guess about how much my wife and I might get as GIS? We are homeowners, and other than OAS, I have told you all the income we have.

    Thanks again!

    • Jay

      I feel as though I can apply for an allowance, however I have been receiving long term disability that is not taxable, do I have to report this when apply.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Jay – I would suggest that you report it, but indicate clearly on the form that the disability payments are non-taxable.

  54. Doug Runchey


    Based on your combined estimated income of $12,245 for 2015, you should be eligible for GIS of $404.83 and your wife should receive the Allowance in the same amount of $404.83 monthly effective Sept 2015. For the period of Jan-Aug 2015, you should be eligible for retroactive GIS of approx. $600 monthly.

  55. Lloyd Litke

    Thanks for the estimates, Doug. Its much appreciated!

  56. Wayne Francis

    Doug, after reading your response above about the norm for processing a new GIS application extending to 9 months which in my case would be February or March 2016. I have a planned trip out of Canada from December 9th 2015 to May 1st 2016 and had expected my application to be completed before my departure date.

    Would not having my application completed by my departure date cause any concerns with me leaving Canada. My total days residing in Canada up to departure would be 189 days.



    • Doug Runchey


      Planning to leave Canada for almost 5 months after having been present in Canada for only 6 months is not the best way to establish that you are actually residing in Canada.

      Whether or not your GIS application is approved before you leave Canada is not really the issue. The issue is whether you’re truly residing in Canada and visiting elsewhere, or vice versa.

      This is not simply a matter of how many days you are present in Canada versus elsewhere (although that is certainly one of the factors to be considered). The test in the OAS Act for whether you’re residing in Canada is whether you are “making your home in Canada” (and not elsewhere) and that you are “ordinarily living here”.

      There is a lot of subjectivity to both parts of this definition, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they delay making their decision on your GIS application until after you return to Canada in May 2016.

  57. Wayne Francis

    Thanks Doug, I’ll have to do some re-thinking on this.



  58. Andrew Miller


    In applying for the GIS, I have a question regarding “other income”. Currently I receive a small private tax free disability pension paid monthly. Is thIs amount to be included as income in my application? Thank you.


    • Doug Runchey


      I don’t think it counts if it’s non-taxable, but I recommend that you include it and explain what it is.

  59. Margaret Hart

    Doug, My husband and I both receive OAS and CPP. This will be our first year with no other income. Do we both apply for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or is only one of us eligible? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey


      If you’re both receiving OAS you should both apply for GIS and you will both receive the same amount of GIS based on your combined CPP income.

  60. Ray


    I submit my Application for GIS for myself and I received from Service Canada a Letter asking me to provide 2013 and 2014 Tax Assessment for my wife which is not yet entitled for the GIS. The GIS I submit was only for me not for her.



    • Doug Runchey


      If you’re married, your GIS entitlement is based on the combined income of yourself and your wife.

  61. Jn

    Hi, Just wondering is my husband’s UK industrial injuries benefit is assessed as income for the purposes of GIS? Thanks.

    • Doug


      If it’s considered as a taxable income in Canada, it will be counted as income for GIS purposes.

      • Lena guarasci

        I am 76 yes old my husband is82 I am worried that when he dies I will have nothing since his work pension dies with him I know I will get some cpp and I have 300 cpp of my own plus oas will I qualify for his if something should happen. Thank you lena guarasci

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Lena – Yes, if your only income is from CPP and OAS after your husband dies, you would definitely qualify for GIS at that time.

  62. Sue Salis

    So I’m completing the application for GIS for my parents and my dad is in LTC so am I putting my mother’s application in a married or separated and attach a separate paper stating that they are involuntarily separated?

    • Doug


      You should indicate their marital status as married and include the note explaining the situation as you suggest.

  63. talak

    Mr. Doug

    Pardon me from deviating to a different subject. I am aware that you are well-qualified to give me an answer if conveniently possible. I was laid off (after 15 yrs. service) beginning of September 2015 with a package but I have applied for Employment Insurance in October. I understand that my EI will not kick in till such time I have depleted my ‘package’. Until my EI kicks in, can I leave Canada for a period of two months to visit my ailing parents in India? I know that I cannot leave Canada while drawing EI. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Doug


      I’m afraid that I’m not an EI expert, but I think if you leave Canada for two months that will simply extend your waiting period by two months.

  64. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    I don’t know you can give a feedback about my question. I try to get a copy of my Tax Assessment and sent a letter to Tax Canada since now 1 month and no response.Please can you just guide me from where I can get this Tax Assessment

  65. Ky

    Hi Doug,

    My husband and I both receive some OAS and GIS.

    My husband withdrew all the money (about $43,000) from his RIF account this year before he passed away in September. How will his extra income from RIF affect my GIS for July 2015 thru June 2016 and my GIS for July 2016 thru June 2017?

    Which year (2015 or 2016) will I be considered single (widowed)for GIS purposes?

    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey


      My condolences! Your husband’s RIF income for 2015 will never affect your GIS amount however, as you will be considered as single for GIS purposes and paid only on the basis of your own income effective October 2015.

  66. talak

    Mr. Doug

    Re. your response to Ray, can one prepare T1-ADJ’s just by obtaining copies of the Notice of Assessment in the absence of all other information?

    • Doug Runchey

      talak – I’m sorry, but I don’t really understand your question and I’m not an income tax expert.

  67. Fred

    Hi Doug
    I tried to find this in a Q and A on your site, but was not successful – so apologies if this is a duplicate

    • I am 69 and my wife is under 65 and not receiving OAS.
    • I still have some control over my income for the tax year 2015 as some of it comes from dividends in a small company that I am the principal in.
    • I am trying to see if it is worthwhile to reduce the dividends for the year 2015 to perhaps make me eligible for some GIS.
    • I have reviewed the Service Canada document – Application for the GIS Supplement and the associated Instruction Sheet and had 2 questions:
    1. On that Income statement (which cross references to the Tax Return) for myself and my spouse, do you know if the total arrived at for the two of us is the actual number that would be used in calculating GIS eligibility and the amount of the benefit?
    2. In “Block 9 – Other Income”, it shows Other Income less Other Deductions. One of the Other Deductions is “Carrying Charges” (line 221 from Tax Return). It also says if the net of Other Income less Other Deductions is negative to circle that amount. Do you know if that means a net negative amount would be deducted from the other positive amounts? In my case, the main part of the “Carrying Charges” is Advisor Fees for an investment account which is reflected on Line 221 of the return.

    Apologies if this is a bit of a nitty gritty question, but appreciate any guidance.

    • Doug Runchey


      The answer to your first question is “yes”, your combined total income should be what is used to determine the amount of your GIS and her Allowance.

      The answer to your second question is also “yes”, a loss in Block 9 can be used to reduce your total income, although if the loss made your total income negative that net loss cannot be used to reduce your spouse’s income.

      • Fred

        Thanks for the quick reply. In digging a little further, I generated another question for myself.

        I am 69 and my wife is between 60 and 64. For calculation purposes, I guess I should be using the tables that include the GIS for me and the Allowance for her? I never really understood this Allowance business, but in looking at the values in the tables, it appears that the overall numbers work out the same for (GIS plus Allowance) = (GIS for a couple where spouse is not receiving OAS) and it is more a matter of how the benefits are distributed.

        Am I understanding this correctly?

  68. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    At what age my spouse should apply for her OAS. Please advise.


    • Doug Runchey


      Assuming that your wife has enough residence in Canada, she can qualify for OAS when she reaches age 65. She should submit her application for OAS at least 6 months before then though, to give Service Canada enough time to process her application.

  69. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    I apply for my GIS on 6th May 2015, .

    I am waiting for the response from Service Canada. Another thing, should I expect a retroactive payment from May 2015 or will just from this month December 2015.???? Please advise

    Best regards,


    • Doug Runchey


      I already answered this question above.

  70. John

    My wife and I are currently getting GIS, and I have to draw funds from my RRIF now. When the RRIF runs out completely … can I apply for gis based on the anticipated change … or do I have to wait for them to get my income tax from the year in which we have no RRIF income … and hope to get gis the following July? In other words, is RRIF income treated as ‘a change in retirement income’?
    Thanks for the help

    • Doug Runchey


      The good news is that if you start withdrawing your RRIF in January 2016, it won’t reduce your GIS amount until July 2017. The bad news is that when your RRIF is fully depleted, it doesn’t count as pension income stopping so that your GIS won’t increase until July of the year after you make no withdrawals.

  71. Sheldon

    Hi Doug,

    I was born, lived and worked in Canada all my life with the following exceptions. From January 2013 until June 2014 I was out of the country living, but not working, in Guatemala. I declared 2013 as a sabbatical from Quebec Medicare…permitted 1 out of every 7 years. In 2014 I lived in Quebec for 197 days. In 2015 I lived in Quebec for 200 days and have been living, but not working, in Thailand since June 19. As far as Quebec Medicare goes I can stay here until the end of June, 2016. But I applied for the GIS which I will be eligible for in September, 2015. My understanding is that with the exception of absences of less than 6 months, I must live in Canada for the year prior to receiving any GIS. Does this mean I must return to Canada before January 18th, 2016? If so, can I return and leave again immediately if I come back prior to 6 months?

  72. Sheldon

    Hi Doug,

    I was just reading my post and I noticed an error. I will be eligible for my pension in September of 2016, not 2015.

    Just to clarify, is the 6 months absence per calendar year or any absence longer than 6 months? Also, I was offered the opportunity of working in Thailand or in Europe on a contract basis for a Canadian company starting in January 2016. It would be for between 3-5 months. How would this figure into my qualifying for the GIS?


    • Doug Runchey


      The only clear answer is that the 6-month limit applies to an individual absence and not to a calendar year. Beyond that answer, everything is a little grey.

      Firstly, in order to be eligible for GIS at all, you must be considered as “residing in Canada”. The definition of residence for OAS/GIS purposes is that you must “make your home in Canada and ordinarily live in Canada”.

      This definition is quite subjective, but certainly can’t be met simply by physically spending any specific number of days in Canada, although that is certainly one of the factors considered.

      Once you meet the definition of residing in Canada, you could theoretically string together a series of 6-month absences from Canada, followed by short periods of presence. I say theoretically, because at some point you would no longer be “ordinarily living in Canada”, and where one person draws that line may differ from where another person does.

      With repeated absences of any duration, there would also be the question of whether you’re still “making your home in Canada”, which is another very subjective determination.

      I wish that I could give you a more definitive answer, but I hope this helps a bit anyway?

  73. Fred

    Hi Doug
    Just wanted to be sure I understand those tables for GIS and The Allowance. I am 69 and collecting full OAS. My wife is 60. So I assume if we apply, our combined income would be matched against Table 4 for the GIS for me and The Allowance for her.

    This means if that combined amount exceeds $31,872 (or thereabout), we would receive neither any GIS nor any of The Allowance?

    While this table tops out at $31,872, the Table 3 if she were over 65 tops out at $41,424.

    Just wanted to be sure I understood Table 3 correctly.

    • Doug Runchey


      It works a little different than that.

      If your combined income exceeds the Table 4 maximum of $31,872, your wife won’t receive any Allowance but your GIS would then be determined using Table 3.

      Once your wife turns age 65 (and assuming that she applies for OAS then) you will both use Table 2 to determine your GIS.

  74. Arthur Gannis

    Hello Doug. I am 68 and receiving both oas/gis as my only income source. I am living with and taking care of my 96 yr. father. I am the sole beneficiary of his will which is his fully paid house. When I do become owner and later if I decide to sell it, is that going to affect my as/gis amount ? Is a will property considered taxable income ? Thanks.

    • Doug Runchey


      I’m not claiming to be a tax expert, but I’m pretty sure that any property that you inherit is non-taxable and won’t therefore affect your GIS. Selling it shouldn’t be an issue either, unless that generates a taxable gain?

    • Dave

      If your fathers house is his principal residence then when he dies it will pass to you without any taxes payable BUT you will have to probate his will and there will be costs with that and needless hassle.

      If you are his only beneficiary and living with him and therefore you do not own a separate house then I strongly suggest that you talk to him and transfer the house into both of your names with right of survivourship. Meaning upon his death you will easily have it transferred to your name only by producing a death certificate. No taxes would be payable by you or him.

      If he has separate bank accounts they should also be held jointly with you with right of survivourship. AS he is 96 I expect your managing his money now with his interests in mind so having the accounts in joint names makes sense and is good estate planning.

      Owning a piece of real estate does not effect your amount of GIS entitlement. Howver if you later sold the house and invested the money then the amount of investment income would effect your GIS.

  75. Lloyd Litke

    Hi, Doug.

    I wrote you a few months back, when I was waiting for my GIS application and my wife’s Allowance application to be calculated. I had turned 65 on Dec 01, 2014. My wife and I both retired from our jobs at that point. I had applied for OAS already, so in January 2015 I applied for the GIS. I filled in the appropriate etimate of 2015 earnings form, stating that my total gross income for 2015 would be $11,400 (CPP and work pension). My wife turned 60 in Aug 2015, and her CPP income will be $845 total for the balance of 2015. She applied for the Allowance. Our total combined gross income estimate for 2015 will be $12,245. Well, we finally received letters saying that our GIS and Allowance had been approved, and that I would, starting in December 2015, receive $512 GIS each month, and that my wife would receive $899 Allowance each month. You had previously given me an estimate of GIS+Allowance of $800/month, but the department’s numbers add up to about $1400/month. I am worried that they are overpaying us, and that we will have to pay it back in the future. Can you give us some advice on how to deal with this? Thanks for your help!

    • Doug Runchey


      I strongly suggest that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to find out why they’re paying you those amounts now, as I think you should each be receiving $410.07 based on your 2015 income.

      Did they pay your GIS retroactive to Jan 2015 and your wife’s Allowance retroactive to Sept 2015?

  76. Arthur Gannis

    Thanks for a quick reply Doug, much appreciated. I have just a question for a friend. He will be turning 65 on February 2016, he has applied for OAS and GIS at the same time this past September and just received an eligibility letter for his OAS that payments will commence on March 2016. He did not receive any news about the GIS start date. Does his waiting time ( those long months wait for GIS) start at the time he applied for GIS on September 2015 or the waiting starts in February 2016 when he turns 65 ?

    • Doug Runchey


      The “wait time” should have started when he submitted his GIS application in September. I’d recommend that he call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 just to make sure that it hasn’t been overlooked.

  77. Arthur Gannis

    Thanks Doug, he just hopes that the GIS will take less than 5 months after applied for, or else he won’t make rent payment/food until it does. I saw that applications should be made WITHIN 11 months prior to turning 65, BUT it doesn’t say that applying late WITHIN that period will hugely delay the GIS after turning 65. I am sure that many are filing like 3-4 months before turning 65 and then wondering why the GIS doesn’t kick in at the same time as OAS.
    Anyway, Thanks again.

  78. Maxine D.

    Hi Doug. I turned 61 in Oct. 2015 and my husband was 65 in June 2015. We applied for the GIC/Allowance. He receives $569.95 OAS and $269.05 CP. I receive $88.49 CP with no other income. This amounts to $927.49/month He was receiving $1050.00 RRIF(gross) until July 2015 when the funds ran out. Our total income for 2013 was $21,451.36 and $16,278.79 for 2014. Will we receive any GIS/Allowance in July of 2016 or will we have to wait until 2017 because of the RRIF that ended in 2015? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey


      You should apply for the GIS/Allowance immediately, as you are entitled to retroactive benefits effective July 2015, based on your combined 2014 income.

      Using your income as $16,278, your husband’s GIS would be $320.83 and your Allowance would also be $320.83.

      • Maxine D.

        Thank you.

  79. Ray


    I am little confuse between GIS and Allowance is it the same or is different and should I apply in same time for both GIS / Allowance or on different timing. Please advise.

    Best regards,


    • Doug Runchey


      GIS and the Allowance are two separate benefits under the OAS program.

      GIS is paid to someone who’s over age 65 and receiving OAS.

      The Allowance is paid to someone who’s over age 60 but under age 65 and is the spouse or common-law partner of someone who is receiving OAS/GIS.

  80. John

    I am 67 and presently receiving CPP/OAS/GIS and my wife is 61 and receiving the Allowance.
    If she should decided to take early CCP this May, what affect would this extra income have on this year’s (up to July 31st) and next year’s GIS / Allowance.

    ie.: will next year’s GIS / Allowance be based upon my 2015 CPP or will it somehow take into account my wife’s early CPP?

    Thank You.

    • Doug Runchey


      If your wife starts receiving her CPP in 2016, it won’t normally affect your GIS/Allowance until July 2017.

      The exception to this rule would be if she was using her estimated 2016 income immediately, which would happen only if she retired in 2015/2016 or if she was receiving some other pension that stopped or reduced in 2015/2016.

  81. Jo

    Hi. I’m just trying to do some future forecasting and have a better understanding of all of this. My husband will be 60 shortly, I am 51. He suffered two heart attacks and triple by pass surgery – therefore he is not working. At age 60 he can apply for CPP. When he turns 65 – OAS. I am just learning about the GIS. If the only income he has is CPP (he has no company pension and he was a seasonal worker so his CPP will be on the low end – I believe about $593 the last time I called), will he qualify for the GIS as well? Thanks so much.

    • Jo

      I’m sorry, I should have added that I do work and have a full-time job. Income before any deductions is about $48K.

    • Doug Runchey


      First, if your husband is unable to work because of his heart condition, he should consider applying immediately for a CPP disability pension instead of applying for his early retirement pension when he turns age 60.

      Second, if you’re still working and earnings $48K when he turns age 65, your husband won’t receive any GIS. The maximum income cutoff for GIS for a married couple where only one is receiving OAS is $41,472 (excluding the OAS).

  82. Mel

    i will soon be up for retirement, my wife is much younger and still gamefully employed, my question is will i be eligible for OAS and GIS while she is still working or will her earning disqualify me from the GIS income


    • Doug Runchey


      Your wife’s earnings won’t affect your OAS eligibility, but they will affect your GIS as it’s your combined income that counts.

      If your combined income (excluding the OAS) is less than $41,472 you will still be eligible for some GIS.

  83. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    I am 66 years. I am receiving my OAS (2735.76 $ CAN and my CPP 1025.27 $ CAN) can I apply for an Allowance as I have apply already for an GIS and still waiting for response from Service Canada. My questions are:

    1. Can I apply for an Allowance.?????
    2. What will be the approximate amount I should receive for my future GIS. ??????????. Please advise.

    Best regards,


    • Doug Runchey


      The Allowance is only payable between age 60 and 65, so the answer to your first question is “No”.

      The “full basic OAS” is $570.52 monthly, so you are not receiving $2,735.76 OAS, unless that is your yearly amount?

      I can only estimate your future GIS if I know:
      – the current monthly amount of your OAS,
      – your income from all sources;
      – your marital status;
      – the age and income of your spouse (if applicable)

  84. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    Here are the Info. (Below)

    – The current monthly amount of your OAS: 225.85 $ CAN / Month
    – Your income from all sources; CPP 85.25 $ CAN / Month. (Eighty five Dollar and twenty five Cents) + OAS 225.85 $ CAN / Month. A total Income of: 311.10 $ / Month
    – your marital status; Married
    – the age and income of your spouse: 59 and 6 months Old.
    – Income : 0 $ CAN (Not Working)



    • Doug Runchey


      While your wife is under age 60, your GIS will be approx. $1,117 per month. Once your wife turns age 60, your GIS will reduce slightly to approx. $1,082 and your wife will be eligible for an Allowance of approx. $1,019 per month.

      • RAY

        Hi Doug,

        Is the amount of 1,117 $ per month is include the OAS and GIS together or only the GIS.



        • Doug Runchey


          The $1,117 is only GIS, plus your OAS of $225.85 for a total of approx. $1,343.

          I made a mistake on your GIS after your wife turns 60 though, as the $1,082 is your total OAS/GIS, meaning that your GIS reduces to approx. $857 when she starts receiving the Allowance of $1,019.

  85. Dave

    Hi Ray,

    I’ll leave it to Doug to answer your direct questions but I’m curious as to how your living in Canada as a couple on 311.10 per month. Its seems based on the amount of your OAS that you had approximately 13.5 years in Canada at age 65 and during that time made fairly minimal contributions to CPP.

    Are you living with family?

    When your wife turns 60 and starts getting the supplement, and you start getting the super enhanced GIS amount I expect you’re going to very happy you came to Canada.

    • Ray

      No, I am living with my wife, (NO Mortgage, no Vehicle finance and no debts) I am also receiving monthly gift from my 4 kids different amount between 300 to 400 $ monthly depend from each kid which are grown up and living away from me. I am getting My CPP is 85.54 $ per month + my OAS 225 $ Per month, which is the Total income of 311.10 $ per month.


    • Dave

      My mistake …. looks like you’ve been in Canada about 16 years at age 65 not 13.5 years.

  86. Dave

    Great kids and good for you for no debts, and to have purchased a home.

  87. Ray


    I Have been in Canada for 18 years from 14th August. 1997 till today 01/14/2016

    Best regards,


  88. Fred

    Hi Jim
    Question about GIS calculations.

    I’m 69, my wife is 60. I delayed CPP start till April of 2015 as I had some extra income sources up until Jan 2015. So I received 9 mos. of CPP in 2015. We’re considering applying for OAS/Allowance after submitting my 2015 return in April.

    Question is – In the eligibility/amount calculations, will CRA extrapolate my CPP income to the amount it would be for 12 mos, or would they use the actual 2015 CPP amount (9 mos)?

    • Doug Runchey


      Your GIS/Allowance entitlement for the period of July 2016 thru June 2017 would normally be based on your actual income for 2015.

      Depending on what type of income source stopped in Jan 2015, you could even be eligible for retroactive GIS based on your pro-rated 2015 income instead of your actual 2014 income. This would be possible if the income source that stopped in Jan 2015 was employment earnings or pension income.

  89. Rodney Crouse

    Hi Doug. I know I could call Service Canada about this but I find telephones a problem with my speech disorder.

    This year, I am receiving GIS of about 160.00 a month based on my 2014 income. This year, I am anticipating making an RRSP withdrawal to purchase a new automobile. This extra $20,000 that will be added to my income for 2016 is going to wipe out my GIS eligibility for
    2017. If that’s the case, would I have to reapply for GIS again if my 2017 income is back to what it was in 2014 and 2015 when I qualified for it? Or would the calculations just be done automatically regardless of the fact that I didn’t get the GIS for the previous year? Thanks

    • Doug Runchey


      I’m not 100% sure, but I believe that you may need to reapply for GIS once you’ve had an interruption due to having excess income for a year.

  90. Jay

    Mr. Doug. My parents are over 65 age. both they had for 18 years of residence in Canada when they OAS started. The combined income for the year 2015 is approx. $22,000 or $23,000 excluding OAS. The estimated income is higher than previous years due to unexpected income as temporary. How much will be OAS/GIS a month each other starting July 2016 based on those 2 cases of combined income respectively?. My point of question is, how is applied the combined GIS/OAS based on the combined income for the partial OAS recipients.

    • Doug Runchey


      Based on that income range, your parents’ combined OAS/GIS will be approx. $560-$590 each.

      • Andy Y

        Hi Doug,

        My parents, both over 65, will have been living in Canada for 10 years by early 2022, and therefore will be eligible for OAS/GIS application. With their combined income being around Cdn$30,000, how much GIS will they be entitled to?


        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Andy – I’d need to know what the $30,000 is comprised of.

          • Andy Y

            The amount of $30,000 comes from their foreign pensions and is reported on Line 11500.

            As an expert in this area, you must know the existence of a government document titled “The Old Age Security Program Toolkit” in which it is mentioned the income threshold for couples both receiving partial OAS is $53,280 (scenario one of the GIS map). To apply the methodology of Table 2 to the partial OAS scenario. the amount of $24,576 will be replaced with $53,280, and the income has to increase by ~$52 ($53,280/($1166 – $154)) rather than $48 for the monthly GIS to decrease by $1 each time, in which $1166 is the maximum OAS+GIS found in Table 2 and $154 is one quarter of the full OAS. In my parent’s case, they will each receive $1166 – ($30,000/$52) = $589 every month. Please correct me if the logic I assume implemented doesn’t make sense at all.


          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Andy – No, I wasn’t aware of the toolkit that you mention. It looks very interesting, but it doesn’t replace the OAS Act and Regulations. I couldn’t follow all of your logic (especially how you came up with a reduction rate of $52), so I’ll explain how I come up with a GIS entitlement of ~ $347.61 each. At 10/40ths OAS, they will receive a GIS top-up equal to 30/40ths of the full basic OAS, which equals $460.61. That starts to disappear when their income exceeds $24,576 at a rate of $1 per month for every $48 of combined annual income. Since their income of $30,000 exceeds $24,576 by $5,424, their GIS top-up will be reduced by $113 ($5,424/$48), leaving a balance of $347.61 as being their GIS entitlement.

          • Andy Y

            Thank you very much, Doug.

            There ought to be an income threshold for the partial OAS scenario that is either $53,280 not found elsewhere on Service Canada’s website or $46685 ($24576 + $48*460.61), as per your calculations. If $53,280 is the case, then either a different increment ($52) than $48 or a higher initial increment as seen in Table 3 ($0 – $4096) should be applied. The partial OAS threshold should vary with the number of residence years as well.


          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Andy – The partial OAS threshold does vary based on the number of years of residence, which is why they don’t publish all of the partial rate tables. I suspect the $53,280 figure was calculated based on someone receiving 1/40th OAS, but it doesn’t match exactly with the current GIS tables.

  91. Sheldon

    Hi Doug,

    I will be turning 65 in Sept., 2016. I filed my applications for both OAS and GIS. In 2014 I withdrew the last $10,000 from my RRSP. That was virtually my entire income. For 2015, I relied on my savings and about $7000 earned on the stock market through appreciation of stocks I bought and sold. How will that be accounted for in determining my payments that will start in October of 2016?


    • Doug Runchey


      Your capital gain of $7,000 for 2015 is considered as taxable income of $3,500, which would reduce your GIS by approx. $145 per month.

  92. Jay

    Mr. Doug. Thank you for your response about my parents’ pension. I would like to ask you one more to understand allowed income levels for the partial OAS recipients who had for 18 years of residence. The combined income is approx. $25,000, how much will be combined GIS/OAS each person?.

    • Doug Runchey


      Based on income of $25,000, they will each receive OAS of approx. $525 per month ($256 OAS + $269 GIS).

  93. Tim

    Hi Doug, how does the duration in Canada to the start of your OAS affects your GIS? I understand the formula from OAS standpoint (Multiplier = Year when 1st receiving OAS – Year when landed in Canada). Multiplier * Max. OAS Amt = Mom’s OAS amt in received. Unfortunately, my father just passed a few weeks ago and my mom has no income. Even though Service Canada has put in an urgent email in for the re-calculation due to financial distress (mom can’t afford rent), I’d like to prep myself to ensure they calculated correctly. She’s 66 and already receiving OAS. So no luck on the allowance for survivor 🙁 Thank YOU

  94. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    My wife just received a Notice from Service Canada just after I received my OAS/GIS, she can apply for her Allowance. As I am 67 years and my wife she will turn 60 years next August 201. What is the purpose of this Allowance and how much she will get.



  95. Ray


    Let me explain myself. My wife received a Notice for Service Canada that she can apply for her Allowance, she will turn 60 years on next August 2016. What is the amount she can expect.???



    • Doug Runchey


      The amount of her Allowance could range from a low of $0.55 to a high of $1,083.46, depending on your combined income from other sources. Your GIS will likely also decrease when she starts receiving the Allowance.

      I could likely tell you both of those amounts if I knew how much you were currently receiving from OAS/GIS.

      • Ray

        Hi Doug

        Our combined income is 3695.26 per year(CPP + OAS) and just this month Feb. 2016 I started to get my GIS + Gains.

        • Doug Runchey


          Was that your combined annual income for 2015? How much of it was OAS and how much was CPP?

          You must only be receiving a partial OAS at that amount, so now I also need to know how many years you had resided in Canada when your OAS was approved.

          • Ray

            Yes, I receive 225.85$ / Monthly (2714.79$ Yearly) for OAS and 87$ / Monthly (1025.28$ years) for CPP. Our combined annual income was in 2015 3740.07. I reside in Canada since Aug. 1997 (19 years)

          • Doug Runchey

            Based on your income as stated, your combined OAS/GIS for July and August 2016 should be $1,344.12 per month. Once your wife turns 60, your combined OAS/GIS will decrease slightly to $1,083.48 and your wife’s Allowance will be $1,020.48 effective September 2016.

  96. Ro

    I must say Mr. Runchey is an extraordinary font of info re a lot of complicated questions; and I’ve found his site VERY useful as I near “that” year. Anyway, I was surprised to find that if you call Service Canada and CRA (and get actual humans), and you have your previous year’s tax return in hand, they get computing – determining OAS, GIS via the ridiculously complex calculations for what constitutes your Line 236 Total Income vis a vis the types of various income sources that hurt or help the amount you receive. (It’s quite the quagmire of ratios and exceptions.) And this is ditto for CPP people and the determination whether to take it early or late. [Take it early, kids!]

    Anyway, those of you who aren’t getting any quick action on application acceptance (and cheques) or wonder why the heck you’re receiving what you’re receiving, supplement Mr. Runchey’s knowledge with them thar folks. If the first person(s) you talk to seems to be sleepwalking through their day at these agencies, keep calling until you get someone interested in their job, interested in giving you very precise figures; and interested in ferreting out why things aren’t moving at a reasonable pace.

    I finally got to a great person, and he was a wonder.

    • Doug Runchey


      Thanks for the positive feedback, and I agree that sometimes you can get wonderful service from Service Canada and CRA.

  97. Dave

    Attention Doug,…question. If a person waits until 70 to start OAS will the full amount of OAS still be excluded as income for the GIS calculation or is it limited to the age 65 amount?

    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, the increased OAS would be fully excluded for GIS purposes.

  98. Don

    Does non taxable payments from an insurance company,count towards gis and allowance maximum allowable amounts.

    • Doug Runchey

      No, non-taxable payments from an insurance company do not count as income for purposes of GIS or the Allowance.

  99. Bert

    I. Think I understand the basics of this, and I feel totally screwed. My wife and I have been saving diligently to our rsp and will retire in two years. Imagine my shock to realize that when I take funds from my rsp the government will take half as a claw back, as well as tax me as income. I thought the purpose of rsp was to defer taxes to a time when income therefore taxes would be less,, but with the clawback I will in fact be paying more than ever.

  100. Jacob

    Hello Doug,

    My parents would like me to ask you on their behalf in regards to the combined monthly payment for GIS + Allowance if it is correct.

    My dad has resided in Canada for 23 years:
    OAS= 570.52/40*23= $328
    Allowance (0 income, no CPP or any pension) = $512.96

    Total for dad = $840.96

    Mom (61 years old)
    Allowance = $1,083.48

    Total for both = $1,924.44

    The reason I ask is because I just found out that OAS depends on how long you have resided in Canada. But is the Allowance the same criteria or its based on income alone?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Gail

      I am just an observer but are you saying your Dad has no CPP income? If he worked (or perhaps he did not work?) for those 23 years in Canada, then there should be some Canada Pension Income. Am I missing something, or are you just not using it to calculate the Allowance you think might apply?

  101. Steven Walker

    Does anything like this apply to individuals who are not seniors but still make less than 10k per year? Is there anything in my taxes I can do to receive any additional support?

  102. Alex Kh.

    Hello, Mr.Doug

    I am receiving OAS and GIS as we are 10 years residing In Canad,
    Question 1:
    If our total net income exceeds $41,472 for the tax year 2015, do I still receive the GIS?
    My wife is 61, we send the Allowance form to service Canada.
    Question 2:
    Does she receive the Allowance? if yes how much.?

    Alex Kh.

  103. Leon

    Hi Doug,

    My aunt is 80. She was widowed last year. They sold their lifetime home for less than $100,000. She has been told and it appears that the proceeds from the sale will not attract income tax. She receives approximately $350.00 in CPP as well as approximately the same amount in survivors benefit. She has been told that she was overpaid on the GIS and has been reduced. Is there something that we are missing or could she indeed have been overpaid.

    • Doug Runchey


      It shouldn’t have been the sale of the home that caused the overpayment to her GIS. I recommend that she call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to get an explanation for what caused the overpayment, and contact me again if their explanation doesn’t make any sense to you.

  104. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    I have one question …If someone declare bankcrupcy then, is his OAS and GIS will be suspended…???? Please advise. Thank you



    • Doug Runchey


      No, his OAS and GIS would not be affected by bankruptcy.

  105. Chris

    Hi Doug,
    I have been doing some digging into GIS details for my Father In-law but I have hit a wall in trying to determine potential GIS income. He currently has the following sources of income:
    CPP $12,365
    RRIF $10,996
    OAS $6,787

    His current RRIF withdrawals are well in excess of the prescribed minimum based on his age, if he lowered his RRIF withdrawals to $4,549 thus making him eligible for the GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement where the maximum income is $17,304), what could he expect as a benefit?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Doug Runchey


      Assuming that your father-in-law is now single, he would be eligible for GIS of approx. $16.15 per month if his RRIF income decreased to $4,549. There would be a significant time delay though, as 2016 income wouldn’t be used for GIS until July 2017.

      • Chris

        Thank you Doug for your reply, based upon your answer I can see there is little benefit in reducing his RRIF withdrawals. When his RRIF runs out, based on today’s numbers and at CPP income of $12,365, what would his potential GIS benefit be?

        Also, I would like to thank you for this article as it was one of the best in regards to content and your replies have been extremely helpful!

        • Doug Runchey


          Based only on his CPP income of $12,365, his GIS would be $205.15 monthly.

  106. Sheldon

    Hi Doug,

    I’m doing my taxes now. I have about $7000 in capital gains. I also have about the same amount of eligible losses from previous years. If I apply these losses against my gains, how will that effect my GIS benefits?


    • Doug Runchey


      It depends a bit on your marital status and your other income, but in general having $7,000 income as a capital gain in 2015 would reduce your GIS by approx. $3,500 over the 12 months from July 2016 thru June 2017. If you are able to offset that gain by using losses from prior years, you won’t lose the GIS.

  107. Alice

    Hi Doug,

    My parents are low income seniors (67 & 63). With their low income, they have been receiving MSP premium assistance. However, last year, the Government of Canada sent my parents a retroactive payment that they have missed in the previous years. Now their net income becomes higher than the MSP premium assistance threshold (and are not considered ‘low income’). Does the OAS & GIS income count towards the MSP premium assistance and does it also affect the eligibility of OAS & GIS in the coming year? Does it also impact other benefits?

    • Doug Runchey


      I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything about the rules regarding MSP premium assistance.

  108. Gerard White

    my only income is cpp $400.before taxes per mo. I’m receiving o.a.s, I’m single. Will I receive full g.i.s ?

    • Doug Runchey

      No, you will receive approx. $200 per mo. less than full GIS, because of your CPP income of $400 per mo.

  109. Hajrudin Halilovic

    Mr Doug,I am Canadian citizen from 2000.I was born Jan.10/1947.
    I am widower from 1994 and living alone.I have two kids(41 and 37 old),and they don’t live with me.I am self-employed.My taxable income from 2015 was
    55,087.22-line 135;3,223.80-line 113 OAC;2,222.08-line 114 CPP.
    In May 2016 I want to stop my self-employment because I have to go to Hospital for surgery(aortic aneurysm).Recovery after surgery take up to 6 months.After this period of time I will not be able to do this job anymore.My total income including HST for period Jan.-April was 10,911.28.
    Please,can You give me explanation WHEN and HOW MUCH money I can get if I apply for GIS now in May 2016.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Doug Runchey


      If your only income after you retire will be OAS & CPP, your GIS effective May 2016 will be based solely on your CPP income for 2016. Assuming that is currently approx. $187.40 per month, your combined OAS/GIS effective May 2016 should be approx. $1,246. Unfortunately, it appears that Service Canada currently takes about 7-9 months to process a GIS application with estimated income, so don’t expect to see any of that GIS money until late 2016 or early 2017.

  110. Ray

    Increase? OAS/GIS….Next Increase in July 2016
    1.8% is a made up number, has nothing to do with the consumer price index. Ask anybody in the bank or financial sector .
    My CPP/OAS/GIS is $ 18,500 / yr. My next Metropass increase will be more than 1.8%.
    The Federal Gov’t treats Seniors like slaves – we are the disposable generation, and they want to get rid of us ASAP.
    A shameful scam,criticized by many powerful international groups.

    • Lidiya

      Mr. Doug,
      My husband and I are over 65 age.
      We both have for 20 years of residence in Canada since 1996 year and ours OAS starts in 2016.
      Ours combined income is approximately $14,000 or $14,500 excluding OAS.
      How much OAS/GIS a month each based on combined income for the partial OAS recipients.

      • Doug Runchey


        You should each be eligible for monthly OAS/GIS of approx. $744.07.

    • Dave

      Ray, You will also get the GST rebate and will pay zero income tax on any of the money you receive.

      The shame is on you, not how the Canadian taxpayers treat seniors. Oh yes this also means other taxpayers pay your health care as you don’t pay income taxes!

      I have a relative who gets 19000 CPP/OAS/and GIS … They save money each month!

      Maybe you should get the list that, according to you “many powerful international groups” have and find a home more preferable to you.

  111. Donald

    Hi Doug,
    If my wife and I are entitled to the gis(she is 66) and the allowance (I am 64) based on our 2015 incomes,which would be payable starting July 2016 and my 65th birthday is August 2016.Would we get paid for only 1 month or 12 months.
    Our combined incomes for 2015 was 30,000.00
    Best Rgds,

    • Doug Runchey


      You will receive the GIS/Allowance combo for 2 months (July and August), and then you will become eligible for OAS effective Sept 2016. Neither of you will then be eligible for GIS then, assuming you both receive the full basic OAS of 40/40ths (currently $570.52).

  112. meera

    Mr Doug, my wife and I got $16,746 (2015), WHAT WOULD BE OUR MONTHLY gis commencing July 2016. This amount excludes gis/oas.

    • Doug Runchey

      meera – In order to determine how much your GIS will be, I need to know whether you’re both receiving OAS and if so whether you’re receiving the full basic OAS amount or a partial OAS pension.

      • meera

        Doug, we are both receiving OAS and I presume it is partial. Currently we are both getting approx.$701 each.

        • Doug Runchey

          Meera – Based on your combined income of $16,746 for 2015 (excluding OAS/GIS), you should each receive OAS/GIS of approx. $698.07 effective July 2016.

  113. Steven

    Is there any possible downside to applying for GIS? If the application is rejected due being above the income threshold this year, does the application remain of file and GIS payments kick in if a future tax return indicates I qualify at that point? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      There’s no downside to applying for GIS that I can think of, but if your income is currently above the threshold I’m pretty sure that you would have to reapply whenever you might actually qualify.

  114. Alice

    It is a great web to get information about retirement income.
    Thank you! Doug Runchey!
    I have a question about “The company Registered Pension Plan” which I contribute part and the company contribute part.

    When I get retirement, Will My “The Company Registered Pension Plan” payments from Manulife Financial Program count towards GIS and Allowance maximum allowable amounts?

    • Doug Runchey

      Alice – Yes, both portions would be taxable and would count for GIS/Allowance purposes.

      • Alice

        My expect CPP will be around $150 and I live in Canada for 18 years when I am 65. So it dosen’t make sense to contribute the company registered pension plan for me? I means that it will not effect my retirement income even though I contribute it right now. Is it correct?

        • Doug Runchey


          GIS is generally reduced by approx. 50% of any taxable income that you receive. That means that you’re still better off by approx. 50% if you have other income though, so I’d recommend that you do contribute to your company registered pension plan.

  115. Gerd Skof

    Doug I m wondering if you can help me with a non-taxable
    pension payment I m receiving from Europe. It says foreign pensions are 50% deductible for GIS purposes. I believed if there is a payment by double taxation agreement it would be deducted from the source. The source (Austria)wrote me that I m not getting enough monthly payment which would qualify for
    deductions-I m getting $ 250.00 monthly. I m Canadian citizen-live here for the last 50 years and paid into the CPP for 42 years-until I was 65. I m collecting CPP and OAS for the last 8 years. No GIS because I was working until age 72.
    Please let me know, if you can, do I have to expect 50% deductions for the GIS on my monthly non taxable benefit.

    • Doug Runchey

      Gerd – I’m quite sure that your Austrian pension will be considered as income for GIS purposes (meaning that your GIS will be reduced by approx. 50% as a result of it), even though your pension may be exempt from taxes. Here’s a copy & paste from the GIS instruction sheet: “Foreign pension income must be reported whether it is paid in Canada or abroad. You must report total benefits if they are income for Canadian income tax purposes, even if the income is exempt from taxation under an income tax treaty. These payments would include all employment pensions, social security benefits and war service pensions. Please include all back payments, and report the amounts in Canadian dollars. If the amount is given in foreign currency please specify.”

  116. Janey

    I have a question regarding GIS. My dad meets the requirements for GIS including the residence requirement but my mom has been absent from Canada for more than 6 consecutive months within the last 18 months. Does that mean he is not entitled to GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      Janey – Your mom’s residence status will not affect your dad’s entitlement to GIS.

      • Janey

        Hi Doug,

        Thank you for replying me. The reason I’m asking is because on the GIS information sheet, Section D (residency requirement) it states that “If you, your spouse or common-law partner were absent from Canada for more than 6 consecutive months within the last 18 months, you may not be eligible to receive GIS, ALW, or ALWS benefits.” So I was just wondering if the policy has changed.

        • Doug Runchey

          Janey – The policy hasn’t changed, but the absence of a spouse from Canada shouldn’t affect the GIS of the person residing in Canada.

  117. Dieter

    Hallo Doug i aplied in october 2015 for GIS and was elegible from January 2014 to recieve back pay,but they say i get back pay only from november 2014 not from january 2014. they only pay back one year from the aplication.

    • Doug Runchey

      Dieter – Yes, there is a maximum retroactive period of one year for most of the benefits under the OAS/GIS legislation.

  118. al dimskis

    I recently did a form for estamated income for 2016 to recalculated my gis. I fully retired april1 total income from my job was 3080.00,plus cpp benefits of 3020.00 for the entire year. Will my recalculated gis be retroactive from january 1, 2016.

    • Doug Runchey

      Al – Your recalculated GIS should be the month following the month that you last worked.

  119. Greg Cerullo

    Hello Doug,

    I am a 57 year old single man living on a British Columbia disability pension with nearly 3/4 of it going to pay the rent cost of my suite.

    Presently I am not able to work at all to supplement my modest pension because back surgery has left me partially paralyzed from my mid back down and through to my legs and feet, so my my body’s physical movements are quite limited. I walk very slowly with the aid of a cane and I have great difficulty managing to perform even menial household tasks.

    Am I entitled to receive a GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Greg – No, GIS is only payable if you’re also receiving OAS, which is not payable before age 65. You could possibly be eligible for a CPP disability pension though. Here’s a link with more details:

  120. Teresa Kacperski

    Dear Mr Doug
    My husband (69) receives OAS- 282.44, CPP- 488.94 and foreign pension ~300 CAD$. His GIS was calculated as 717.86
    My(62)only income is CPP- 183.12. I have received notice of Allowance in the amount of 426.93. Is this correct?
    I have also applied for foreign pension, but am interested to know if Allowance is calculated 1 dollar for dollar of that pension?
    I would appreciate your info.

    • Doug Runchey

      Teresa – Yes, your husband’s GIS and your Allowance are both correct based on your combined income. If you receive a foreign pension (or any other income), both your husband’s GIS and your Allowance will decrease by $1 each for every $4 for additional income you receive.

      • Teresa

        Yet, it feels unfair, as it is based on gross amount- tax is withheld and paid in issuing country and Canadian banks take 15$ fee for each international deposit.
        If we wouldn’t have foreign pension at all, our GIS / Allowance would be 15$ + tax amount paid= ~50$ more every month.
        Isn’t that discriminatory towards immigrants?

        • Doug Runchey

          Teresa – That’s one way of looking at it. Then again you could look at it that because your husband is only receiving a partial OAS of $282 (presumably based on residing in Canada for 19 or 20 years before he started receiving OAS), he’s receiving approx. $290 more GIS than if he had been born in Canada and lived here for his whole life. Some people might look at that as being discriminatory also.

          • Teresa

            He worked 22 years in home country and 20 in Canada, until 67.5
            Discriminatory, because his GIS is calculated based on gross amounts of foreign pension – money he never have had and can’t claim (our income is so low, we can’t claim any credits for taxes paid); and $15 bank fee for deposit he can’t write off as expense on tax return (contacted CRA about it).
            As result his retirement (our) is about $600 yearly less than Canadian social minimum.
            Thank you for responding anyway.

  121. Carmie

    I received retroactive payment in july 2016 for gis based on my husbands estimated 2015 income,as he retired july 2014.He received retroactive allowance payments in july 2016.
    If he takes a part time job in oct 2016,would there be a clawback of these payments?

    • Doug Runchey

      Carmie – The short answer should be “No”, but I’d probably recommend calling Service Canada first, just to make sure.

  122. hajji masood

    Hi Jim:
    Our total family income for 2015 is 37600 which include
    my emplyment income also. My OAP started in June this year my wife gets CPP permanent disabity.
    We are thinking to move overseas and really confused as some one told me that if you retire overseas for and live there more then 6 months you do not get OAP,GIS
    can you please confirm this and with our income are we eligble for GIS if so how much,thanks for your help as I tried to get the answers on line but unable even cnsult some tax people and no proper answer,thanks
    when retire overseas we file tax as non-resident ?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hajji – I understand that you already received answers to these questions, so I won’t repeat myself.

  123. Pauline

    Would non taxable LTD payments be included in income for eligibility for GIS. They do include it on the form when estimating 2016 income

    • Doug Runchey

      Pauline – I’m quite sure LTD payments aren’t counted for GIS purposes if they’re non-taxable payments, so make sure that you clearly indicate that they are non-taxable on your estimate form.

  124. Kathy

    Lots of great comments from you,learning a lot for my dad. He is 76, lived and worked in Canada his whole life. He receives oas and cpp, cpp amount of 816.49 and oas of 423.37. Just moved closer to me and heard about this gis that he can apply for. Estimate how much he would receive? Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Kathy – If your dad has lived in Canada for his whole life, his OAS should be $573.37 unless he has requested a monthly tax withhold of $150. If CPP is his only other income and if $816.49 is the correct pre-tax amount, he would be eligible for GIS of approx. $315.75 monthly.

  125. Ron Halla

    Hi Doug

    We live in Montreal, we live in Montreal with for 6 months and 6 months in Florida during the sever Winter. Our joint income comprise of $873 OAS $725 CPP and $275 other income.
    I was wondering whether we could claim GIS since we spend half year in Florida.

    • Doug Runchey

      Ron – As long as you truly reside in Canada (make your home in Canada and ordinarily live here) you can be absent for temporary periods of up to six months and still be eligible for GIS.

  126. Debbie

    If I have 300,000 in investments can I still get GIS

    • Doug Runchey

      Debbie – Possibly? It doesn’t matter how much money you have invested, it matters how much income those investments generate.

  127. Veronica

    Hi Doug thanks for all the info you provide. I think I have my own retirement income all sorted out (or will when my GIS actually kicks in and then gets adjusted) was on cppd now retired already a 400 leap in income ?. My question is in regards to advice I gave someone: a person in BC on provincial only disability. Was forced to take Cpp retirement at age 60 and thought that it would then reduce OAS and GIS. My calculation was that although the CPP retirement would be reduced by 30% for life that GIS would still be based on actual amount of CPP being rec’d in previous year (or adjusted to current income as can be done)
    This person was convincingly informed that early CPP (no other factors) would decrease her OAS and GIS at age 65. Am I correct that it will have no affect on OAS And will actually increase the GIS.

    Eagerly awaiting and appreciative of your response

    • Doug Runchey

      Veronica – You are correct that receiving CPP wouldn’t affect their OAS amount at all. You’re also correct that receiving their CPP early at a reduced rate instead of waiting until age 65 would increase their GIS (except in their first year of GIS eligibility, where their age-64 CPP income would be used and having received a reduced CPP would decrease their GIS compared to if they had waited until age 65 for CPP and would therefore have received zero CPP in their 64th year).

  128. veronica

    Thankyou for that I now feel vindicated. (I had been accused of all kinds of skullduggery and called all kinds of not so pretty names for giving this advice) lol. Will I stop giving advice (probably not, lol) however I may now refer people to you? If you don’t mind. AGAIN I thank you Doug,and wish you a wonderful day.

  129. An

    Me and my husband both over 60 years old, living in Canada since 1989.I need some advise about retirement. The financial adviser we asked did not know much. Where to find a knowledgeable adviser and how much it could cost?

  130. Zenon Karlowicz

    Hello Mrs. Teresa Kacperski,
    Please make sure that foreign pension is flagged as “state pension” by ZUS, than the fee drops to $1.5 from $15.00 (at least at The Bank of Nova Scotia).

    • Teresa

      Thank you for this information, Zenon, that I noticed yesterday and started fight with Royal Bank immediately.
      If they won’t bend- we will take our money to Nova Scotia bank.

  131. Jim Barnard

    Hi Doug.

    My wife is 66 and has been receiving the maximum OAS for about a year, whereas I’m 63 and therefore can’t receive OAS for a couple of years (we’re both retired). Until this year, our income for GIS purposes exceeded the maximum, however this year (because a large chunk of our “income” was from TFSA withdrawals) my wife will qualify for the GIS and I’ll qualify for the Allowance.

    There doesn’t seem to be a single application for both the GIS (my wife) and the Allowance (me) so my question is: Should we send in both applications at the same time, or should my wife apply for GIS first, and then I would subsequently apply for the Allowance once her GIS application has been approved?

    I’m surprised that the ESDC website doesn’t address this issue. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Jim – I recommend that you send both applications at the same time.

      • Jim Barnard

        Okay, thanks for your input.

  132. Debra St. Onge

    Hello, Doug,
    I have a few questions.

    I know a lot of people who will be turning 65 who are going to be moving off of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) onto OAS/GIS. For a single person who has been on ODSP and that was their only means of financial support, when he/she turns 65, will they be eligible for the full GIS on top of the OAS?

    Another question I have is: Single persons on ODSP can only have up to $5,000.00 in their bank account. When they transfer over to OAS/GIS, is there a limit that they can only have in their bank account, or can they have as much as they want in their chequing account?

    • Doug Runchey

      Debra – Yes, they would receive the full GIS and it is only the interest from any bank account that would affect their GIS.

  133. Tunde Olu-Balogun

    Hi Doug,

    My Mom is 75 years old and presently resides in Ghana. She’s originally from Barbados and a naturalized Canadian.

    She lived in Canada for 11 years from the age of 20 years… from 1961-1972 and left at the age of 31 I was wondering how much will she qualify for OAS or not. She did work for a couple of years as well..


  134. Chris

    Hello Mr Doug Runchey,
    You are perfect!
    I’ve tried to read all of the Q+A, and I’ve found everything I need.

    Here’s the only little question left: “I am interested about the option of abroad pension/transfer.

    When I circle 65 I’ll have just 17 yrs residence in Canada. So, as I need to have at least 20 yrs Canadian residence to be qualified for that, does it mean that I have to continue my residence 3 more years till I’ll be 68 yrs old without OAS? Or I will just need 3 more years residence but will receive my OAS during this time?
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Chris – If you are living in Canada when you reach age 65, you can apply for OAS and receive 17/40ths of the full OAS. If you continue to reside in Canada for 3 more years, you will be able to leave Canada and still be entitled to your 17/40ths OAS. Alternately, you may meet the 20-year threshold sooner, through one of the many international social security agreements that Canada has. Read this article:

  135. Henry

    Hi Doug,
    I’m 69, retired, recipient of CPP $480, OAS $280 and my foreign pension gross is $450.
    My wife (63) receives CPP $180 and gross foreign pension of $310.
    What can we expect as GIS / Allowance payments in July?
    How will that change once she turns 65?
    She will reside in Canada for 28 years then.

    • Doug Runchey

      Henry – While your wife is under age 65 your GIS would be approx. $696 and her Allowance would be approx. $398. After she turn age 65, your GIS would be approx. $503 and her GIS would be approx. $379 (plus she would receive OAS of approx. $404).

  136. Iwona

    I am a widow at age 67. I decided to retire in may of this year. My working income is in a range of 60K, but my retirement income will drop rapidly as I will receive only CPP, OAS and survivor benefit. I estimate all of this for about $1200 a month. When will I be entitled to receive first Low Income supplement?Is it in 2018 or in 2019.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Iwona – If you’re retiring in May of 2017, you should be eligible for GIS effective June 2017 on the basis of your estimated income for 2017 after your retirement. You should apply immediately!

  137. Carl Warner

    Hi Doug.

    My wife receives the full OAS pension. At the time she began getting it, she didn’t qualify for the GIS, however she now does. I’ve noticed that the application form (ISP3025E) doesn’t yet allow for the “July-2017-to-June-2018” payment period (i.e. based on your 2016 income). Could you perhaps give me some idea of when the updated form might be available?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Carl – It may still be a couple more months before the 2017/2018 forms are available online, but you might be able to get one now/soon by calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

  138. Suzanne

    Hello Doug,
    As a female with a low income ($18,000 yearly)which includes OAS, CPP, pension from employment for myself who is married but my husband is now in a nursing home for medical reasons, would I qualify for GIC? My husband has OAS,CPP and pension from his work (before income splitting of his pension to me he would earn approx. $30,000). As are both in the lowest tax bracket, would I be better to have him keep all his employment pension income rather than splitting it with me – would this allow me to receive more GIC? I am also his power of attorney.

  139. Ellen Hutchinson

    I receive the OAS/CPP and a CUPE Pension and my income for the year is
    $30,470. I retired in November 2008 and was told at that time that I was not
    eligible the receive the GIS because I was receiving a CUPE Pension, is that
    still true?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ellen – If your income (excluding OAS) exceeds the threshold based on your marital status, you’re not eligible for GIS. It’s nothing specific about your CUPE pension.

  140. Dave


    My brother received full OAS in 2016 (T-slip box 18 – 6878.82). In box 21 “Net Suppliments” $8070.17.

    I know he only received about 3800.00 in GIS during 2016. Can you shed any light on why the difference?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Doug Runchey

      Dave – That’s obviously a huge discrepancy, but I can’t think of any reasonable explanation unless he received a large retroactive payment early in 2016 that covered some/all of 2015?

  141. Dave

    He actually had a substantial GIS reduction in July 2016 because he had about 7200 additional taxable income in 2015; due to the death of his wife. Do you think I should pursue an explanantion? From what I understand although the GIS is listed on the income tax form it’s not relevant to his future GIS entitlement… or is it?

    His 2016 taxable income was 14137. Consisting of Max OAS 6878, CPP 7198, interest 60,

    Using the GIS tables single/widowed I calculate his GIS will be adjusted to 453.09 in July 2017. Correct.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dave – No, the 2016 GIS amount won’t affect his future GIS, but I would still pursue an explanation.

  142. Sasha

    Hi Doug, My father applied for OAS and GIS last year. My dad recieved a letter this week saying he was approved for OAS and payments would start this month. But the letter did not mention anything about his GIS application. Do they send out two seperate letters? One for OAS and one for GIS? Or do you suggest we call and inquire. Thanks.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sasha – GIS cannot be processed or approved until OAS is first approved, so the GIS letter may indeed come shortly. It is probably a good idea however, that you call and inquire.

  143. Joshua

    Hi Doug. What if my wife age 55 and myself age 64 both quit working when I am 65 and I apply for GIS. Say we go from a combined income of $60,000 to $0. When I apply for GIS would I get 0 because of the prior years earnings? Is projected income for both spouses or do they just go on the prior years tax return? Thanks for taking the time to reply, Joshua.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Joshua – If your current income is lower because you and your wife have both retired, your GIS will be based on your current income rather than your previous year’s income.

  144. Joshua

    Hi Doug. I had written a question yesterday. I am having a hard time understanding the tables in your article. Eg. I will retire at 65 collect my OAS and leave my CPP until age 70. My wife will not be collecting OAS or anything else. Question I don’t understand how much money/income either her, or I, can earn and still collect GIS? I believe OAS does not count as income. The table says $41,665 and collect $865.39 is that correct? Is this accurate? We could earn up to $41,000 and still collect GIS? Do we get more GIS if say we earn $12,000? I am confused how the table/income and GIS amount work. I have read through most of the other questions but have not gotten the answer. Thanks for you reply, Joshua.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Joshua – The amounts in my table are maximums only. You will receive the maximum GIS of $865.39 if you have zero income (excluding OAS), and you will receive zero GIS if your combined income exceeds $41,665. If your income is between zero and $41,665, your GIS will be between $865.39 and zero in accordance with the detailed tables at the link that I provided:

      In your example of $12,000 income, your GIS would be approx. $667.

  145. Joshua

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the link. Joshua.

  146. Jins Thomas

    Hi Doug,
    I have a client who is a 70 years old single currently resides in a nursing home. In 2015 she cashed out some of her RRSP and it made her ineligible to receive GIS for the payment period of July 2016 to June 2017. In 2016 she did not cash out any RRSP. Her only sources of income were full OAS and CPP ($1000 monthly). An GIS Income Estimate Form was submitted in early 2017 but declined. The reason given by Service Canada is that RRSP income does not come under “loss or reduction in some to regularly recurring Income” category.
    Is this information true? If so, is there anything I could do to help this client to receive GIS benefit for the payment period of July 2016 to June 2017. Her total income is inadequate to cover the cost of living at the nursing home. Please advise.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jins – It’s true that she can’t use the estimated income form when it’s RRSP income that stopped. Unfortunately your client is therefore ineligible for GIS until July 2017, when her GIS entitlement will be based on her 2016 income.

  147. Georgi Kavrakov

    Hi Doug,
    I will be 65 in November this year. My wife will be 65 in June next year. My estimated CPP will be around $400 monthly and OAS around $250 a monthly(My wife income will be similar). I/We do have some RRSP money as well.
    Do I/We need to exhaust all our RRSP money before I/We become eligible for GIS? And if we are eligible how much could we expect?
    Thank you!
    Georgi Kavrakov

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Georgi

      From Nov 2017 thru June 2018 your GIS will be based on your combined 2016 income. Can you tell me what that was (by source)?

      From July 2018 thru June 2019 your GIS will be based on your combined 2017 income. Can you tell me what that will be (by source)?

      • georgi kavrakov

        Last year 2016 income is ~ $90000(from employment)
        Combine 2017 income would be $90000(from employment too).

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Georgi – $90,000 employment earnings far exceeds the max income level for GIS, so until that stops neither you nor your wife are eligible for GIS. You don’t have to deplete your RRSPs in order to receive GIS, but any RRSP withdrawals that you do make will count as taxable income and will reduce any GIS entitlement that you might eventually have (if/when your employment earnings stop). Basically neither of you will receive GIS if your annual combined income (excluding OAS/GIS but including RRSP withdrawals) exceeds the maximum of $23,184 once you’re both over age 65 and receiving OAS.

  148. Kulwant

    Hi Doug,
    My income last year was $5900 including CPP. I’m 70 and my wife is 68 who’s income is 0. We have been in Canada for last 11 years and gets patial OAS (10 years) of around $130 each. I and my wife both gets GIS of $382 each which seems a lot lower considering our combine family income is only $5900 in year 2015. Pl advise.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Kulwant – It seems low to me too. Try calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 for an explanation and let me know what they say.

  149. Claire S

    Hi Doug, do WSIB payments get taken into consideration when doing the GIS calculation or are they excluded like OAS?

    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Claire – Yes, WSIB payments are considered when calculating GIS eligibility.

  150. Sachka Kavrakova

    Hi, I need your advise!
    I am currently 64 years old (born June 5, 1953). My family and I have been leaving in Canada since March 31, 2001 and we are Canadian residents / citizens. I recently received my application forms for CPP and OAS pensions. My estimated CPP pension for now is 327 CDN monthly and OAS will be 17/40 of Basic OAS established by Service Canada for the appropriate period. I am planning to continue working up to Dec. 2018, when I will be 65 and a half years old. Could you please advise which of the following options would be more beneficial for me to increase a little bit my CPP pension?
    1)      To continue working after 65 for 6 more months, contribute to CPP and not receiving the CPP pension. As far as I know there is some 0.6% of increase of CPP for each month of delay.
    2)      To continue working after 65 for 6 more months, contribute to CPP, but receiving my established CPP pension. My understanding is that In this case I am eligible for some Post Retirement Benefits? How much??? My annual income currently is 52,000.
    My next Question is for OAS
    3)      If I delay receiving OAS until April 2019 will I be eligible for 18/40 of full OAS pension? If so how much OAS monthly increase I will have due to delaying for 9 months?
    Regards, Sachka Kavrakova

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sacha – Your situation is a little too complicated to answer in this forum. Email me at [email protected] and I will answer you for a $50 consultation fee.

  151. kerry

    Why does it take so long to get the supplement.I applied over a year a go and thought I would get it along with my first old age pension cheque at the end of May 2017,but now its July and still no supplement.I can’t live on $575 a month,and am struggling because of it.

    • Doug Runchey

      Have you tried calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914?

  152. Norman Fortier

    Dear Doug_ my wife and I are 80 and 81. We filed our income tax for the 2016 taxation year and after that were advised that we were eligible for the GIS and started receiving monthly payments, however this month my wife received a letter stating that she no longer qualifies for the GIS because our combined income exceeds the maximum allowable. When I calculate the overage it amounts to $691 yr. if they reduce the GIS by fifty cents on the dollar of overage then does it now follow that the GIS should only be reduced by $345.50 per year rather than losing it all? Thank you for your kind attention Doug!
    Sincerely yours
    Norman C. J. Fortier

    • Norman Fortier

      Further to my comments Doug, my LIF income has been reduced since the beginning of 2017 so should that not be taken into consideration or do we have to resubmit our request for the GIS? Thank you Doug!

      Norman C. J. Fortier

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Norman – You have to let Service Canada know that your LIF has been reduced and complete a form estimating your 2017 income. Your GIS could then be determined on your estimated 2017 LIF income instead of your actual 2016 LIF income.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Norman – I’m a little confused by what you mean by “overage”. GIS for a married couple for July 2017 starts out at the maximum of $524.85 each if you have zero income, and it’s reduced to zero if your combined income exceeds the maximum of $23,376 annually for 2016.

      • Norman Fortier

        Thank you Doug for your explanation of the reset to zero if we are over the allowable max income. However My concern is that while we were over the max income by close to $1,500 the CRA took away some $3,240 which does not seem right or fair! I know that you state that the calculations are somewhat complex, but when you boil it down what should occur is for the CRA to reduce the benefit – eg: $3,240 less income overage of $1,500 and pay the difference. This would be the fair way not removing it completely!

        Thanks for letting me vent Doug. Have a great weekend!

  153. MaunaLoa

    Dear Doug, I have another question. Right now, I’m on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) about $9000 a year income. I received a letter from Service Canada that I will get $114 a month on CPP when I turn 65. I came here to Canada on December 16, 1978, and never left Canada since then. I will be 65 next month on August 19, 2017. My OAS will be 38/40 of the $583.74 full amount if I were here for 40 years. You mentioned it. My question is this. Approximately, how much would I get for GIS out of the $871.86 payout to those that received a full OAS and how it’s calculated? I don’t receive whatever other income besides my $114 for CCP. Thank you, Loa.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Maunaloa – Are you single or married? If married, what is your spouse’s age and income? Are you currently receiving a CPP disability pension?

  154. MaunaLoa

    Doug, I’m divorced and my CPP will start this September.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi ML – Since your income for 2016 will count as zero, your GIS will be approx. $901.05 (the max of $871.86 plus $29.19 for the 2/40ths of the OAS that you don’t receive).

      • MaunaLoa

        You’re very correct Mr.Runchey. Thank you

  155. David Desorcy

    Hello Doug, I was married in Philippines on March 15, 2015. I have filled out the sponsorship papers. I am on GIS. My GIS goes from July 2017 to June 2018 based on my 2016 income tax returns, based on me being single on Dec 31, 2016.

    Should my GIS starting July 2017 to June 2018 be based on me being married or single? It makes a huge difference of $400 a month.

    Thanks so much,


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi David – Where is your wife living? Does she have any income?

  156. MaunaLoa

    Thanks, Doug, I’m rich already with your calculation. You’re the best 🙂

    • Dave

      Question: Do you believe your ODSP continues after age 65?

      • MaunaLoa

        Hey Dave, My ODSP worker told me that my ODSP will end the month I turned 65 which is this August. If my income from CPP< OAS and GIS will be lower than my ODSP the ODSP will continue. As in my case, my income will be far higher now so the ODSP for August will be the last as the Government income kick in September.

        • MaunaLoa

          Hello Doug, My final question on this subject. I’ll be 65 on the 19th of this month. Will I receive my OAS, CPP and GIS at the end of this month or the month of September(last week of September)? Thank you for your vast knowledge.

          • Doug Runchey

            If your 65th birthday is anytime in August, you should receive your first CPP, OAS and GIS payments on the 3rd last “banking day” of September.

  157. RoseMarie

    Hi Doug. I am a Canadian factual resident living in Taiwan (missionary) My OAS was approved June 2016-June 2017 and the letter said Amount of first payment $4873.27. My partial monthly OAS 26/40 was $370. On July 27, Service Canada deposited in my bank account $3939. Why $939 less of what they stated in the letter? Our joined income for 2015 was inferior to $15,000

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi RoseMarie – My guess would be that they’ve applied a non-resident tax withhold, but you should contact Service Canada to find out for sure.

  158. Sergey

    Hi Doug,
    1. I am going to apply for GIS since Jan. 2018. However, at that time I will not still have my Tax Return for 2017. What should I indicate as income for 2017?
    2. Is there any minimum income (during retirement) that will not effect for total amount of GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sergey – GIS eligibility for Jan 2018 will normally depend on your 2016 income, and your 2017 income isn’t normally relevant until July 2018.

      • Sergey

        Thanks Doug,
        How about my second question. For example if I will take just couple thousand $ per year from my RRSP and no other income, will be decreased my GIS amount or not?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Sergey – Sorry about missing your 2nd question! The short answer is “No”, GIS will almost always be reduced if you have any other taxable income, normally by about 50 cents on the dollar.

          • Sergey

            Thanks Doug,
            Last question. If I have second property/apartment, but do not have any income from it (no rent, no sell). Will it effect on my GIS amount?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Sergey – If it’s not generating taxable income, it won’t affect your GIS at all.

  159. Jagtar Cheema

    Hi Doug,
    I am getting OAS but as I have lived in Canada for only about 15 years so I am not getting the full amount. My wife is 62 years of age.We are going to apply for GIS for me and allowance for my wife. Could you please answer the following two questions:
    1. Which table would be applicable for our case. Will it be table 3 or table 4.
    2. Which column of table 3 or 4 will be applicable to me for finding out my GIS i.e. will it be “Combined Monthly OAS Pension and GIS” or “Monthly GIS with Maximum OAS Pension”

    Jagtar Cheema

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jagtar – It will be table 4 unless your combined income exceeds the maximum, in which case you’d revert to table 3. Use the combined OAS/GIS amount and subtract your partial OAS amount to determine your GIS amount.

      • Jagtar Cheema


  160. Deborah

    I receive CPP for the last 4 years,and widows allowance for the last 14 years. Do I include my widow allowance when applying for GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Deborah – The answer to your question depends on the source of your “widow allowance”. If it’s the CPP survivor’s pension, the answer is definitely “Yes”. Otherwise it might not affect your GIS if it’s a non-taxable benefit.

  161. Ron

    Hi Doug, I was collecting partial GIS as a single individual. I was married August 1, 2015 and relocated to the city of my new spouse shortly after. I notified Service Canada of my change of status at the time. They continued to pay my GIS up until July 31st of 2016. I just rec’d notice and they say that I have been overpaid from the period Sept 2015 to June 2016. I understand that a review is done each July 1st. I had thought that since reviews are based on previous years income (2014), that the continued payment was in order. In July 2016, I was sent a letter stating that I did not qualify for GIS as a result of my marital status. In your opinion, is this correct?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ron – They should have changed your GIS entitlement effective the month following your marriage, based on your combined family income for 2014. Assuming that your wife had 2014 income that would have taken you above the combined income threshold, the overpayment calculation is correct. Unfortunately, the fact that they neglected to discontinue your GIS effective Sept 2015 doesn’t allow you to keep that money now that they have realized their error.

  162. Jim Barnard

    Hi Doug. My wife applied for the GIS (she is 66) and I applied for the Allowance (I’m 63) last April, about seven months ago. We’ve heard nothing at all from Service Canada (we sent the applications registered, so we know they were received). Is this long a wait more or less normal? Should we continue to sit tight for another month or so? Or would a phone call perhaps get them “moving”? (personally, I’m skeptical that it would have any effect at all)

    Incidentally, this is the first time we’ve had low enough income to qualify for GIS/Allowance (i.e. when my wife first applied for OAS, our income was too high for her to qualify for GIS).

    Also, even if our application were not processed for, let’s say, a year (meaning we’d not get verification until April 2018) we would still be entitled to ten full months of GIS and Allowance at that point, dating back to July 2017, correct? In other words, no matter how long it may take for our applications to be processed, our payments would begin as of July 2017, right?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jim – Unfortunately, it does seem that this is currently the normal processing time for GIS applications. Before I answer your other questions, what year’s income do you feel that you now qualify for GIS, and what changed from prior years when you didn’t qualify?

      • Jim Barnard

        Hi Doug. Thanks for the prompt response (on a weekend, no less). I’m actually somewhat relieved that we’re still in the “normal processing time” window, since I wasn’t particularly looking forward to following up with Service Canada, which likely would have involved a substantial expenditure of time with little if any tangible results. I guess it’s simply a matter of we’ll get approved when we get approved.

        Our combined non-OAS income in 2015 (the year my wife turned 65 and began receiving OAS in October) was about $60,000 (I was still working whereas my wife had retired) which of course is far too high to qualify for GIS.

        Our combined non-OAS income in 2016 (partially because I had retired plus we were able to make substantial RSP contributions that year) was $12,139 which according to Table 4 would entitle us to GIS of $432.03 monthly (to my wife) and Allowance of $432.03 monthly (to me).

        Thanks again for your help.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Jim – Knowing that your 2016 income was low enough to qualify for GIS/Allowance, you should definitely be eligible to retro payments effective July 2017 at a minimum. Because you retired, you may even be eligible for GIS/Allowance effective the month following your retirement, although you would need to have completed 2015 GIS application forms and estimated income forms also. It might at least be worth a phone call to Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to confirm that your application is indeed “in the pile”, and to see whether they can mail you some of those other forms if you haven’t already completed them.

          • Jim Barnard

            Great, thanks for the information and detailed advice.

  163. Jeff Conron

    Hi Doug – Re: What year’s income is used for GIS purposes? – I know the form used to request the usage of the current year’s income for GIS purposes is ISP3041 – STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED INCOME AFTER RETIREMENT OR REDUCTION IN RETIREMENT INCOME. I am having difficulty obtaining the current version of the form. There is a 2017 version of French form but the English version was last updated in 2012. Further, the form is not listed on the Service Canada forms database. Does your advice of contacting Service Canada by phone to obtain the form still apply? I would prefer to download the form myself (if it is available online). Is ISP3041 available online? Phoning Service Canada is a pain and the wait time is horrendous. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jeff – In Service Canada’s wisdom, they seem to want to limit the distribution of this form; thus they don’t appear to offer an online version. I don’t know whether they’d be able to print a copy from their Intranet if you visited a Service Canada Centre in person, but if not your only option is to call them at 1-800-277-9914.

      • Jeff Conron

        Thanks for the prompt reply, Doug! I read a blog post from Rubin Torrens stating the same thing. Good suggestion about going to a Service Canada location and get them to print one off for me. Appreciate your candor as well!

  164. Amir

    Hi Doug, Just wanted to say THANK YOU for running this web site and for all the helpful info you have provided to numerous folks over the years. I was searching for some answers as related to my now retired dad, and reading this thread I found everything I wanted to know, which was not clearly answers on Service Canada’s web site, nor on the phone. THANK YOU!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Amir – Thanks for the positive feedback! Just FYI, it’s Jim Yih who actually provides and runs the website, but I function as his CPP and OAS expert.

  165. donna lannan

    can more than one person living in the same house recieve the gis exsample daughter and mother,brother and sister.sister and sister and so on.thanks.

    • Doug Runchey

      Yes, there is no limit to the number of people who can live in the same house while receiving GIS.

  166. Abumaj

    Hello Doug,

    I started receiving OAS and GIS from July 2106 for the amount of 1459.97 C$. That was calculated based on our combined income(me and my wife).

    In April 2017, my wife was 60 and applied for the allowance. Service Canada will start in February 18 paying her the allowance releasing a lump sum for her since May 17 till January 18.

    Service Canada recalculated my supplement based on couple’s total income and on the type of benefit my wife is receiving. Consequently, my GIS has been reduced for 348.75 C$. And I was overpaid 3121.80 C$ for the period May 17 to Jan 18. They will recover this amount by deducting 120 C$ from my monthly payment until full amount is paid back. S

    My wife doesn’t understand that her allowance is for both of us and my payment was reduced because of her starting receiving payment.

    What will happen to my payment if I change my marital status and divorce my wife? Do I restore my original payment, more, or less?

    Warmest Regards

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Abumaj – If you divorce your wife, you will be considered as single and your GIS will be determined on a totally different rate table. The result could be more or less than you are currently receiving, depending on what other incomes you have.

      • abumaj

        Thanks Doug.

        I don’t have any other income. I have only OAS and GIS.


  167. Kay

    If a person takes early retirement at age 60 and they are receiving a reduced CCP, would they qualify for the GIS at age 65 when they start collecting the OAS and income based on the CCP amount at age 60 is low? Example: $621.00 CCP total yearly income $7,452.00 would that person get the amount of $453.23 in GIS plus $586.60 OAS?

    Total income with CCP+OAS+GIS = $1,660.89 per month?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Kay – I don’t know where you came up with the amount of $453.23? If that person is single and if that CPP is their only income aside from OAS, they would be eligible for GIS in the amount of $337.48 under rate table 1.

  168. Teresa

    Hi. I am 69 years old and I have decided to take a part time job. That job started in January 2018. Should I call and notify GIS office right away?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – Any increase to your income for 2018 wouldn’t normally affect your GIS amount until July 2019, so there’s no need to report this income now unless you are currently being paid on estimated 2018 income. This would be the case only if you had previously retired in Dec 2017 or had a reduction in pension income then, and requested that you be paid on what you believed would have been lower 2018 income.

      • Teresa

        Thank you Doug. I have another question. What amount if any I will get from gis if I claim 6000/yr in income? My numbers are: CPP 264/mo, annuity 380/mo, other country pension 214/mo, gis 849/mo.(390/mo for oas). I’m 68 years old. Any taxes? Thank you for your help.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Teresa – If you add $6,000/yr employment earnings to your current income, your GIS will decrease by approx. $105 per month.

          • Teresa

            sound good.How you calculated this? My total income is 21031 /yr, taxable income 15402, GIS supplement 5629. I’ve read that GIS is gone if the income is above 17000/yr.?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Teresa – I didn’t check any of your other numbers, because I understood that you wanted to know how much GIS you would lode if you started working and earned $6,000 employment earnings. That’s what my previous answer is telling you (assuming that you’re single). So before I use all of your other numbers to see if they make sense, please confirm whether you are single or married/common-law. If married/common-law, how old is your partner and do they have any income?

          • Teresa

            Hi Doug; I’m single, divorced.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Teresa – You don’t include OAS or GIS as income in determining the amount of GIS. By my calculations, your CPP is $$3,168 per year, your annuity is $4,560 per year and your foreign pension is $2,568 per year, totalling $10,296 per year. With those 3 incomes, your combined OAS/GIS should be $904.81 monthly (not sure why/how you’re getting $1,239 combined OAS/GIS). If you got a job earning $6,000 per year, your combined OAS/GIS would decrease to $800.81 monthly.

          • Teresa

            Doug, thanks for the explanation. I just wanted to clarify that i am receiving partial OAS of $390/mo AND GIS of $482 TOTALLING 872/mo. Probably the reason that Im getting only 872 instead of 904.81 is that Im not receiving full amount of OAS. Than’s why I suspect that with me getting $6000/yr. the OAS and GIS will by lower than 800.81/mo, but not by much…?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Teresa – No, it doesn’t matter whether you’re receiving full or partial OAS, the total OAS/GIS should be the same. The problem is likely that the GIS is currently calculated based on your 2016 income, which might have been different. Your 2017 income will be used for GIS purposes from July 2018 thru June 2019, and your 2018 income will be used for your GIS entitlement from July 2019 thru June 2020.

          • Teresa

            Hi, Doug; I really appreciate your diligent help! You helped me to understand how the GIS is calculated and that partial OAS doesn’t play a role in my case.I am sooo grateful. Now I’m looking with the new energy to my part time employment knowing that I get some money for my job and not only exchanging sources of income. Thank you.

  169. Jean-Marc Michaud

    Hi,both me and my wife will retire at age 65 ….we took our early pension at age 60….which is me $460 And my wife $170 per month…what can we expect on receiving for oas and gis payments….we both lived all our lives in canada …….and won’t be earning other income..

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jean-Marc – Your combined CPP totals approx. $7,560 yearly. If that is your only income aside from OAS/GIS, your monthly OAS will be $586.66 each and your monthly GIS will be $333.48 each.

      • MaunaLoa

        Doug, Aren’t they each qualify for low income and have the full amount of GIS each month which is $876.23. please explain.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi ML – $876.23 is the maximum GIS for a single OAS pensioner or for a married OAS pensioner whose spouse is not eligible for OAS or the Allowance. $527.48 is the maximum GIS (each) for a couple who are both receiving OAS. They get the max though, only if they have zero income. If they have other income (such as the $7,560 CPP income that Jean-Marc and his wife have), their combined GIS is reduced by approx. 50 cents on the dollar to the point at which the GIS reaches zero at the maximum income threshold. In their case, the GIS is reduced from $527.48 each to $333.48 each, due to their CPP income of $7,560 yearly.

          • MaunaLoa

            Ty Doug for explaining and for job well done on this site.

  170. abumaj

    Hi Doug,

    I have been receiving OAS and GIS since July 2016. My wife receives allowance since she is over 60.

    In the booklet on Old Age Security published by Service Canada and on the question ” Can My Benefits Stop?”, it states that one of the cases allowance stops when you separate fro your spouse.

    What will my wife get if we get separated and she is still 61?

    Warmest Regards

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Abumaj – As the booklet says, her Allowance will stop if you separate. That means that she will get nothing until she turns age 65 and becomes eligible for OAS/GIS on her own.

      • Abumaj

        Thanks Doug for the great job you are doing.

        My respect and appreciation.

  171. Cynthia

    I have just separated from my husband, no chance of reconciliation. Next April 2018 I will be 65. I am currently on disability pension until age 65 when OAS kicks in. I have lived and resided in Canada all my life. Once I turn 65 my only income will be OAS and CPP benefit of approximately $300 per month. Will I qualify for GIS and since we separated in 2017 will I have to declare my husband’s income if I can apply?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Cynthia – I believe that you will be considered as single once you have been separated for 3 months, so if you separated in 2017 you shouldn’t need to declare his income at all.

  172. Sarah

    Hi Doug, My husband receives CPP, OAS and GIS, I receive an Australian disability pension. I applied for the spousal allowance I am 62. Can Pension informed me I would be owed back pay of $2735.98 which would generate an overpayment to my husband who would have to pay that same dollar amount back. The allowance does not increase our income it just shifts part of it to me. The benefit being He is 74 and if he were to pass away before I am 65 I would not have to redo paperwork to get the survivors benefit. Also, If we pay off the overpayment monthly there is no interest, and we can use it to pay down a debt. I am concerned however that doing this could be seen as extra income and adversely affect us as I get a carer benefit of $400 a month and it is based on income. So even though I am being paid they are taking it from my husband which does not decrease (after the overpayment is paid off), or increase our income but the overpayment for the 2018—19 tax year could make it look like we have extra income. How would a lump some being received on one hand and being paid back on the other affect our income for assessment purposes like for the carer benefit. Thanks for reading this it is very appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sarah – I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything about a “carer benefit”, so I don’t know if the allowance will affect it or not. I do know that neither the allowance nor GIS are taxable, so it possibly depends on whether your carer benefit is based on Net or Taxable income. I wish you well.

  173. Sarah

    Yes your correct Doug, neither the Gis or the spousal allowance is taxable.
    Want I wish to know is this: Really, we gain no extra income, they take the allowance from my Husbands GIS. (the only advantage of this is were my husband to pass away, the allowance would roll over to the survivor’s benefit, important for me since I would be left with a very low income). Because there is back pay for me from when I qualified, it will cause an overpayment for him.
    How does this appear on a Tax return as the 2 amounts being the amount paid to me and the amount be equalled out. If he pays his payback off gradually by the month, will the 2 amounts been shown on next years tax as cancelling out each other. Or will we be penalised for paying it off and accepting the lump sum I get, even though we end up giving it back bit by bit. I imagine if we paid the whole lump sum back immediately both what I received and what he then was over paid will cancel each other out. We really would not end up seeing the money as it comes in one hand goes out back to Can pension in the other. They said he could pay it off at 10% of his income a month no interest.
    We thought this could be a good idea as we could pay the lump sum on a loan we owe but not if we will be treated as having an increase in our income even though in reality it is not as it is being paid back monthly. Many non Canada pension allowances are judged on gross income, so I am worried accepting it the way Canada pensions suggetsted, could adversely affect next years income, an falsely make our income look more than it actually is.

    The spousal allowance can be a trap few understand. The rules are never clear. I would like it to work for us but not at a greater cost of loosing another benefit when in reality we are not actually gaining money. I hope I have explained it better. I am not sure where to get help from. Thanks again for looking at this I appreciate it.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sarah – You’ve explained your situation very clearly, but I still can’t help you because I don’t know what a “carer benefit” is and I don’t know whether the amount is based on your combined “net income”, your combined “taxable income” or something else?
      As for T4 slips and tax returns, if you receive the retroactive lump sum payment in 2018, it will be shown on a T4A(OAS) slip in your name in Box 21 “Net Supplements Paid” (along with any 2018 Allowances that you receive) and it should be reported on your tax return and included in your Total and Net income, but subtracted before your Taxable income.
      Your husband will receive his own T4A(OAS) slip and it will show any GIS that he receives in 2018 minus any portion of the overpayment that he pays back or they recover from his future benefits. He will report this net amount of GIS on his 2018 tax return the same as you. If the overpayment is not fully recovered in 2018, he will continue to get credits in subsequent years for any GIS repaid or recovered from future benefits.

  174. Sarah

    Hi Doug, thank you for that explanation you have helped me decide not to take the spousal allowance and leave things as they are. Sometimes it is very confusing when dealing with pensions and allowances.

    You are a gift to all of us trying to navigate the system, your help has been greatly appreciated.

  175. Sally

    Hi Doug,my husband is nearing 65 in few months. He is currently receiving a CPP Disability since 2005 @ 12,657 in 2018 or 1077 per month this is his only income no savings used them up when he got sick. l am also on CPP Disability since 2001 @ 13,581 with no savings. We are both born and raised in Canada and married. My question is, once our CPP combined income is adjusted once he reaches 65 will it be roughly be 814. also would he qualify for any OAS and GIS if he does could you give a approximate amount.

    • Sally

      Forgot to mention l am 55.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Sally – See previous reply.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sally – The bad news is that his CPP disability pension will convert to a CPP retirement pension of approx. $789 per month, effective the month following his 65th birthday. The good news is that he will also become eligible for OAS/GIS at that same time. He has to apply though, unless he received a letter telling him that he was approved automatically. His combined OAS/GIS should be approx. $1,002 per month if you are under age 60, and if you’re between age 60 and 65 his combined OAS/GIS should be approx. $798 per month and you would be eligible for an “Allowance” of approx. $208 per month

      • Sally

        Thanks Doug you were pretty close.

  176. Mary

    Can a person be forced to begin their CPP benefits (if available) at 65 in order to deny them GIS eligibility, or can a person delay CPP to age 70 (to get maximum CPP benefits) and collect GIS from 65-70 years of age?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mary – No, you can’t be forced to take your CPP at age 65, so Yes you can defer it to age 70 and receive a higher GIS from 65-70.

  177. Fred

    And I believe you can also defer OAS until age 70 as part of the same strategy if it makes sense?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Fred – No, you can’t receive GIS unless you are receiving OAS, so deferring OAS is a totally different strategy.

  178. Sherry

    Hello Mr. Doug Runchey,

    I love reading all the comments and questions on your website and hope you could help me to clarify my following questions.

    My husband retired in 2008 at 57 and I retired in August 2017 at 65. We immigrated to Canada in May 1996. We are both just getting our CPP & OAS started from January 2018. I had sent Form ISP 3041 to Service Canada for 2018 estimated combined income, which is estimated to be about $17,600, at the beginning of 2018.

    Since my income in 2016 and 2017 (before retirement) were relatively high, do you think we are still eligible for the GIS in 2018 due to loss of employment salary? When will our GIS payment effectively start? It will start from January 2018 (first time to get OAS) or from July 2018?

    Thank you for your considerations.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sherry – Yes, you should both qualify for GIS effective January 2018.

  179. Sherry

    Hi Doug, thank you for the fast response. I have two more questions.

    1. In my OAS approval letter, in Box B portion of pension is 19/20 that means I lived in Canada for 19 years before 65 and my payment is $297.05/month (plus 11 months adjustment increase at 6.6%). I believe this is incorrect, it should be 20/20. I immigrated to Canada in May, 1996 and to May, 2016 is my 20 years (no interruption). At my 65 birthday in January 2017, I had been lived in Canada for 20 year 8 month, rather than 19 years. I have sent a request for reconsideration to Service Canada in February. Am I right?

    2. I get OAS clawback of 272/month from April to June 2018 based on my 2016 income (>minimum income threshold $74,788). However, my 2017 Notice of Assessment indicates my net income for 2017 was about $60,000, and estimated income for 2018 is only $10,000 due to loss of employment income, much lower than in 2016. I have submitted form T1213 (OAS) for 2018 to CRA to request reconsidering my OAS recovery tax based on current year income. Is there any chance my 3-month clawback could be returned? Your help is much appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sherry
      1. It could depend on what your immigration status was when you arrived in Canada. If you arrived in Canada as a Landed Immigrant, you are correct. If you arrived as a Visitor however, they may be using either the date that you applied for LI status or the date that you were granted LI status as the beginning of your residence status for OAS purposes.
      2. Yes, you will definitely get the 3-month OAS clawback back when you file your 2017 income tax return. Read this article:

  180. Shery

    Thanks a lot for the replay. I arrived Canada as landed immigrant in 1996. Never as visitor before that.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Shery – Then yes, you should be eligible for 20/40ths.

  181. Shery

    Oh, forgot to ask. My 2017 income tax return had finished with Notice of Assessment received. OAS clawback was not included. What should I do? should I include it in 2018 tax return? Thank you again.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Shery – Sorry, my mistake. If the withhold was from your 2018 OAS payments, you’ll get it back when you file your 2018 income tax return.

  182. izzy

    Hello Doug,

    Will the temporary allowance I get ($250) per month under TTHAP (Toronto Transitional Housing Program 2018) affect our GIS/OAS for the tax year 2018 or thereafter? This payment will be reflected on my T-5007 for 2018 although it is not taxable. Currently, my wife and I get GIS/OAS payment of $729 each.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Izzy – If it’s not considered taxable income, it won’t affect your GIS.

      • Izzy

        Thank you, Doug.

  183. Teresa

    Hi Doug. I have a question regarding inheritance and GIS. Lets presume that in 2018 I will inherit about $20000 from Polish condo, after the death of my sister (sadly).How would that affect my GIS payments for 2019? My thinking is that I would receive $0 for 2019. How about the following year that I would return to receiving normal pensions only of about $11,000 yr (excluding OAS and GIS). Thank you for your diligent input.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – An inheritance isn’t normally considered as taxable income, in which case your GIS won’t be affected at all. If you invest the money however, any taxable income from that investment (e.g., interest or dividends) would reduce your GIS accordingly.

      • Teresa

        THANK YOU, Doug very much indeed!

  184. Trevor Pickersgill

    Hi Doug,both my wife and I have recently retired,I am 68 and my wife is 62.based on fixed pension for 2018,my annual income will be $22,267..this broken down is OAP(4039) CPP(3388) overseas pension (11856) My wife has no income.My question is based on the above figures,what gis will I be entitled to,and what Allowance will my wife be entitled to.
    Thank You Kindly

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Trevor – Those 3 amounts don’t match your total of $22,267, but assuming that the CPP is correct at $3,388 and your overseas pension is correct at $11,856, your total for GIS purposes would be $15,244. With that income, your combined OAS/GIS would be $961.05 monthly and your wife’s Allowance would be $371.46 monthly (if she has resided in Canada for at least 10 years after age 18). You can check out these rates yourself under Rate Table 4 at this weblink:

      • Trevor

        My mistake,overseas pension should read,$14;840 ;putting the total at $22;267 (includes OAP)
        So I guess this will alter the gis/Allowance payments.

        Thank you for your assistance

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Trevor – Yes, with income totalling $18,288 (excluding OAS), your combined OAS?GIS would be $899.05 and her Allowance would be $309.46.

  185. Artis

    Doug, is the $3,500 income limit which does not affect the amount of GIS only employment (like strictly T4) income or self-employed as well get the “free” $3,500? My reading of Service Canada is that only strictly “employment” (T4) income gets this free $3,5K “income” without affecting the GIS amount- but it seams for me a bit illogical.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Artis – Yes, the $3,500 exemption applies only to earnings from employment and it does NOT apply to earnings from self-employment. The origin of this exemption goes back many many years, to when this exemption applied to earnings from employment under the Income Tax Act. It was eliminated from the Income Tax Act many years ago, but it was retained under the OAS Act for GIS purposes. I guess it doesn’t apply to self-employment earnings, because what’s reported for self-employment is the net income, which already allows for the deduction of all legitimate work expenses.

  186. Loa

    Hi Doug. Thanks for your job well done for the community. Right now, I’m receiving the full amount of OAS and GIS and Ontario’s GAINS and throw in my $126 of CPP every month. I understand that if I leave Canada for six months or more, my GIS and GAINS will be cancelled. My question is this though. If I decided to stay for good and retired in the small Island of Tonga (I was born there, also I’m Canadian Citizen). Can Service Canada (Government) stop my OAS and CPP payment that deposited directly to my Bank (RBC)? Or do I receive those payments for life, even if out of Canada. Do I have to file income taxes every year to receive OAS and CPP for life too?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Loa – Your CPP is payable for life, regardless where you live. Your OAS is payable for life if you live outside of Canada IF you have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18. If not, it will end 6 months after you leave Canada.

      • Loa

        Thank you Doug. I have been in Canada for over 40 years that is why I received the full amount of OAS.So I don’t have to file income taxes yearly from where I would be then?

  187. Edward

    Hi Doug, your post is very helpful.

    My mom in law’s spouse lives oversea and has no intention to live in Canada. She is receiving OAS and GIS starting last year. I wonder if we should report her as “you and your spouse living apart for reasons beyond your control”? They both are considered healthy, not divorce but live in separate countries now. She goes back to home country for a few months every year. Her spouse is not a Canadian resident.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Edward – Your MIL should explain the situation to Service Canada. If it’s not a marital breakdown, they may accept it as an involuntary separation.

  188. Pat

    Hi, Doug

    How long does it usually take for service Canada to process the OAS application – it’s been almost three months for my mother whose turned 65 since end of April 2018, no letter or response as of yet. The GIS option was also ticked off in the application. Her allowance payments stopped once she turned 65.

    Many thanks for your response,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Pat – If she was receiving the Allowance, it should have automatically converted at age 65 without having to apply. There shouldn’t have been any delay at all. I would recommend that your mother call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

      • Pat

        Thank you, Doug. Will do that.

  189. keith

    I am on OAP and also receive GIS as a low income senior. I recently got married which should affect my GIS however, my wife is a German citizen and she resides in Germany. Except for occasional visits usually lasting a few weeks, we have never lived together and I have nothing to do with her personal finances.

    Will I still lose the GIS income regardless?

    Thanks in advance

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Keith – I’m not sure if/how your marriage will affect your GIS entitlement. The best thing to do is to let Service Canada know all of the details, and see what happens.

    • Dave

      I believe under Canadian tax rules, if you are married you must declare the your spouses income (in her case German income converted to C$) on your tax filing. You of course will now be filing as a “married” person (not single widowed or divorced). If correct, then I believe you will be affected. Given the story there must really be true love involved or…. a big age difference.

      Good luck!

  190. Adriana

    Hi There,
    My dad’s OAS was juts approved. He is an sponsored immigrant that got her permanent residence in September 2008 but only moved to Canada in June 2011. He worked in the USA for many years and due to the agreement with the USA got the 6/40 of OAS.
    He sent his application for GIS and is waiting for the decision. He has not lived in Canada for 10 years, as he only moved to here in 2011 but the sponsorship agreement expires at the end of September. Should his GIS be approved?
    My mom also applied for the supplement. She is in the same situation, her sponsorship agreement expires at the end of September but she has only lived in Canada for 7 years. Should her GIS get approved?
    Thanks a lot for your response,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Adriana – This is a bit of a complicated area, and the legislation came into effect after I retired from the department. My understanding is that once their sponsorship periods end they will be eligible for GIS, but because they don’t have the required 10 years of Canadian residence and qualified for OAS under a social security agreement, their GIS will be pro-rated based on their actual Canadian residence at the time of OAS approval. That means that your father should receive 6/10ths of the GIS that he would otherwise receive based on income, and your mother would receive 7/10ths of that same amount.

      • Adriana

        Thanks a lot for your response Doug.
        Would GIS increase for every year they reside in Canada until the complete 10 years?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Adriana – Again, I am not fully familiar with this provision, but Yes I believe that the proportion would increase with each year of additional residence in Canada, up to 10/10ths.

  191. Jim Barnard

    My wife is 67 and currently receives the maximum OAS as well as the Guaranteed Income Supplement. I’m 64 and receive the Allowance. I will turn 65 in February 2019, at which point I will begin receiving the maximum OAS. As I understand it, my Allowance will cease once I turn 65, however I will presumably be eligible for the same GIS payment (from March to June 2019) as my wife currently receives. Is this correct? What do I need to do prior to turning 65 next February? Will I need to apply for GIS at the same time as I apply for OAS? Will CRA or Service Canada contact me prior to my turning 65 to let me know my options? Thanks for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jim – Good questions! First, your Allowance should automatically convert to an OAS/GIS pension effective March 2019 (the month following your 65th birthday). You should receive a letter notifying you of this conversion approx. 2-3 months before your birthday. At the same time, your wife’s GIS will be recalculated. In order to give you both estimates, I’d need to know how much each of you is currently receiving monthly (her OAS/GIS and your Allowance), and I’d need to know what periods of time you have each resided in Canada.

  192. Jim Barnard

    Great, thanks for your help, Doug. With regard to our estimated GIS as of next March, I can determine those based on the fact that we’ll “switch” from Table 4 to Table 2 at that time, I believe.

    I don’t know what I’d do without you (and this thread). You are the only truly comprehensive commentator on GIS/Allowance on the entire internet, strange as that is to contemplate. Thanks again!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jim – Thanks for the positive feedback. And Yes, you have your rate tables properly figured out.

  193. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    I just have a question about how the GIS is calculated when you first retire. If you retire in June will the income you earn the first few months of the year count against the GIS if you ask them to estimate the current year’s income? And the following year when you do your taxes will it count against it again? In other words is it better to retire in January to get full GIS right away? Thanks for all your input.

  194. Donald

    Hi Doug,

    I will be 65 in November of 2019, so I could start receiving OAS/GIS as early as Dec 2019. So, in December of this year (2018), I should either be automatically enrolled, or I may have to do it myself. Since I moved to Canada back in March of 1993, I will be eligible only for partial OAS. A couple of questions:

    1. Since it is partial OAS, how are the “complete years lived in Canada” calculated? Is 1993 a complete year for me, since I started living in Canada only as of March 1993? Also, am I better off postponing my OAS for 1 month, and start receiving it as of January 2020, since that may give me another “complete year” for OAS.

    2. Being partial OAS, am I going to be eligible for automatic enrollment, or will I have to do it myself?

    3. If I apply for GIS at the same time as for OAS, and knowing that for GIS calculation it is the previous tax year, that is relevant for total income, here’s a question:

    If I start receiving OAS/GIS in December 2019, it will be 2018 tax year to calculate my GIS, but if I postpone it by 1 month, and start receiving both OAS and GIS in January of 2020, then it should be 2019 year, based on which my GIS will be calculated. Am I right assuming this?

    My point is that if this is the case, I may be able to withdraw more funds from my TFSA and less from RRSP, throughout next year (2019) in order to try to maximize my GIS, if I decide to start receiving OAS/GIS as of Jan 2020, instead of Dec 2019.

    Thank you for this amazing website and your great help!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Donald –

      1. No, 1993 is not a complete year for you. Your first complete year would have been March 1993. You would be eligible for 26/40ths OAS effective December 2019 or 27/40ths effective April 2020.
      2. You need at least 40 years of valid residence in Canada for automatic enrollment, so you will have to apply for OAS.
      3. Yes, your 2018 income will be used for GIS effective December 2019, but your 2019 income doesn’t affect your GIS until July 2020.

  195. Donald

    Thank you kindly for your prompt reply, Doug. Just one more small clarification: if I decide to start collecting OAS/GIS as of Jan 1, 2020, which tax year will be used for GIS? Will it still be 2018, and only as of July 2020, they will review my 2019 tax return and make possible adjustments to GIS payments. If so, I might as well apply for OAS/GIS as soon as possible (end of this year), and start receiving OAS in Dec. 2019. Because of the RRSP withdrawals I already made this year, I won’t be eligible for GIS, but that will be adjusted in July 2020, based on 2019 tax year, when I plan to start withdrawing more TFSA and less RRSP funds. Am I understanding this correctly?

    Thank you, sir!

    • Donald

      Oops, I forgot to ask this: when I apply for both OAS/GIS at the end of this year, and GIS gets rejected, because I’ll be over the limit, do I need to apply for GIS again next year, or will they accept it automatically in 2020, based on my 2019 tax year (when I plan to have less RRSP withdrawals)?

      Thanks again!

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Donald – I know that once you’re receiving GIS it should renew automatically based on your income tax return, but I’m not exactly sure whether it will renew automatically if the GIS isn’t paid due to excess income. You’ll have to confirm that with Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Donald – Yes, you are understanding everything correctly.

      • Donald

        Thank you, sir!

  196. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    In December 2019 I will turn 65 and will qualify to start OAS in January 2020. As my only other income will be $120 a month QPP pension I will need the GIS to start the same month. Will the Government calculate my GIS based on my 2019 work income? Or will they give me the full amount until June and then cut me off based on my tax return for 2019? I’m afraid of being left with $720 a month to live on for a year which wouldn’t cover my basic expenses. If I retire in May instead of January how will that affect my GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn – GIS for January 2020 thru June 2020 would “normally” be based on your 2018 income, unless you have retired or had a reduction in pension income. What was your 2018 income and what will be your 2019 income?

  197. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for your quick reply. My 2018 income was really low due to an unexpected loss of employment. I’m estimating about $6000 by the end of December from new job(not including my income tax refund from last year). 2019 will be about 25,000 from new job. To clarify I wanted to know what the GIS would be if I retired in January 2020 and if I would have a reduction in July based on my previous year’s income if I were retired. Could they not calculate based on the current year’s income? (2020). And if I worked past 65 and retired in June with loss of employment income how would that affect it? It’s very confusing to me at this point Thanks for your input.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn – To repeat, GIS entitlement for the period from July 2019 thru June 2020 would normally be based on your 2018 income, so if it was/is quite low that is what will be used. Effective July 2020 (and until June 2021) your GIS would normally be based on your 2019 income, but if you retire at the end of June 2020 it will be based on a mixture of your 2019 income (excluding the employment earnings) and your estimated 2020 earnings after retirement (annualized). It is a bit confusing.

  198. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for all the information. So, since my only income will be my employment earnings before retirement it’s a relief to know that they won’t count against it. Thanks again for your help to clarify everything.

  199. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    Because of long processing times of GIS forms I had planned to submit them a few months in advance of retiring but after a call to service Canada I was told the form ISP 3041 to calculate income based on the year of retirement can’t be submitted until after you retire. Under the circumstances it’s impossible to receive the GIS the month after one retires with the long processing times. They don’t make the form available because they don’t want people submitting them early. Think I’ll have to work until I’m 70.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn
      I agree with you that Service Canada’s target processing time of 35 weeks is far too long and totally unacceptable.

  200. William John Bauer

    The biggest difference between GIS and CPP (Canada Pension Plan) is that GIS are Tax Free. Everyone who has contributed to CPP must take it before being eligible to receive GIS. As most contributors to Canada Pension would have retirement income over the maximum allowed of $14,400 (OAS + CPP) to receive GIS, it becomes clear that the normal Canadian Taxpayer is not eligible to receive GIS. (When our politicians go after the retirement vote they talk about increasing the GIS and most retirees believe they may see an increase in income, this is of course not true because they receive OAS and CPP.) Now I would prefer to receive the GIS and they could keep my CPP and I would be money in the bank.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi William – You’re wrong in so many ways that I won’t even try to correct you. No, that wouldn’t be fair to others.
      1) Nowhere in my article to I see a maximum of $14,400 mentioned.
      2) Nobody has to take CPP before they could receive GIS.
      3) Very few people receive $14,400 in CPP, and OAS doesn’t count as income for GIS purposes.
      4) Even considering the tax implications, I can’t see that you would ever be ahead by declining CPP in favour of GIS. Maybe you can provide an example?
      5) I agree that CPP and GIS are treated differently for tax purposes, but I think that the fact that CPP requires contributions and GIS doesn’t might also be a significant difference between the two programs. And oh yeah, CPP also has disability and survivor benefits, and GIS doesn’t.

  201. Jagtar Cheema

    I retired on 12/31/2018. I had requested Service Canada to approve GIS for me based on my estimated income of 2018. They have approved GIS but the amount for January 2018 to July 2018 is much less than I expected. In their letter they have stated that:
    “Prior to July 2008, all income was estimated when calculating the amount of benefit. Effective July 1, 2008, only pension income and employment or self-employment income from the current year is estimated. All other income from the preceding calendar year will be added to the estimated income. The benefit is calculated on the combined total of these two parts.”
    Could you please explain the reasoning?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jagtar – I can’t explain the reasoning, but I can confirm that it is correct.

  202. Cheema


  203. Shelley

    Hi Doug,

    I stumbled on this website tonight quite by accident and am so grateful. There really isn’t a whole lot of help available online and this site is a real treasure. You are a fountain of knowledge!

    My question concerns my mother who receives OAS and CPP as her only income. I should preface my comment first by explaining that my mother is cognitively impaired to the point of it being classed as a disability (which clearly affects how she manages her finances).

    She applied for the OAS/GIS in 2015 and there was no problem. However, this week I learned she apparently did not file her taxes for 2016 and 2017 which in turn triggered a full stop of her GIS payments mid 2017. Her OAS and CPP payments continued without interruption however. But from what I can see, about 16 GIS payments altogether were withheld due to her not filing taxes on time.

    My question is can she still recover these missed GIS payments retroactively if she files her taxes now? From reading the comments here I gather there may be an 11 month maximum retroactive policy in effect and if so, I’m just wondering if there might some kind of incapacity provision. That is, could my mother’s disability provide a basis for an exception to be made so that she can recover this loss? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated!


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Shelley – Thanks for the positive feedback! Yes, she can receive retroactive payment for the missed GIS and Yes it will likely be limited to the maximum of 11 months. Because of the break in payment, she may also be required to submit a GIS application in addition to filing her late income tax returns. And Yes, there is an incapacity provision in the OAS legislation that could possibly extend the 11-month retroactive limit, but it is a very restrictive definition of incapacity as follows: “that the person was incapable of forming or expressing an intention to make an application on the person’s
      own behalf on the day on which the application was actually made”. I suggest that you call Service Canada immediately at 1-800-277-9914 to see if a GIS application is indeed required also, and to discuss the possibility of using the incapacity provision.

  204. Raymond Sham

    Hi Doug,

    I and my wife are both receiving OAS payment. As our total income in 2017 exceeds the maximum for GIS so we cannot get it. But at the end of 2017 I was laid off from my job and is on EI payment till Oct 2018.

    The amount I can get it is below the GIS cut off point and my wife is not working in 2018. Do I need to inform Service Canada, or just leave it until they access my tax return next year and give me a retroactive payment.



    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Raymond – You should notify Service Canada immediately, so that you can begin receiving GIS based on your current level of income sooner.

  205. Mark

    If you are married would the 3500 employment income exemption be a total of 7000 for a couple?

    I also noticed on the GIS instruction sheet that both lines 101 and 104 were eligible for this exemption. Line 104 is for income not reported on a T4

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – Yes, the $3,500 exemption is per person, so up to $7,000 for a couple if they are both working.

  206. Tulsi

    Hello Doug,

    I will highly appreciate if you can give your best educated advice
    on my situation.

    I am 68 and retired and my income will be:
    EI- $1932 CPP- $7420 and OAS – Approx $7,000 Investment income $1000
    So my total income is $17,350

    My wife is turning 65 in 2 weeks on 23 DEC.2018 Her only income is
    CPP $5,716.

    I require approx $30,000 per year for my expenses.

    We would like to withdraw as much as possible either from her RRSP account or My RRSP account whichever you think is appropriate so as
    to get full OAS & GIS benefits of approx $1,400 each.

    Also, can I withdraw $2,000 from my RRSP account tax free and not
    affect my OAS,GIS benefits. If I convert RRSP to RRIF will that help.

    Lastly, can I receive full OAS,GIS for this year retroavtively since my income dropped and how do I claim.

    Thank you for your very informative blog.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Tulsi – The max OAS/GIS of $1,498.27 for each of a married couple is only payable if they have no income other than OAS/GIS. Based on the incomes that you have indicated, you and your wife would each be eligible to OAS/GIS of $897.42 ($600.85 OAS and $164.84 GIS). If you did withdraw any RRSP monies, each of your GIS amounts would be reduced by approx. $1 per month for every $48 of annual RRSP withdrawals.
      Depending on what caused your income to decrease, you may be eligible for retro GIS, but as mentioned above you will never be eligible for max GIS because of your other incomes.

  207. Mark


    If you completed section F on the GIS application (retirement or reduction in pension income) you should receive form ISP-3041 to estimate your income for 2019 from which your GIS will be based rather than the previous year(s). You can call service canada at 1-800-277-9914 to request the form and/or get info on GIS.

    You have to convert the RRSP to a RRIF for the 2000 pension amount credit, however this WILL reduce your GIS by 50% or $1000 so it would be pointless.

    Any RRSP withdrawals would similarly reduce your GIS by 50%

    You may also consider converting your investments to a TFSA so the income will not be taxable or counted against GIS.

    The GIS retroactive period is 11 months from date of application.

  208. Sherry

    Hi Doug,
    I love your website and turn to you for help. I retired in 2017 and get GIS from January 2018 based on my estimated income in 2018. I know my 2018 GIS will be adjusted based on my 2018 actual income. My question is if my future GIS from January 2019 thru June 2020 will also be based on my 2018 actual income? If so, my 2018 income will affect 2.5 years GIS and every one dollar income in 2018 will cause 1.25 dollar decease in GIS, is this the case? Please clarify for me. Thank you for your considerations.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sherry – That’s not exactly how it works, but you’re right that’s basically the outcome. The only way that might be unfair to you though (in my opinion anyway) would be that if you had some income in 2018 that was unusual and won’t occur in future years. Is that the case? What income did you estimate for 2018?

  209. Sherry

    Hi Doug,
    Thank you for your prompt replay. You are right, that’s not exactly it works and I may not be right to assume the GIS only based on 2018 income. It seems the GIS from January 2018 thru June 2019 is based on 2017 income as mentioned in the letter from Service Canada, and they sent me ISP 3041 forms to fill the estimated income for 2017 and 2018
    I am quite confusing on this since my 2017 income (retired in the middle of the year) was much higher than that of GIC limit, and if the employment income is excluded, my 2017 income was negative due to the RRSP. Also, I don’t have any CPP in 2017. I am wondering how they calculate the 2017 income, or they mix the 2017 and 2018 income together, but not mentioned in the letter? I am afraid my 2018 actual income may be higher than the estimated because of unexpected increased investment income for special family need. If it occurs, I am considering buying the same amount RRSP to offset my 2018 RRIF income to balance the actual income. Please advise.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sherry – It’s really too complex to explain in this forum, because they do use a mixture of 2017/2018 and they pro-rate or annualize income from some sources. If your actual 2018 income does differ from what you estimated, they will adjust your GIS retroactively (up or down).

  210. Wendy

    Hi Doug, wondering a couple of things. My 2017 income on tax filed was too high. In Sept 2017 my work pension was finished. My income dropped, I made the first application for GIS in Sept 2017.

    I filled out the estimated income for July 2108 to June 2019 this year in July and made several phones calls.
    So far all I have received are letters saying my income is too high (based on 2017)
    Presently I have my QPP and OAS only. I did cash in an RRSP in July for 1900.00 Total expected income for July 2018 to June 2019 is 16,800.00 minus the OAS is 9760.00. Not too high! Again latest letter rejected. I was also told I would not receive back payments in July 2019 (this was thru a phone call).
    the letter of Dec 2018 tells me I can again appeal but to the Social Security Tribunal!, so I’m wondering 1) if you know of any persons who have successfully won their case with situations similar to mine. 2) any suggestions of what I should do 3) Can you explain the retroactive payments. 4) should I re-apply after I’ve done by 2018 taxes? thank you W

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – What is your marital status? What were all your income sources/amounts for 2017 and what are they for 2018?

  211. wendy

    income sources and amounts: work pension $11,000 ending in Sept 2017
    income source: QPP and OAS plus little savings and the RRSP I took out for $1900.00
    income amount for 2018 to 2019 $16,800.00 (includes QPP OAS & RRSP)

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – I don’t understand why your 2017 income was too high for GIS purposes, if all that you had was $11,000 from your work pension? Did your work pension stop at age 65, or why/when? When did your QPP start and what is the monthly amount? When did you make the RRSP withdrawal?

  212. wendy

    sorry, my income for 2017 was approximately 25,000 made up of the work pension and OAS and QPP.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – Based on what you’re saying, it sounds to me like you should be eligible for GIS. I suggest that you appeal to the SST.

  213. wendy

    Thank you for your help. guess I will go the extra step. I’ve looked up other cases online but really don’t see many winning. What’s your experience with the outcomes? Any idea of how long they take to process requests? Thanks again W

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – Unfortunately, it is a very slow process. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a year or more for a decision to be made.

  214. Wendy

    Hopefully last questions:

    Am I right in thinking my file will be reviewed in summer 2019 providing I do my taxes in 2018?

    If I take steps to contest the present decision will it affect my GIS for 2019 as it will be in the courts?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – Effective July 2019 your GIS entitlement would be based on your 2018 income, but if you’re not currently receiving GIS it might not be reviewed automatically so you may have to submit another GIS application. Whether or not you appeal your current GIS entitlement will no bearing on your GIS entitlement effective July 2019.

  215. Valerie

    Good morning Doug.
    I have a question regarding gis and allowance.My husband is 69 , and his total income is $18,220 excluding OAS.consisting of overseas pension of $14,840 and CPP $3,380.not included is OAS of $4039.I am 62 and my income is zero.
    My question is,does income splitting affect the Gis/allowance.If on our tax return my husband splits his uk pension portion with me so that his total income will be $10,795 and mine would then be $7425.I know the combined income will still be the same,but any benefits to do this?Also based on the figures I have given can you tell me what gis and allowance we would recieve.
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Valerie – There would be no advantage or disadvantage to the GIS/Allowance to splitting your income, because those entitlements are both based on your combined income anyway. Based on the OAS amount showing, it appears that your husband is receiving a partial OAS pension, presumable because he didn’t have 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18 and before his OAS started. In that case I can’t tell you what portion would be his OAS and GIS separately, but based on a combined income of $18,220 his total monthly OAS/GIS should be $924.79 and your Allowance would be $323.34.

      • Valerie

        Thank you Doug for your quick reply,am I right in saying that it does not really matter wether we split the income or not,the outcome would still be the same.

        • Doug Runchey

          Yes, that is correct.

  216. John

    The GIS is not taxable and how much GIS you get is based on your Net income.

    So when you file your taxes why does the GIS or net federal supplements are included in your Net Income?

    I mean they are included and appear on Line 236 – Net Income of your IT return.
    Later on you deduct them on Line 250 – Other payments deductions, which reduces your taxable income on Line 260 – Taxable Income.

    So is your GIS based on Line 236 – Net Income or Line 260 – Taxable Income. If it is based on Line 236, it makes no sense as the GIS is already added over there inflating your income, when GIS is not supposed to be counted or taxed for future GIS calculations.

  217. Maxime

    Hi Doug,

    I am wondering if it is possible to use the ISP3041 for GIS to be received in 2020 if:
    *I am 67 years old
    *with an RRSP and a RRIF that would be transferred back to my RRSP in 2019
    *Other taxable income of 18500$ including maximum OAS, QPP (Quebec’s CPP) and 2000$ as a RRIF withdrawal.

    Thanks a lot

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Maxime – The ISP 3041 form can only be used if you have retired or if a pension has been reduced or ended. Do either of these things apply in your situation?

  218. wendy

    We cannot approve your statement of estimated income for the following reason:

    by law, investment income such as interest dividends, capital gains and rrsp’s are not considered income therefore we cannot use the estimate of your incomes in 2017 and 2018 . We hope the above fully explains the situations regarding your statement of estimated incomes for the years 2017 and 2018.

    Do you know what this means, beside the meaning I’m getting nothing?

    from past post
    income sources and amounts: work pension $11,000 ending in Sept 2017
    income source: QPP and OAS plus little savings and the RRSP I took out for $1900.00
    income amount for 2018 to 2019 $16,800.00 (includes QPP OAS & RRSP)

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – If your company pension ended in Sept 2017, you should be eligible to have your GIS entitlement based on your estimated income. Maybe you completed the forms incorrectly, because it sounds like they’re not aware that your pension income has stopped.

  219. Tony Robinson

    Hi Doug, Today my wife received an application for GIS and we have completed it based on both our 2017 Income tax returns. I turn 65 in March 2019 and my wife in May 2019 and we will both receive our OAS. My knowledge on GIS is limited but I read that it is based on our combined incomes as we are married. By the way I didn’t receive an application for GIS. Also I believe there is a threshold at which you don’t receive GIS.
    In 2017 my wife’s total income was $11,347.28 (RRSP $5000 + CPP $6,347.28. My total income was $23,672.05 (both before the basic exemptions) for a combined total of $35,019.33.
    In my income I had $10,000 in RRSP. My wife in 2018 has no RRSP just CPP and OAS for seven months.
    We are both retired.
    My question is will my wife qualify for GIS? If so how much?
    Is there a sliding scale or is our combined income too much for my wife to receive any GIS?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Tony – Once you’re both receiving OAS, the maximum combined income for either of you to receive GIS is $24,096 (excluding OAS), so neither of you will receive GIS after June 2019, unless your combined income decreases in some future year. Based on the combined income of $35,019, you would be eligible for GIS of $181.18 monthly for April and May 2019, but I’m not sure if they’ll accept the application that your wife has submitted for that purpose, or if they will require you to complete another one yourself.

      • Tony Robinson

        Hi Doug, Today my wife received an application for GIS and we have completed it based on both our 2017 Income tax returns. I turn 65 in March 2019 and my wife in May 2019 and we will both receive our OAS. My knowledge on GIS is limited but I read that it is based on our combined incomes as we are married. By the way I didn’t receive an application for GIS. Also I believe there is a threshold at which you don’t receive GIS.
        In 2017 my wife’s total income was $11,347.28 (RRSP $5000 + CPP $6,347.28. My total income was $23,672.05 (both before the basic exemptions) for a combined total of $35,019.33.
        In my income I had $10,000 in RRSP. My wife in 2018 has no RRSP just CPP and OAS for seven months.
        We are both retired.
        My question is will my wife qualify for GIS? If so how much?
        Is there a sliding scale or is our combined income too much for my wife to receive any GIS?
        Thank you

        Hi Doug,
        Thanks for the prompt reply.
        Since I turn 65 in March if I was going to get an application I assumed I would have before my wife, now I believe I didn’t based on my income.
        My wife’s income in 2019, excluding OAS will be approx $6,400 while mine will be expected to be approx $19,000. So combined it will be around $25,400. Based on the maximum combined income of $24,096 we will still be over by approx $1,300 even then she won’t receive any GIS? Correct?
        Also since Revenue Canada has all the income information on out Tax Returns that is the same on the GIS application and the answer is going to be no GIS, why go through this process after getting the impression she may qualify for GIS?
        The sliding scale mentioned in other comments I assume stops in our case at $24,096?
        I’m left wondering why the trouble if they already have the information?
        Thanks again.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Tony – When you applied for OAS, there was a question that asked if you also wanted to apply for GIS. If you said “No”, they wouldn’t send you a GIS application. If your wife said “Yes”, they would send her an application (asking for both of your incomes). If you want to receive the $181 per month that I told you that you could be eligible for, you may have to call them and ask them to send you an application, or they may accept the income statement that you have already completed for your wife’s GIS application. Future year’s eligibility will depend on future year’s income, but if your combined income exceeds whatever the threshold is at that time, neither of you will receive GIS.

          • Tony Robinson

            Thanks for the update. The point is neither of us applied for OAS. I should have mentioned that. We both simply received notifications in the mail that we were both approved for OAS and we didn’t have to apply so neither of us actually answered the question. We never responded to either letter advising us that we qualified for OAS.
            I’m wondering if it was triggered by my wife’s low income.
            One last question does the CRA automatically deduct income tax at the source or do we declare it when we file our income tax returns?
            We will send in the application and see how it plays out.
            Thanks again.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Tony – If you were both automatically approved for OAS, I can’t explain why they only sent a GIS application to your wife, unless it was based on her lower income. No, Service Canada doesn’t automatically deduct income tax from your OAS unless they are directed to do so if your 2017 income exceeded the OAS clawback threshold.

  220. tony robinson

    Thanks for assistance. We will send in the application and go from there. Thanks again.

  221. Avan

    Hi Doug,

    My mom is recving both OAS and GIS for the past couple years. We have decided to buy her a place under her name for her to live in and we will pay her mortgage too. Would having an apartment under her name reduce her GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Avan – No, this would affect her GIS at all.

      • Avan

        This would not, you mean 🙂

        • Doug Runchey

          Yes, I meant not. Thanks for spotting my error.

  222. Avan

    Thank you for your reply.
    All the best.

  223. Georgi Kavrakov

    How do I report foreign pension income for Canadian tax purposes in regards to exchange rate? I am talking about less than CAD 1500 a year.

  224. Peter

    Dear Doug,
    I currently receive GIS based on estimated income due to retirement. Last year, I transferred my RIFF back to RRSP (I am younger than 71) and recently received a T4RIF in which all my RRIF is taken as taxable income. Thus I didn’t really receive any money from this transfer, but my total income for 2018 will be much higher than GIS limit. Although the transferred amount can get full deduction on line 208 of my return and reach a low net income on line 236, I am afraid the high total income on line 150 will make me ineligible for GIS. Your opinion? Please advice. Thanks a lot!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Peter – As long as the RRIF income and the RRSP re-contribution both occurred in the same taxation year, this shouldn’t cause you any problem with your GIS because they will offset each other.

  225. Peter

    Hi Doug,thank you so much for your prompt replay. My RRIF was directly transferred to RRSP within the same financial institution in 2018, and no money was cashed, only changed to different account. Based on your comment, it seems if anyone really cashed all the money, but made same amount of RRSP contribution later in the same year, he should also no problem with the GIS? In GIS application form ISP-3025, RRSP deduction is included in GIS income table block 9, if this means RRSP contribution/deduction can reduce the income for GIS purpose? Am I right or wrong? Thanks!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Peter – You are correct. RRSP contributions can reduce other income for GIS entitlement purposes.

  226. mark

    Is this RRSP deduction only applied to “other income”? What about reducing income from other blocks, ie: CPP in block 1

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – RRSP contributions would reduce income from any source.

  227. Teresa Ratajczak

    Hi Jim/Doug
    I’ve made 7000 dollars this year. Therefore I expect my GIS to be reduced beginning July 2019. I’m 70 this coming July 2019. If I open the RRSP account (I don’t have one) and put lets say 3000 dollars into it, how would it affect my gis calculation for 2019/2020? I’m looking for ways to keep my gis intact, if possible…thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – Making a $3,000 RRSP contribution will generally increase your GIS by approx. $125 monthly over what it would be without the RRSP contribution. But this is an estimate only and I’d need more information about your marital status and any other income sources to give you a more accurate answer.

      • Teresa Ratajczak

        I’m divorced and single.This year income: 6943 employment income; 3170 Polish pension; 3224 cpp; 4800 private pension; 4806 old age security; 5945 gis(net supplement)

        • Doug Runchey

          Based on this info, your combined OAS/GIS will be approx. $950 per month if you don’t make an RRSP contribution and approx. $1,115 per month if you make a $3,000 RRSP contribution.

  228. Teresa

    Doug thank you sooo much. Are you sure? The reason i ask is that my oas/gis now is 915.63. Without taking into consideration the earned income of almost 7000 this year. So how with that income count and without rrsp of 3000 my 2019 government benefit is going to be 950? And with rrsp 1115? I think i dont understand that logic. Could you please explain the calculation? Thank you so very much, appreciate.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – My humble apologies! I overlooked your private pension income of $4,800 in my earlier response. The correct amount of OAS/GIS entitlement would be approx. $750 if you don’t make any RRSP contribution and approx. $875 if you do make a $3,000 RRSP contribution.

  229. Teresa

    Thank you Doug this sounds more realisticly, unfortunately…another question if you don’t mind. Next calendar year I’m going to be 71. Means if I’m still working and have income I no longer have a vessel to put money to without loosing part of gis? Or there is something else.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – You can have employment earnings of up to $3,500 per year without it reducing your GIS, but above that amount you will lose approx. half of your salary to a reduction in your GIS. If you enjoy the work though, you’re still ahead by approx. half of whatever you earn.

  230. Teresa

    Ok thank you very much.

  231. Teresa

    Hi Doug. Since i have the last chance for contributing to rrsp before reaching age 71, my question is, what should be my maximum rrsp contribution this year to max my gis/oas payments for 2019/2020? Just to let you know that my oas is 390 only, not a maximum and I have 26000 room for rrsp? I’m thinking about max my gis by my rrsp if possible.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – If you made an RRSP contribution of approx. $14,600 that would bring you down to basically zero income for GIS purposes and you would be eligible for max OAS/GIS of approx. $1,500 per month. One thing to remember though, is that when you start withdrawing your RRSP savings, you will lose 50%-75% from your GIS at that time because it will be considered as income.

  232. Teresa

    Thank you Doug very much. Yes I have some big decision to make in a next couple of days. Thanks again!

  233. Ambreen

    Hi Doug. I’ll be turning 65 in April this year. My OAS has been approved which at 19/40th will be $285 per month. I’ve applied for GIS too and I’m hoping it will be approved by April. With my total personal income in 2018 at $9,930 annually, how much GIS can I expect?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ambreen – If your 65th birthday is in April, your first OAS/GIS would be effective May 2019 and the amount of GIS will be based on your 2017 income. What was your income for 2017 by source?

      • Ambreen

        Yes Doug, my OAS/GIS will hopefully be effective from May 2019. My total income from a GIC certificate yield (my only source of income) was 8,046 in 2017. This certificate matured in the summer of 2018 and I purchased a new GIC a month later. So, in the tax slip they stated my 2018 income as 9,929 and some cents, to be exact. My new GIC gives a lower yield than the previous one, so I suppose my 2019 income will be lower than the one stated in 2018. However, at the moment I would like to get an idea of approximately how much my first GIC payment might be.

        By the way, as far as I know the threshold for eligibility for GIS is a total income of $17,000 a year or below, right? Is $17,000 inclusive of OAS?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Ambreen – Assuming that you’re single, your GIS effective May 2019 (using your 2017 income) will be approx. $754 (438 regular + $316 top-up) and effective July 2019 (based on your 2018 income) it will be approx. $662 ($346 regular + $316 top-up).

          The maximum income threshold for a single pensioner receiving full OAS is $18,240 (excluding OAS). Because you’re receiving a partial OAS of 19/40ths and you receive the 21/40ths GIS top-up of $316, your maximum income threshold is $7,584 higher at $25,824.

          Read this article to understand:

          • Ambreen

            Many thanks for explaining this so well, Doug.

            I didn’t know about the $316 GIS top-up. I’ll read the link you sent.

  234. Nick

    Hi Doug, my parents are turning 65 next year. I believe they will be both eligible for GIS. They are separated but not officially divorced. Does that mean they will not qualify for the higher amount of GIS and will be designated to only receive the married couple amount? Thanks in advance for your insight.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Nick – If they are truly separated and each living in their own home, they will be considered as single for GIS purposes even though they are not divorced.

  235. Abdul

    One of the notes Service Canada keeps sending is: “you should notify us, if you travel outside Canada for over six months>”

    Dear Doug, how do you interpret the above-mentioned statement? Does that mean I can go for, let us say, six months less a week and go back again?

    Many Thanks in anticipation

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Abdul – In theory, the answer is “YES” but in reality the answer would likely become “NO” pretty quickly. This is because you only continue to be eligible for GIS during a temporary absence of up to 6 months, IF you are considered to be a resident of Canada. For OAS/GIS purposes, you are only considered to be a resident of Canada IF you make your home in Canada AND ordinarily live in Canada. For someone who was born in Canada and has lived here their whole life, they MIGHT be allowed to take two (or even three) back-to-back 6-month vacations before they would no longer be considered as “making their home in Canada” and/or “ordinarily living in Canada”, but at some point in time one or both of those criteria would cease to be met and GIS eligibility would cease until true residence in Canada was resumed.

  236. Teresa

    Hi Doug/Jim
    I’m 70 years old in July 2019. Recently I opened rrsp account for 3500. This helps me to have my gis higher for 2019/2020, right? Now, during 2019 I plan to put additional money to rrsp since I’m not yet 71. Lets say another 3000. But in December this all has to be converted to rrif, right?. So, according to gis calculation, what are the consequences of me having 6500 rrif for 2021/2022? Is the any financial vehicle i can keep my money and not to loose part of gis (similar to rrsp?) How much i have to withdraw? Sorry for this multilayers question and thank you in advance

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – First of all, I wouldn’t typically recommend that you play with RRSPs in an effort to maximize your GIS entitlement, because typically you’re going to lose as much in future years as you might gain in the current years. Having said that, I’ll try to answer your questions assuming that you are single and that your income will never exceed the maximum income threshold of $18,240, either prior to making RRSP contributions or after withdrawing RRSP/RRIF funds as income.
      So, if by “recently” you mean that you made the $3,500 RRSP contribution in 2018, then your GIS should be approx. $145 per month more for the period from July 2019 thru June 2020, than if you hadn’t made that contribution. If you contribute an additional $3,000 in 2019, your GIS for the period of July 2020 thru June 2021 will be approx. $125 more per month than if you don’t make that additional contribution.
      There is no consequence to your GIS of having a $6,500 RRIF, other than a reduction in your GIS in the year following any withdrawals, equal to approx. 50% of any such withdrawals.
      Effectively you’re gaining $3,250 of GIS entitlement over the next 2 years in exchange for losing $3,250 of GIS entitlement over however many years you take to deplete the RRSP/RRIF.

      • Teresa

        Thank you for this explanation. That’s most appretiative. My plan is to keep my money in rrif as most as possible, living modestly and working as long as possible! Now, can i transfer rrif to tfsa in the future? Or something like that to keep avoiding taxes? Thank you

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Teresa – You can take money out of a RRIF and put it in a TFSA, but it becomes taxable (and will reduce your GIS) as soon as you withdraw it from the RRIF. Putting the RRIF withdrawal into a TFSA will shelter any subsequent investment earnings from tax/GIS, but it doesn’t shelter the withdrawal itself.

  237. Teresa

    Ok thank you very much indeed!

  238. Jill Senhewer

    My CPP will be $340 per month. That’s also my paltry total taxable income. That yields a GIS of $685 and combined GIS + OAS of $1286.

    Somebody who has NO income gets $898 GIS and combined of $1500.

    Somebody who didn’t work or save at all gets over $200 per month (17%) more than my tiny income.

    1) This seems very unfair. Idiotic actually. Have I missed something?
    2) If it is correct I need to get rid of that CPP income to get my total higher. Is there a way to do that?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jill – You say that your CPP “will be” $340 per month. Have you applied for it yet? When does/did it start?

      Using your figures, your total monthly income is $1,626. Do you really think that a total monthly income of $1,500 is better?

      • Jill

        Thank you for your reply.

        The $340 per month will be what’s left of the CPP Disability amount I now receive. Can a person drop this at 65 and restart CPP benefits at 70 to increase both that payment and the interim GIS?

        I paid into the CPP. Clawing it back and paying those who didn’t work a higher GIS is penalizing people who worked.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Jill – Yes, as long as you haven’t already been receiving your CPP retirement pension you can request that it be cancelled (and repay any retirement pension amount received) and you can reapply at eg 70 (or whatever age you wish) for a higher amount. And Yes, in the interim you will receive a higher GIS.

          • Jill

            When you said “… request that ‘it’ be cancelled…” did you mean the CPP Disability Pension?

            It seems if this is possible it might be advantageous if one wants to, for example, take some income from an RRSP, without that income also being penalized by the GIS clawback.


            (Sorry, I inadvertently posted this reply to the wrong place …)

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Jill – No, I meant that the retirement pension be cancelled, not the disability pension. But I don’t understand what you’re suggesting in either case?

  239. Jill

    When you said “… request that ‘it’ be cancelled…” did you mean the CPP Disability Pension?

    It seems if this is possible it might be advantageous if one wants to, for example, take some income from an RRSP, without that income also being penalized by the GIS clawback.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jill – No, I meant that the retirement pension be cancelled, not the disability pension. But I don’t understand what you’re suggesting in either case?

      • Jill

        I was suggesting stopping the CPP Disability Pension at 65 when it drops down to a CPP Retirement Pension, thereby increasing the GIS payment, and then restarting the CPP later at a higher rate (say, at 70). Dunno if the arithmetic supports such a scheme.

        Also, I’m trying to draw down my RRSP before GIS time so that income won’t also be double-taxed (cause a reduced GIS).


        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Jill – It sounds like we’re saying the same thing, except that you don’t cancel the disability pension because it ends automatically at age 65 and it converts automatically to a retirement pension at that same time. After it converts to a retirement pension (within 6 months of receiving your first CPP retirement payment) you can request that the retirement pension be cancelled and you must repay any retirement payments that you have received. Then you can receive a higher GIS. I’m not recommending this as a strategy, but I am suggesting that it can be done, and only you can decide whether it makes sense in your situation.
          I agree that withdrawing RRSPs while receiving GIS is almost never a good strategy, because it is effectively “taxed” by at least 50% due to a reduction in your GIS.

  240. Jill

    After having investigated many federal and provincial benefits programs, their criteria and wait lists, it seems …

    One of the best ways for a poor older Canadian to survive in Canada is to become incarcerated – but for less than 2 years. Free room and board while still receiving GIS.

  241. Peter

    I am a widow and have lived in Canada for 10 years and just now my OAS has been set to $150 per month.

    I have a question regarding my GIS calculation – I have a foreign income of $16000 and Canadian Income of $7000. Would I get any GIS benefits? If yes, how much would it be? Can you please show little calculation for my knowledge and for other people’s information here.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Peter – Based on the info provided, you should be eligible for GIS of approx. $252 monthly. The maximum income threshold for a single pensioner receiving full OAS is $18,240. Because you’re only receiving $150 OAS, your GIS is “topped-up” by approx. $451 to the equivalent of a full OAS. If your income for GIS purposes exceeds the maximum (which it does), your “GIS top-up” is reduced by $1 per month for every $24 of such excess income. Your income of $23,000 exceeds the maximum of $18,240 by $4,760 which means that your top-up of $451 is reduced by $199 ($4,760/$24), leave a remaining amount of $252.

      • Peter

        Thanks Dough so much for getting back. My brother has an income of $17607. How much would he be eligible for GIS please.

        Thank you so much

        • Peter

          And his OAS is same $150 and single. We came together here.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Peter – If you look at Rate Table 1 for a single pensioner, you will see that someone who is receiving the full basic OAS would receive $26.18 GIS based on income of $17,607 for a total OAS/GIS of $627.63 monthly. Because your brother has lived here only 10 years, he will receive the same $451 GIS top-up as yourself, so that his total OAS/GIS will be the same figure of $627.63.

          • Peter

            Thank you so much Doug. I think I understand how the calculation is done now.

      • Peter

        Doug, Since my stay here is not 40 years and I am single – would the threshold be 18,240. Will the threshold not increase..When I called Service Canada around 2 yrs back, they mentioned my threshold would be around $27000.. That time, I was just inquiring about my pension benefits etc. Can you please throw some light on that.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Peter – You asked for an explanation, and I thought I gave it? To repeat, you are topped-up by $451 and that top-up decreases by $1 per month for every $24 of annual income. If you multiply 451 x $24, that means your maximum income threshold is $10,824 higher than someone who has lived in Canada their whole life.

          • Peter

            Thank you so much Doug! Much appreciated.

  242. tania


    My father is receiving old age pension. He is 77. His wife passed 2 1/2 years ago. can he apply for Guarunteed Supplement?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Tania – Certainly he can apply for GIS. The amount of his GIS (if any) will depend on what other incomes (if any) he has.

  243. Jim Barnard

    Hi Doug. Just a quick question. My wife and I both received GIS for a couple of years, but for the last couple of years we no longer qualify. Should we qualify at any time in the future, would we need to re-apply? Or will Service Canada automatically “know” we qualify?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jim – I’m honestly not 100% sure any longer, because they have changed the way that Revenue Canada passes the income information to Service Canada since I last worked there. The safest bet might be to call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and see what they say.

  244. Elena


    Does GIS amount depend on the number of years of Canadian residence? My husband will be 65 in October 2019 and he has 24 years of Canadian residence. Thank you!

  245. Trevor

    Hi Doug,
    In March of 2019 both myself and my wife applied for Gis and Allowance, we did retire in 2017 but we did not qualify for assistance for that year, however in 2018 our only income was pension related.consisting of $15,079 overseas pension and $3439 CPP. For a Total of $18, wife had no income to report.we have lived in Canada for 28 years,I started to draw Cpp at age 60 and OAP at 65.So trying to assess what benefits we may be due,I looked at the gis rate and allowance table 4 and if I figured it out correctly we would be eligible under those guide lines for our reported income of $18,518 for 2018 a combined OAS and GIS of $918.79 and $317.34 Allowance for my wife.
    I received a letter recently telling me I was approved at a rate of $483.63 per month,which is a long way short of the figure I worked out. On enquiring why the amount was not what I expected I was informed that I was looking at the wrong table,and besides I don’t have 40 years residence in Canada,surly they have made a mistake?,we do not know what my wife’s entitlements will be as that will be in 90 Days, same application, but seems they can’t deal with you as a married couple……Any help on this would be much appreciated as this seems very low on my calculations.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Trevor – Your situation is too complex to deal with in this forum and it’s best to wait until they have processed your wife’s Allowance application. I will clarify a couple of points however. First, your 2018 income doesn’t become relevant for GIS/Allowance purposes until July 2019, although if you retired in 2017 they can partially use your 2018 income before that date (if you submitted the correct estimated income forms). Second, until your wife’s Allowance is approved your GIS is determined under rate table 3 and not 4. Give it some time for things to resolve.

  246. Michael Joe

    I have lived in Canada only five years and live in the USA now.
    I plan to return to Canada as I’m 65 now.
    I qualify for partial OAS of $75.18 (full OAS is $601.45).
    Currently, Canada full OAS ($601.45) and GIS ($898.32) is $1,499.77
    If I have no other income, what will be my GIS?
    – full amount of $898.32 or $1,424,59 ($1,499.77-$75.18)?
    I couldn’t find anywhere the amount of GIS for those who receive partial OAS.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Michael – If you have no other income aside from OAS, your GIS will first be “topped-up” to $1,429.59. Because you have less than 10 years of residence in Canada though, your GIS will then be pro-rated each year as you have suggested, until you have the required 10 years of residence in Canada.

  247. Michael Joe

    Further to my questions,
    I have found on your comment way up above, GIS is prorated based on 10 year OAS residency requirement. Do you mean my initial GIS is 5/10th and increasing each year until reaching full GIS?
    If 5/10th, based on what amount?
    $898.32 (full GIS) or $1,424.59(GIS topped up by $526.27)?

  248. Michael Joe

    I really appreciate your clarification which I couldn’t find any where. One last question, I’m going to buy a small condo and my son’s going to send me about $1,000 every month to support my living expenses. Is this money considered as income affecting my OAS and GIS? Having a condo will affect my OAS and GIS amount?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Michael – Neither owning a condo nor a monthly gift will affect your OAS or GIS.

  249. Michael Henderson

    Hi I am 66 years old and am receiving CPP and OAS. I am not eligible for GIS because my husband’s income and mine combined was too high. My spouse is is now on EI and I would like to know if I might qualify for GIS.
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Maggie – I’d need to know all kinds of income amounts to say for sure, but if his current annualized income plus your previous year’s income is below that GIS threshold, the answer could be “Yes”.

  250. Louise

    I am 69 years old and receive full OAS, plus annual payments of $8,000 (CPP), $1,200 (GIS) $200 (RIF income) and $100 (interest income).
    My husband, 63, earned $50,000 in 2018 before the contract expired. He started EI in December ’18 and the claim will run out at the end of August. He hasn’t found work, plans to retire and will have no income until 2021.
    My husband got the Allowance briefly in 2016-17 when he was also out of work. We were told to alert Service Canada when his EI expires.
    My question: Will our GIS/Allowance amounts be based on our actual 2019 income (about $27,500) or our income from Sept. 1 onwards ($8,500/yr)?
    We also wonder if it would be worth it for me to purchase an RRSP to reduce either my 2019 or 2020 income for purposes of calculating GIS.
    Our situation will improve when my husband begins collecting a private pension in early 2021.
    Thanks for your help.
    Louise (Please use this name with question)

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Louise – Because there has been no change to your personal income, you will continue to use your 2018 income for GIS purposes. For your husband, they will ignore his employment earnings and EI from 2018 but they will use any other income that he had in 2018 plus they will use any other income that he has in 2019 after the EI stops (if any) annualized to a full year equivalent. If you contribute to an RRSP in 2019 it won’t affect your GIS until July 2020.

  251. Mark

    How are GIS overpayments handled? My income estimate from ISP3041 will likely be about 5000 too low so I will be overpaid this year approx 200/month. Do they reconcile it after I file my 2019 return?

    Will I have to pay any penalty or interest or will they just reduce subsequent payments by some amount until repaid?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – If you do nothing now, “Yes” they will adjust it retroactively and recover the overpayment next year. Since you know that your estimate is low already though, I recommend that you call Service Canada now at 1-800-277-9914 and they will likely adjust it sooner so that you’ll have a smaller overpayment.

      • mark

        I’m wondering how they will assess us with the new $10,000 employment income limit that starts with 2019 income. Since I won’t exceed the 10k I may wait and see what happens. I was just concerned there may be interest or penalties, from what others have posted, it appears not to be an issue.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Mark – My understanding of the new $10,000 employment limit is that although it applies to 2019 income it is effective only as of July 2020 and not where the 2019 income is being used as an estimate. I could be wrong though, so you may be correct to wait. Just FYI, it’s also my understanding that only the first $5,000 is exempted outright, and the next $10,000 is exempted by 50%.

          • mark

            Yes, it is worded strange 5000 + 50% of 10,000 is 10,000.

  252. Betty

    Hi Doug,
    My husband aplied for his OAS and GIS recently, as he is turning 65 this month. He already received a letter stating that he will start receiving next month $425.22 as OLC and a supplement of $1,089.54 for a montly total of $1,514.76. The amount was based on a 2018 zero total income. Last year he reported in his income tax, line 150, CPP and EI income of 12,196.68. In order to have zero income, he bought $12,500 RRSP. However, Revenue Canada said that they can adjust his income tax because he did not need the RRSP for this year , as his income was too low and if they do that, he could used the RRSP in a year where he has more income. This will benefit us because in the future, we will be withdrawing RRSP’s. But here is the problem:
    I requested the GIS be based of an income estimate for 2019 as my husband will not have the EI income this year, he filled out a form for an estimated 2019 income; however, because his 2018 net income shows as zero, they said the following:
    “We have completed a review of yours and your spouse Statements of Estimated 2019 income:
    Prior to July 2008, all income was estimated when calculating the amount of a benefit. Effective July 1, 2008, only pension income and employment or self-employment income from the current year is estimated. All other income from the preceding calendar year will be added to the estimated income. The benefit is calculated on the combined total of these two parts.
    It would not be to your advantage to have your benefit based on this combination of your estimated income for 2019 as your 2018 combined income is $0.00.

    Now, we don’t know what to do because we would like to be able to used our RRSP deduction in a different year to offset future RRSP income; however, we don’t want to mess up my husband GIS amount.
    We would appreciate if you give us your opinion regarding this.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Betty – I think you should talk to an accountant to figure out what is the best thing to do, considering both the GIS and your income tax situation. If it were me, I think I might just leave well enough alone.

      • Betty

        Thank you very much for your quick response.

      • Betty

        Hi Doug, one more thing I would like to ask you. What do GIS people mean when they say that they use both 2018 and 2019 income when using the 2019 estimate? Why can’t they use the 2019 estimate income alone?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Betty – Mark is correct that they would use 2018 income for one spouse and could use 2019 income for the other spouse if only one spouse had a retirement or reduction in pension income (such as EI). They will also sometimes use a mixture of 2018/2019 income even for the person who completed the ISP3041 though, depending on what income source(s) they had/have. For example, if you had income from interest, dividends, RRSP withdrawals or capital gains in 2018, they would still count those incomes for 2019 instead of using your estimated 2019 income from those same sources. I’m not 100% sure what they do for your CPP and it might even depend on whether it started before or after your EI ended. It’s going to get very confusing if you amend your 2018 income tax return and your husband will definitely have an overpayment for them to recover (at a minimum they would have to adjust from zero income to CPP income. In the end, you’ll just have to decide how much taxes you’ll save by changing your 2018 income tax return versus the impact on the GIS, which is going to be very hard to estimate in advance.

          • Betty

            Thanks Doug for your response. We both had EI income in 2018. My husband’s ended April 2018 and mine June 2018. Here is our 2018 income breakdown.
            My husband
            CPP $3,508.68
            EI $8,688.00
            Total $12,196.68
            My 2018 Income
            EI $11,946
            Interest $2,338.07
            Total $14,284.07
            Combined income $26,480.75
            Our income in 2019 will be just my husband’s CPP, which will be around $6,000 and maybe $2,000 in interests. I will not have any income. We could even buy the $8,000 in RRSP to use it as deduction in order to have a zero net income. We are not planning to withdraw any RRSP this year. The RRSP deduction we reported in the 2018 income tax was $27,000.00, which is what I am trying to rescue to use it later, but I want to make sure it does not affect our maximum GIS and allowance.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Betty – I’m sorry, but your situation is too complicated to deal with in this forum.

  253. mark

    He should be able to use the RRSP deduction later, since his GIS is based on the 2019 estimate not his 2018 income. In effect you should be able to withdraw 12,500 and offset it with the deferred RRSP deduction with no effect on income. However, looking at the GIS application it shows you can reduce “other income” which includes RRSP withdrawals with a RRSP deduction by it does not show you can reduce RIF income with an RRSP deduction so be careful.

    I just got my letter after the ISP3041 estimate of 2019 income was processed and it stated:

    “Your entitlement to GIS effective Jan 2019 is now based on your spouse’s 2017 income and an estimate of your income for 2019 rather than income for the base calendar year 2017. In addition, your entitlement effective July 2019 will be based on your spouse’s 2018 income and an estimate of your income for the 2019 year, rather than income for the base calendar year 2018.”

    So, his 2018 income will never be used for GIS entitlement. Next, July 2020 it will be based on both your 2019 income and so on

    I would still call them to confirm this is exactly how it works.

    • Betty

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your input. My husband asked the GIS people to use a 2019 estimate to calculate his GIS; however, they said in the letter that because the 2018 income tax net income shows as net income zero, they have used the 2018 income, as it would be to his advantage. They said this because they do not know that we are thinking about adjusting our 2018 income tax, so that we can use the RRSP deduction later. Revenue Canada has not changed his income tax yet because they said it might affect his GIS when they received the correction, as it will show about$25,000 combined income, because I was also receiving EI That is why we bought about $25,000 RRSP between the two of us. We just think it would be unfair if they used the 2018 real income because we no longer have EI since June 2018.
      I think I will call the GIS people before we change the income tax. The problem I see in doing that is that they might don’t see the point and think we are taking advantage of the system, which is not the case. Also, the letter said that they used both amounts when they use an estimate, which I don’t really understand what they mean, maybe they mean an average, who knows. Thank you.

      • mark

        Don’t worry what they will think. They have told me they will always do what is to the applicant’s advantage.

        What is your combined income estimate for 2019? If it is very low it will likely be better to save the RRSP deferral to offset future withdrawals without reducing GIS. You understand the 50% clawback of GIS from RSP or other income?

        Are you between 60-64? If so you may be entitled to the Allowance?

        They use both 2 different years of income, one for the spouse who submitted ISP3041 (2019), and 2018 for the other spouse

        • Betty

          Hi Mark,
          Thanks for your response. Please see what I just wrote to Doug. Basically, we will have a very low income this year, just my husband’s CPP, around $6,000 plus about $2000 in interest. I am planning to buy that amount in RRSP to offset that income and make it zero. I am 63 years old and I have applied for the allowance also. We both had EI last year; therefore, ideally would be best if they use our 2019 income for both of us. I called GIS people today and explain the situation, but she was not knowledable regarding the way they calculate the GIS, so that she said someone who works in that department will call me back in the next 15 days.
          I think it would be fair that we could use the $27,000 RRSP deduction later when we need to withdraw RRSP maybe in 2020 or 2021, but I am afraid that if we adjust the 2018 income tax, they just process the GIS and allowance overpayments and we ended up with less money. 🙁

          • Mark

            I would keep calling back until you get someone more knowledgeable. I had the best luck calling 30 mins before closing.

            Do you have room in your TFSA to eliminate the 2000 interest income?

            What is the 425.22 OLC for?

            Did you retire in 2018, if so maybe you could also file a ISP3041 and they may calculate GIS on both your 2019 estimated income otherwise they will use your 2018 income and his 2019 estimate.

            If they do that you won’t get much as your combined 2019/2019 est is about 24,000.

            If you know how to use a spreadsheet you could work out the scenarios including the RSP withdrawals and the corresponding reduction in GIS/Allowance. I could do this for you but we need exact calculation details from Service Canada.

            In general, to maximize the GIS, it is best to maintain as low an income as possible until you are forced to take mandatory withdrawals at age 71 of the younger spouse. If possible you should defer your CPP to age 70.

          • Mark

            I re-read Doug’s reply and think he’s right about it getting very confusing if you amend your 2018 return. Even if they explain it one way over the phone the final outcome could be different.

            You may consider making a large RIF withdrawal in the year you turn 65 and forgo GIS for 1 year. Your combined personal/age exemption will be 42,000 and your CPP OAS (spouse) approx 13,000 plus the months you receive OAS, so you could potentially withdraw 29,000 tax free. The later in the year you are born the more room you will have

  254. Ashok

    Hi Doug,
    I retired in September 2018 and have submitted Form #3041 for both years 2018 and 2019 for calculation of GIS. I am still waiting for their reply.
    My income during 2018 up to September 2018 does not meet the requirement of GIS. But I have almost nil income after retirement from October 2018. My question is whether I am eligible for GIS during 2019 based on my Form 3041 for 2019 OR based on total income of 2018. Thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ashok – It depends on what month in 2019 you’re talking about and it depends on what sources of income you had in 2018 and have in 2019. For the most part, GIS for the period of Oct 2018 thru Jun 2019 would be based on your 2018 income after Sept 2018, annualized to full year’s equivalent. For the period of July 2019 thru Jun 2020, they would use your 2019 estimate and they might use some sources of 2108 income (excluding your employment income).

    • mark

      I submitted form ISP3041 in Jan 2019 and it did not get processed until July 2019 despite several calls and finally an escalation request in June. It’s a slow process!

  255. Edward Wishart

    I received a “back pension” amount from WCB of $10,000.00 dating back to 2013. I inquired of the tax department and they said I did not have to declare this amount on my income tax form. In July of that year I recieved a letter from Service Canada that they were taking away my GIS because of “too much income”. 3 months late, after fighting with Service Canada I achieved a letter stating they had found the mistake and I would get all the money back but it would take 22 months. 22 months later, no money so back to the Service Canada office. 1 week later I reciseve a deposit into my bank account of$3,000.00 and a bill the next day in the mail for $2,998.70 to be paid immediately or they would take it from my pension money at $135.00 pr month until paid. I managed to get a stop on the $135.00 but no more money from them and hey are still collecting from me the $3,000.00. I receive $939.77 combined GIS/OAS and $409.45 CPP every month. I also get WCB payment pension each month of $301.59. I cannot live properly on this amount which is below the poverty level. I have been fighting for a raise in pension money for seniors for 2 years now with no success.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Edward – I can’t understand exactly what’s going on with your overpayment and any recovery rate, but I suggest that you contact your MP if you’re not receiving satisfactory explanations from Service Canada.

  256. George

    Good afternoon. If a single Canadian retires today at 65 collecting the maximum OAS and with GIS currently gets $1,514.76 and no other income, is it adjusted to the new maximum level of each year? If the max CPP and GIS benefit a decade from now is $2,000 will the original pension increase to that new pension amount?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi George – For OAS and GIS, if you’re receiving the maximum of $1,514.76 now and you still have no other income 10 years from now when the new maximum OAS/GIS is $2,000, “Yes” you will receive that same amount of $2,000.


    Hi Doug,

    I applied for GIS on 27th February, 2019 and still haven’t had a reply from Service Canada whether or not my application was approved or declined. I see no reason why I shouldn’t receive the $907 per month GIS (plus a sizable amount of back GIS) as our joint income in 2018 was only around $32,000.

    I have phoned Service Canada Edmonton on two occasions, and they said my application has not yet reached the process stage.

    Is this normal? Surely, I should have received at least a letter or acknowledgement on MYServiceAccount with Canada Revenue, that my application has been received and when I could expect some reply.

    Your comments would be welcomed.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi John – First, sadly it does seem to be taking Service Canada an extraordinarily long time for them to process GIS applications, so I am not surprised by what you say. Second, you 2018 would normally only be used to determine your GIS entitlement effective July 2019 so unless you retired or had a reduction or loss of “pension income”, your GIS entitlement for any earlier months would be based on your 2017 income. Third, if you are eligible to have your earlier GIS payments based on your 2018 income, hopefully you also completed the appropriate statement of estimated income, in which case it sadly seems to take even longer to process your GIS application.

  258. Mae

    Hello Doug,

    I have been single (separated) for 29 years and have been retired since Apr. 2017 and have a simple tax return. No Income, no investments, no home (i.e. rent) and no savings, and only get CPP, OAS & GIS. CPP was 4,800 for last year (2018). Is this considered “income”? Should I not be getting the full GIS payment starting in July of this year? The gov. has sent me a letter stating that I have a $9.00 increase from last year only.

    Please advise. Thank you!!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mae – Yes, CPP is considered as income in determining how much GIS you are eligible for.

  259. Ronald David Murphy

    Hi Doug,

    I am a Married OAS pensioner and my spouse is not an OAS pensioner. My spouse in not a Canadian citizen though.

    Do you know if I am still eligible for the married with no spousal OAS range of GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dave – Yes, you would be eligible for OAS/GIS using rate table 3 for married pensioners whose spouse is not eligible for OAS. The exception would be if she was between age 60 and 65 and had at least 10 years of residence in Canada after age 18, in which case you would use rate table 4 if she applied for the Allowance.

  260. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    I qualify for OAS and GIS to start January 2020 but would like to work part-time or temporary to supplement my pension, but in order to submit form ISP3041 Service Canada said I have to stop working.Does that mean I have to quit the job I have now by January then find another one later? How long would I have to wait before I can start working to supplement the Pension? I was Hoping to earn between $5,000 and $10,000 for the year with the new limits on clawbacks but prefer to work in January, February and March due to higher expenses in the winter.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn – You should only be completing form ISP3041 if your income has decreased due to retirement (or significant decrease in working) or some pension income decreasing/stopping. Can you explain further?

  261. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    My GIS would be reduced in July 2020 due to the working income of 2019 but would not be reduced if I was only working at a few temp jobs or part time if it was calculated on 2020’s income. I was not intending to work full time all year round after I “retire” but just wanted to supplement my pension. $5,000 for the year would be a reduction in employment income from the year before.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn – I think that I’m more confused now than before. When do/did you turn age 65? Did you have any employment earnings for 2018 and if so how much? Did you change jobs/employers in 2019, and how much do you expect to earn from employment in 2019? How much do you expect to earn from employment in 2020? Have you ever received any EI in 2018, 2019 with any changes in your employment or do you expect to receive any in 2020?

  262. Lynn

    Hi Doug,
    Sorry I didn’t mean to confuse you. My situation can be confusing. I’m not on the pension yet, I will turn 65 in December 2019 and have been approved for OAS to start in January 2020.I applied for GIS with the combined form.I lost my regular employment before I was ready to retire and was having a hard time finding another job due to my French not being fluent enough (I live in Quebec). In 2018 I had no income and I finally found new employment in 2019 but only a very low paying survival job, although full time hours, but still anough to trigger some clawback.(About $15,000) In 2020 I was hoping to earn about $5,000.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lynn – OK, now I understand. Your GIS for Jan, 2020 thru June 2020 will be based on your 2018 income. Your GIS for July 2020 will be based on your 2019 earnings of $15,000, but under the new OAS rules you should be able to reduce that by $10,000 so they will only count $5,000 against you in any case. If/when you actually reduce your hours or change jobs to one that pays only $5,000 per year, you should likely be able to complete the estimate form at that time when you know an actual date for “retiring” from your current job, and you will likely be paid on your estimated future income at that time.

      • Lynn

        Hi Doug,
        Sorry I haven’t been on my computer for a few days. Thank you for your response. FYI I spoke with an employee of Service Canada on the phone today and she told me they haven’t officially implemented the new earnings exemption rules and it still stands at $3500. When I asked her if it would take effect in July 2020 she told me it wasn’t set in stone and there was no guarantee.I thought the budget was passed? Hope the change goes through.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Lynn – I have confirmed through a contact that I still have in Ottawa, that the OAS legislative changes were passed as a part of the last Liberal Budget, and the change is indeed “set in stone”.

  263. Teresa

    Hi Doug
    I am reading the last comment. Could you please explain what are the “new rules” of OAS? I’m 70 years old and I’m making approx. $8000 a year. GIS allows $3500. OAS? Could you put some light on this? Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Teresa – The Liberals announced in their last budget that the current $3,500 employment earnings exemption for GIS was being inpanded to $5,000 plus 50% of the next $10,000, for a maximum exemption of $10,000. This was supposed to take effect in July 2020 for 2019 earnings. I haven’t seen any change to the legislation yet, but I’m fairly certain that it was approved as a part of the budget.

      Here is a link:

      • Mark

        SO does this mean your clawback is reduced by 1/2 (~25%) on the 10,000 above the 5,000 full exempt portion?

        ie: if you earn 8,000, you will have to declare income of 1500 (50% of the excess 3000) which will reduce GIS by 750/yr instead of 1500/yr

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Mark – Yes, that is my understanding of how it will work.

  264. Betty

    Hi Doug,
    I am very confused about the employment earnings exception $3,500 and in 2019 $5,000. When I see the GIS table, it says that when having zero income to approx $800 the entitlemet is the full amount $1,153, but if you have approx $3,500 earnings the entitlement is about $150 less in GIS. Therefore, I don’t understand how the entitlements are different. If there is an exemption of $3,500, wouldn’t it be that the person gets the GIS maximum even if he has the $3,500 income, unless the table is already adjusted with the exception and they meant income after deducting the $3,500. Please clarify this matter for me.
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Betty – The rate tables are based on the total net income after the employment exemption has already been subtracted from any employment earnings.

      • Betty

        Thanks for your quick response.
        I have a couple of more questions: Does the $5,000.00 income exemption start in the 2019 income tax to be used to calculate the July 2020 to June 2021 GIS or does it start the following year?
        Regarding the $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 exception, does it include any type of income like for instance RRSP withdrawal or CPP income or just income from employment?
        Please advise.
        Thank you

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Betty – It’s supposed to start effective July 2020, using the 2019 income. The current exemption of $3,500 applies just to earnings from employment, but in addition to increasing the amount of the exemption it is supposed to be expanded to also include income from self-employment, but not to CPP income or RRSP withdrawals or anything else.

          • Betty

            Than you

  265. Marie

    Hi Doug,
    My husband retired in 2018. He received his fist OAP cheque (reduced to $90 from clawback) December following his November birthday. These $90. cheques continued until July where he has received nothing since. I sent in the required form showing our expected 2019 earnings (below $40K. Now waiting for a reply, however, from a previous comment it could be a considerable wait. We have been managing on a net CPP payment of $970 per month and using our RRSPs, which are running low. I turn 65 this September. Can you explain to me if the allowance will be applicable to us and what I need to do.
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Marie – The Allowance would be possibility only while you’re under age 65 and only if your combined 2018 income (excluding the OAS) was under $34,080. Because your husband retired in 2018, he may be able to substitute his 2019 income, but if that includes a lot of RRSP withdrawals you may have to wait until the RRSPs are fully depleted and possibly both qualify for GIS after that.

  266. TJ

    How do GIC’s work for deductions in GIS? If I have a 3 year GIC at 5 %. I am only going to get it (interest) after 3 years ( when it matures ). So for 3 years do I not include the interest?

    Because Savings bank account interest which you get every month, does have to be included each year and your GIS gets reduced by approximately 50 cents to a dollar of interest you received. Thanks.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi TJ – It will affect your GIS however you report the interest on your income tax returns.

  267. Fred

    I believe You will need to report the interest in the year(s) you receive the T5(s), probably annually.

    By the way, where did you get a 5% 3-year GIC? I want one!

  268. Shirley H

    I am married but my husband lives in a different province permanently. We are not separated. In calculating my eligibility for GIS, will they use both our incomes or just my income, since we operate separate households.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Shirley – If you still consider yourselves as a couple, then they would normally consider both of your incomes in determining your GIS. If it’s to your advantage, you may want to see if your situation would be considered as an “involuntary separation” (e.g., he’s living there because that’s the only place he could find a job) and they might consider you both as separated for GIS purposes.

      • Bill

        Hi Doug,

        Thanks for the great info! I have a question about how the GIS is calculated. When I retired I applied to have my estimated income used to calculate my GIS. My income since has been limited to OAS GIS AND ALLOWANCE(for my wife aged between 60 and 65). I have avoided withdrawal of funds from my RRSP so far on the assumption that I made need more income in future (possibly for elder care). I am considering converting my RRSP to a RRIF at the end of 2019. I would begin receiving RRIF payments in 2020. Should I notify Service Canada of an expected change of income in 2020 so that they would reduce my GIS payments or am I still eligible based on my 2019 income? It seems only fair that, since I was able to have my GIS increased based on reduced earnings in the year I retired, I should have it decreased in the year my income increases. I don’t mind getting the extra amount but I wouldn’t want to have to pay it back if income in 2020 (the RRIF payments) affected my GIS.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Bill – You are entitled to receive your GIS based on your 2019 income from July 2020 until June 2021, and your higher 2020 income won’t reduce your GIS until July 2021. All is fair!

  269. Lyn

    Hi Doug,
    My sister just turned 65. I am her trustee. She is now receiving CPP and OAS. But I believe I have 6 months to cancel and defer either. With her CPP at ~$737/month, she will receive ~$8844 annual income (excluding OAS for now as that does not impact GIS). She will also receive ~$11,800 from a small pension and non-registered investment income. This puts her total income at ~$20,644, which is above the GIS threshold. But if she defers her CPP, her income would be $11,800, so she would then qualify for GIS, correct? I’m wondering if I am then understanding the clawback. I believe the max GIS payment of $10,996 is clawed back by $1 for every $2/income, so 50% of $11,800 = $5900. So she would get $10,996 – $5900 = $5096. Is that correct? So she could defer $8844 in CPP to receive $5096 in GIC now, and then get more CPP later (depending how many years it is deferred, and of course at that point she would no longer qualify for GIS). Is that correct? Thanks for your help!

  270. Connie

    My husband applied for GIS in October 2019 and we have not heard anything from them yet. Is this normal? How long does it take to get a response, and what should we do now?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Connie – Based on recent feedback, 6-7 months seems to be the normal processing time for GIS applications. But I’d try phoning them at 1-800-277-9914 to make sure that his application is in the pile.

  271. Pauline

    My common law spouse passed away on Aug 15/19 but had been sick for a while. The social worker at the hospital advised me to fill in a form stating we were living apart due to his hospitalization on July 15/19. After he passed away I was advised to apply for survivor pension and GIS. I applied Aug 28/19 and am still waiting for GIS. I am 67 years old and was laid off my job in June/18. I then applied for EI and received my CPP of 740 per month. My income turned into 63000 for 2018 and his income was 23000. I did the estimate for 2019 and I only receive 740.00 cpp and Max OAS of 613.00. He received Max OAS and CPP of 950.00 till he passed in Aug/19. My question is will I receive retro GIS from January and if so how much would I receive and would they use my 8880 CPP yearly figure from Sept onwards. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Pauline – It’s quite complicated because you’ve got so many moving parts to your question. If the only two incomes that you have are your OAS and CPP benefits, then your GIS should likely be based solely on your annualized CPP benefit effective the month following whenever your EI stopped. The exception to this would be if you had other income in 2018 that needs to be considered (e.g., interest, dividends, capital gains, RRSP withdrawals etc).

  272. Fred Philip

    Dear Sir,
    I’m living in Canada since 1998 and for my OAS, 16 parts out of 40 (years) have been applied to the calculation of my OAS with additional 36% increase for delayed OAS payment. (Starting January 2020). Service Canada informed me that some GIS will also be paid to me. My wife receives the full OAS amount plus GIS. However I was not able to verify the GIS amount(s) in the published Tables on Service Canada website. I would like to verify the calculated amounts by Serice Canada. My question is, where can I find the formula for calculating GIS if OAS is not been paid for full a timeframe of 40 years? Is that defined in the Old Security Act? Appreciate your response. Thanks – Fred

  273. Ambreen

    Hi Doug. I began getting my OAS+GIS from May 2019. Would you know if OAS is taxable for those whose total personal income is below the tax threshhold as in my case?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ambreen OAS is considered as taxable income, but GIS is not taxable.

  274. Ambreen

    Hi again Doug. Yes, I do know OAS is taxable. What I meant was, is there a threshold for one’s personal income, above which OAS is taxable? For example, my personal income for 2019 was approx. $7,500/year only.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ambreen – There is no specific threshold when OAS becomes taxable anymore than for all other sources of taxable income. It would depend on what your taxable deductions and exemptions are.

  275. Ambreen

    Thanks Doug.

  276. Lisa

    GIS is a bit of a misnomer as it is only the income you report on your taxes that is used to calculate eligibility. You can have a whack of money invested, happily making interest, that is not considered ‘income’. So, in fact, many people who are in no way ‘low-income’ are recieving this monetary benefit from the government. People who do not actually need it. This is something to remember when there is public discourse about the pension fund running out.

  277. M M

    Hi Doug,
    Both my parents receive the maximum top up for GIS/OAS and receive the maximum amount which at present is ~$1165/month/each.
    If one or both of my parents in retirement do decide to babysit children and generate self-income. Say they earn ~ $10000/year how would this affect their payout on a monthly basis. In other words, which rate table on CRA website applies to their situation?

    • Doug Runchey

      If they’re both receiving OAS, their GIS is determined by Rate Table 2 (married, both pensioners). Using Rate Table 2, $10,000 of income would normally reduce each of their GIS/OAS amounts to approx. $917 monthly. However, effective July 2020 income from either employment or self-employment is fully exempted for the first $5,000 and exempted by 50% for the next %10,000 of income, so $10,000 of self-employment income would count as only $2,500 for GIS purposes, thereby reducing their GIS/OAS to only $1,113 each.

  278. Henry

    A friend had her GIS cut for 2019-2020 year because of a large income settlement from 2018. Will she have to re-apply or will Service Canada reinstate automatically as her income status will revert back to the years when she was previously entitled?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Henry – I wish I knew the answer to this question, but I’m not 100% sure how this is working now. I recommend that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and see what they say.

      • Henry

        Hi Doug – Just to let you know that her GIS will start again in July. I believe since they set up a repayment deduction each month from her OAS to claw back the GIS overpayment, it was automatically reinstated. Thanks for your help and this great site!

  279. Diane

    Hello Doug:

    First and foremost, thank you for all the information and help you have provided to so many of us.

    I will turn 70 later year. I have been collecting full OAS for almost 5 years and CPP for almost 10 ($250 per month) and have been self employed for many years (not a high earnings).

    Last November 2019 I contacted Service Canada who recorded my retirement date as December 31, 2019 and sent me the ISP3041 to provide my estimated income for 2020. I returned this form in late February and did not nor do not now (Ha!) expect to hear back for several months.

    I estimated my self employment income as $8,000. I understand effective July 2020 that $5000 self employment income as well as employment income will be considered exempt in GIS calculations (additionally 50% reduction for next $10,000). All good and I was very happy about that change.

    Then covid. My business is in the hospitality industry and that has ground to an abrupt and total halt on March 11, 2020. I have applied for and received

    My novel question: Will Service Canada GIS decision makers view the CERB monies as self-employment (or even income employment) as substitute and therefore exempt for GIS calculation purposes? Perhaps even they haven’t considered this situation yet. Any ideas or thoughts?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Diane – That’s a very good question and I’ll see if I can find out the answer for you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Diane – As of today, Service Canada has not decided how CERB payments will affect GIS entitlement.

      • Diane

        Thank you for your effort. I expected as much. Service Canada administration must be reeling with questions and formulating systems which were inconceivable 2 months ago. I have faith they will work it out.

        By the way, when I contacted Service Canada last year, I found the staff very courteous and helpful. I am so grateful to live in Canada.

  280. Doug Runchey

    Hi Frank – I’d need to know the sources and amounts of all of your income, because all income doesn’t affect GIS equally.

  281. Frank

    Hi Doug….Our incomes are all from CPP both myself and my wife and a small penison of $180.00 per month

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Frank – Based on a combined income of $12,500 (presumably excluding OAS/GIS) you should each be eligible for a combined OAS/GIS of $864.94 monthly. Assuming that you’re both receiving the full basic OAS of $613.53, that means that your GIS would be $251.41 each. If you’re only receiving a partial OAS, your GIS would be whatever adds up to the same total of $864.94.

  282. Doug Runchey

    Hi Frank – If you’re receiving CPP, your income should have increased at least by the cost of living factor of 2.3% from 2018 to 2019?

  283. Henry

    Hi Doug – Thank you for your answer to my previous question. I have another. I will be turning 65 later this year and have been collecting the spousal supplement (60-64) for the past 4 years. I assume Service Canada will automatically re-adjust the GIS for my spouse and myself when I reach 65 in October and start collecting the OAS? Also, as I’m currently receiving the supplement, I assume they will automatically start my OAS? Logging into my Service Canada account and opting for the “apply for OAS and GIS” gives me the following message: “Our records indicate that you already receiving your Old Age Security pension.” Thank you again Doug.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Henry – Yes, this should all happen automatically.

  284. Nadine

    How does the CERB paid to a senior not working because of COVID affect the guidelines of GIS eligibility ?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Nadine – As I understand it, Service Canada has not yet developed a policy on if/how the CERB payments will affect GIS entitlement. In most cases though, since it will be considered as 2020 income, this generally won’t affect GIS until July 2021. The exception would be if you are currently being paid GIS on the basis of estimated 2020 income.

  285. Mitch

    Hi. does the $3500 – or new $5000 – earnings exemption apply to CPP income or only employment income?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mitch – No, neither of them apply to CPP income. The $3,500 exemption applied to income from employment only, and the new $5,000+ exemption applies to income from employment and/or self-employment.

  286. REENA

    I would appreciate it very much if you can give a reply. My husband 68 yrs old is getting partial OAS with a residency of 25 years. He gets his CPP and no GIS. I am 62. As I read from the table 3, at upto $42,000 we can get GIS. As my husband is getting partial OAS, would it make him get higher GIS than posted in the table which is for full OAS. He gets low CPP and can he lower his net income as well as mine with RRSP contribution. I work now as part time and will get some job pension as I retired when I lost my job. Thank you for the great resources you provide.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Reena – Since you’re over age 60, it would normally be table 4 that would determine your husband’s GIS and your Allowance. Using your table 3 example though, the current rate table 3 runs out at $44,592 and for your husband it would continue up to $55,632. For combined income up to the $44,592 ceiling, your husband would receive GIS of $230.07 more than indicated by rate table 3. For incomes between $44,592 and $55,632, the $230.07 would reduce by $1.00 for every $48 of annual combined income.
      Yes, you could increase the GIS/Allowance by saving money in RRSPs, but this would eventually be offset by reductions in GIS/Allowance if/when you started to withdraw from your RRSPs. It’s not a strategy that I would typically recommend.

      • REENA

        Thank you very much. Greatly appreciated it

  287. Andy

    Hi Doug

    My mom has been receiving partial OAS for the last 5 years. I am applying for my mom for GIS for the first time this year since my parents combined income level will drop significantly for 2020, as my dad is retiring. I will be indicated on the form that income is expected to drop. Based strictly only 2019 she does not qualify for GIS, however you mentioned that Service Canada needs a special for form to estimate your income for the current year. Is this form online so I can fill out and save time? or I have to wait after I apply to be sent that form from Service Canada ?

    Many thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Andy – For whatever reason, the estimated income form is not available online, so unfortunately you’ll have to wait until they send one to your dad.

  288. Javed Ather

    I will be senior in August 2020 and my wife will become senior in November 2020 with 22 years residence in Canada. Currently we both are on ODSP as double disabled, with no employment/self employment income, How much amount we can expect in OAS and GIS. We don’t have CPP

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Javed – Once you are both over age 65, if neither of you has any taxable income aside form OAS, you should each receive a combined OAS/GIS of $1,165.16 monthly.

  289. Jason Smith

    I am 83 years old and currently out of Canada. I get both OAS and CPP. Due to flights being cancelled due to Covid 19 and my health conditions, lockdown, quarantine etc – I won’t be able to come back before my 6 months outside of Canada are completed. Plus I don’t want to take a chance either.

    Has Service Canada extended or made any specific rule to the 6 months absence this year from March,2020 due to the Covid pandemic? Like if you exceed the 6 months by a couple of months, you are still OK to receive OAS and GIS.

    I left on January 20, 2020. I guess I am still OK till July 31, 2020, right? i.e 6 months after the month you left.

    CRA, Property taxes, mortgage etc have been deferred due to Covid, does the same apply to OAS/GIS due to Covid.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jason – I haven’t heard anything about extending OAS/GIS eligibility beyond the 6 month limit, but you are right about thinking that you are good until the end of July anyway. I would suggest that you retain proof of your originally planned return flight and any efforts that you have made to return prior to now.

  290. Mark

    Is the GIS adjusted when the spouse starts receiving OAS or is it based on the previous year’s income until next July? ie” July 2020 – June 2021 GIS amount is based on 2019’s income but the spouse turns 65 in Sept 2020. Will the GIS change in Sept or in July of 2021?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – If the spouse turns 65 in September 2020, the couple will change to Rate Table 2 effective October 2020 (but still using the 2019 income) and it will change again in July 2021, using the 2020 income.

  291. Mike Toole

    Hi Doug,

    I have been searching high and low for answers to two questions.
    The first relates to how receiving CERB payments might result in future GIS clawback.Will CERB payments be classified as income and therefore result in a reduction in future GIS ? Or will they be treated as earned income and be partially exempt for GIS purposes (first $5000 exempt and next $10000 be 50% exempt). I feel that the federal government might not have addressed this yet. I could get o clarification looking at the wording of the CERB Act.
    The second question (and this may be a question that is out of scope for this forum) is:
    How does a person determine whether they meet the $5000 minimum self employment income amount when they did not earn that amount in the 2019 tax year (made a loss), but have earned that in the first 3 months of 2020?
    The requirement in this case seems to be that you would meet the requirement if you earned at least $5000 self employment net of expenses income in the 12 months prior to your CERB application.There is no explanation as to how this is worked out when you have in this case income (and expenses) over 2 tax years.
    I could always claim CERB and pay it back before the end of the year if I can’t get answers to these two questions.
    Any advice?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mike – These are both very good questions, but I’m afraid that I don’t have either answer. I’ve tried asking Service Canada the first question, and I don’t think they’ve developed a policy yet. The same is likely true for your second question.

    • Diane

      I, too, have been searching high and low (and daily) for the answer to this GIS/CERB conundrum. By my reasoning, CERB is a replacement for employment income – those currently out of work as well as semi-retired folks who continue to work. Having said that, my reasoning isn’t always in sync with Ottawa…….. I have applied for and received some CERB using this rationale – but no more than I would usually earn.

      If I happen upon the answer to our question, I will post here.

  292. Ellen

    I am so confused and turning 71 this year. I have retired from work for the past 2 years..
    I am receiving GIS because my pension is low. I do have RRSP’s and TFSA’s with an investment company. Should I be preparing anything in order to save on taxes before the I must transfer my RRSP’s to RRIF’s as I’ve heard I must do by age 71? Do I contact an accountant or the investment company?
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ellen – I would suggest that you talk to your accountant or your financial planner.

  293. Wendy

    Hi Doug and Jim. This is the most useful article and comment section for those of us who cannot apply GIS criteria to personal scenarios using information supplied by Service Canada alone. Thank you! My question is about possibly delaying the switch from Table 3 to Table 2. Can a younger spouse defer OAS at 65, so the older spouse stays eligible for OAS/GIS at rate table 3? It seems implied, but not explicitly stated, in SC website. Further, the wording of deferral rules indicates no GIS for a deferrer and no Allowance for a deferrer’s spouse, but does not state no GIS for a deferrer’s spouse, so would GIS be denied? My situation is that husband started OAS (no GIS yet) this year and our combined income-for-GIS-purposes will be around 25000 for 2020. I turn 65 August 2021. Table 3 = OAS 613+GIS 408 (1021), vs Table 2 = OASx2+GIS 0 (1226); a difference of only 205, which is a small net deferral and would take less time to recoup when OAS plus its deferral bonus is eventually started. Any light you can shed will be appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – There is nothing in the OAS legislation preventing this, so it certainly should be possible.

  294. Henry

    Hi Doug – Just to let you know that her GIS will start again in July. I believe since they set up a repayment deduction each month from her OAS to claw back the GIS overpayment, it was automatically reinstated. Thanks for your help and this great site!

  295. Robert

    I have read the following on another blog.

    At age 65 transfer $12,000 to a RRIF and take $2000 out per year from age 65 to 71(inclusive). This essentially allows you to get $2000 out of your RRSP tax-free for 6 years. Whether you need the income or not, it is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

    I am single and turning 65 next year and I have applied for OAS and GIS to start at age 65. I will also have $6420 income from CPP. Does removing $2000 per year from a RRIF between 65 and 71 reduce GIS payments? Is there anything else I should know about doing this?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Robert – Withdrawing $2,000 per year will reduce your GIS by approx $1,500 per year. You should know that RRSPs/RRIFs are a very bad investment if you know that your income after age 65 will be in the GIS entitlement range.

      • Robert

        Thanks for the quick reply. It sounds like a better strategy would be to wait for a couple of years, drain my RRSP and stop getting GIS for a year or just wait till I am 71 and move the RRSP to a RRIF and take out the minimum amount each year. Which one would be preferable?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Robert – You probably need to talk to a good financial planner, but from a GIS perspective the best thing would be to drain the RRSP/RRIF fairly quickly and not receive any GIS for a year or two (depending on how large the RRSP is). If you take out the minimum or any small amounts they are offset by a reduction in GIS of 50% to 75%, which is much higher than any true tax level that you would face if you took it out in larger portions, once your income exceeds the GIS threshold level.

  296. Doug Runchey

    I would recommend that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to find out where this arrears payment went, because you should have received it long ago.

  297. Doug Runchey

    Hi Frank – From my perspective, withdrawing RRSP/RRIF funds while you’re eligible for GIS is about the worst thing that you can do, because that money is generally”taxed” by GIS at somewhere between 50% and 75% (plus whatever actual taxes you might owe on that withdrawal), which is probably far higher tax than you saved when you contributed those funds to your RRSP. So, from a GIS perspective only, it is a good idea to withdraw the money quickly (over 1-2 years) and have income significantly over the GIS threshold of $24,576. Anything above the $24,576 doesn’t reduce the GIS at all, because you aren’t entitled to GIS any longer. Then when your RRSP is fully depleted, you can claim that your pension income has ceased and you can be paid on your estimated current-year income instead of your actual income from the prior year which included the RRSP withdrawals. Check this strategy out with your financial planner to make sure whether it makes sense in your case.

  298. mark

    Doug said:”Yes, you could increase the GIS/Allowance by saving money in RRSPs, but this would eventually be offset by reductions in GIS/Allowance if/when you started to withdraw from your RRSPs. It’s not a strategy that I would typically recommend.”

    If one knows that GIS will be lost when RRIF withdrawals start at 72 and they have RSP contribution room, wouldn’t it be to their benefit to use that room to reduce income and maximize GIS until age 72-73?

    • Doug Runchey

      GIS is for the needy, not the greedy. Just because you can qualify for a benefit designed for low-income seniors, by manipulating your income to appear to be poor for a few years, doesn’t mean that you should do so. I don’t think they make you prove that you’re poor to get your groceries at a food bank. Maybe you should use that service also?

  299. Angelo rao

    Is the GIS payable to both husband and wife individually or one payment per household

    • Doug Runchey

      It is payable to both spouses if they are both over age 65 and receiving OAS.

  300. Ashwan Singh

    Hi Doug. I have been living and working in Canada since 1978, except when I had to return to the “old country” for three months in 1980, for immigration reasons. IN 1981 I started a business that I operated for 37 years and decided to retire in 2008 at age 65. There is proof, as I have my record of CPP contributions, starting from 1978. When I applied for my retirement benefits they were calculated as if I had contributed for only 37 years, as opposed to 40 years. Could you please help me by explaining if this was right, or do I have recourse to get my just due. After all it was 40 years, not 37, as I see it. Thanks.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ashwan – You haven’t clearly said so, but I’m going to assume that you’re talking about your OAS pension and not your CPP pension. If you had to leave Canada for 3 months in 1980 due to “immigration reasons”, it sounds like you were initially present in Canada under some kind of temporary status. Under the OAS legislation, the definition of resident in Canada is “making your home in Canada and ordinarily living here”. It appears that whoever adjudicated your OAS application concluded that you didn’t become a resident in Canada until your immigration status was changed in 1980/81. I’d have to see all of the relevant documents and get much more information from you to see if I agreed with that decision, but if you disagreed with it, you should have appealed the decision within 90 days, as allowed for under the OAS legislation.

  301. AKHTAR

    My residence in Canada will be 10 years 10 months in December, then I will be entitled to OAS+GIS. My OAS benefit will be calculated for 10 years or 11 years.?
    Please reply and suggest for maximum benefit.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Akhtar – Your OAS will be 10/40ths of the full basic amount, because you have 10 complete years of residence in Canada. If you wait two more months, you could receive 11/40ths, but you wouldn’t receive any OAS or GIS during those two months, so it may not be worthwhile.

  302. AKHTAR

    Thank you for your reply. I did not ask the right question. My question is—

    I am 66 years old, but I am not eligible for OAS+GIS because my stay in Canada is less than 10 years.
    I left Canada in 2014 for overseas, at that time my stay in Canada was 7 years 10 months.
    I returned to Canada in September 2018 and continues living here.
    How much more period I have to live in Canada to complete 10 years either three years or two years+two months.
    Please advise and suggest.

  303. Ivy

    Hi Doug, I’m helping dad to apply for GIS. He is currently on OAS. Mom is a non-resident who does not file tax in Canada. How to complete the section under the section “information about your spouse/common law partner” in this case? Are we required to put down her info?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ivy – Why are they living separately? How long have they been separated and is it permanent or temporary?

      • Ivy

        Hi Doug, thanks for your reply. Mom prefers the lifestyle back home. My parents are living separately for more than 20 years. They are not in bad terms or legally divorced. When I filed tax for dad, I put him as married, left my mom’s info blank and declared her as non resident.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Ivy – In my opinion, if they haven’t lived together for more than 20 years and the only thing keeping them apart is lifestyle preferences, they’re separated and you shouldn’t have to provide any income details for your mom. Your dad would then be considered as single for GIS purposes. I don’t know if this will have any tax implications for your dad though, so you may want to check on that first.

  304. Kelly

    Hi Doug,
    Both my parents received OAS and GIS regularly. My question is if they come to visit me in United States for more than 6 months every year, will they get disqualified from the pension? Or they should break into 2 trips of 3 months each?
    What is about the “social security agreement”?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Kelly – They can come to visit with you for up to 6 months and then they would have to return to Canada. They can come to visit you repeatedly for up to 6 months each time, but they need to clearly be residing in Canada permanently, and not just visiting here when they are here.

      • Kelly

        Hi Doug,

        Thank you for your reply. I would like to verify.
        1. How do they calculate the 6 months residency? Based on calendar year from January to December? or Based on the GIS pay period?
        2. If they lived in Canada more than 20 years, can they receive GIS outside of Canada without the 6 month residency requirement?
        3. What is about the “international social security agreement” with USA? Do the days visit in USA still count into the residency?

        Thank you very much.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Kelly –
          1. They don’t count 6 months residency. Residency has to be permanently in Canada, and then you are allowed to have temporary absences for up to 6 months at a time, counting date of departure to date of return and ignoring calendar years or payment years.
          2. No, but with less than 20 years of residency they wouldn’t even be eligible for OAS if they left Canada for more than 6 months.
          3. No, days visiting in the USA would not count as being in Canada for GIS purposes.

  305. Diane

    Hello Doug:

    I am following up on my query made in the summer 2020 regarding how Service Canada will be treating CERB payments made to seniors who are receiving OAS and GIS but needing to work ( the work stopped March 2020) and if the CERB will be viewed as employment income (in my case self employment income) and most importantly – if GIS will be affected. I have called Service Canada and was told that a decision had not been reached yet. I did apply for CERB as replacement for my projected self employment income and will return it if it has a huge impact on my GIS in the following year or two. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Diane – I’m afraid that I haven’t heard anything further yet, so it’s up to Service Canada to decide and communicate what’s happening with GIS and CERB.

      • Diane

        Sigh. Thank you Doug. I am thinking that I might approach my MP to seek an answer. Perhaps this is out of line with his duties? But I can ask.

  306. Ross

    Hi Doug. My wife and I will be living off CPP and some money in a RIF until I’m 65. I want to stop taking any money from the RIF at age 65. This will at least preserve some money in the RIF until the mandatory payouts at age 71. Questions: (1)How do I apply for GIS at age 64 based on estimated future income? The income will be CPP only, from age 65 until age 71 and then CPP and RIF at 71. (2) And, am I allowed to do this? With the amount in the RIF I will still qualify for GIS at 71.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ross – I think your plan will work, because your RIF is supposed to be fully depleted before you can get paid GIS on the basis of estimated income.

      • Ross

        Hi Doug. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am a little confused still. I will stop taking my RIF at 65, it wont be fully depleted. Then at 71 the mandatory withdrwals will kick in but I will still qualify for some GIS. Also, how/when do I apply for “estimated future income”? As I will only be getting CPP at age 65. Again thanks for taking the time to reply.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Ross – You only get to use estimated income in very limited circumstances and voluntarily stopping RIF withdrawals doesn’t count as one of those circumstances, because you have total control over if/when those payments stop. The exception to this is when the RIF is fully depleted. You have no control over the RIF stopping if it is fully depleted, so you can estimate your income for GIS purposes the. So to repeat, if you voluntarily stop making withdrawals from a RIF that still has money in it, you will not have the opportunity to estimate your future income for GIS purposes.

      • Ross

        Hi Doug, thanks for the reply. I am still a little confused. How/when do I apply for the “estimated income”? And my RIF will not be depleted but I will stop taking it at 65 and will only take it again when the mandatory minimum withdrawals start at age 71 but I will still qualify for some GIS based on my/our income level. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Ross.

  307. Ross

    Hi Doug. If I stop taking RRIF money at age 63 and live off CPP and some savings for one year can I get GIS at age 65? Based on last years income? Then when my mandatory RRIF withdrawals happen at 71 can I still get GIS? The amount of the RRIF income at 71 would still fit income requirements for GIS. Sometimes health or other issues don’t permit people to keep working to 65, Thanks Ross.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ross – The answer to both questions is “Yes”.

      • Ross

        Thanks!! I am just trying to educate myself on the process and planning for the future, for the things in my control anyways. I can also see the possibility of rules changing around the TFSA, in the future. Especially with the governments burgeoning debt, related to COVID. Thanks for taking time to help people, such as myself, with some basic understanding/education around the rules. Ross.

  308. Cheryl Siemens

    So if I am separated but not divorced, I cannot get the GIS? I am not receiving alimony.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Cheryl – I’m not sure how you reached that conclusion, but you can certainly be eligible for GIS if you’re separated bur not divorced.

  309. Dani

    Hi Dough

    Me and my wife get a partial OAS (18/40) each.
    Also we get a pension from Quebec total of $625 per month for both.
    Also I get a RIF total of $750 per month ($50 from it is held for tax)
    Also my wife gets interest total of $2200 per year
    How much GIS we’ll get per month?
    Thank you so much

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dani – You should each receive GIS of approx $460 per month.

      • Dani

        Thank you so much Dough

  310. Steve Kon

    Hi Dough

    1. I and my spouse arrived to Canada 16 years ago and each of us gets an OAS about $275 a month.
    2. We get a pension from Quebec total of $619 per month for both of us.
    3. In 2020 I got a dividend of $6874. (No more dividends for me after 2020)
    4. I get a RIF total of $738 per month
    5. I got interest total of $650 per year

    All the above data will appear in the official websites after I’ll file for 2020.
    How much GIS shall we receive per month in 2021?
    Is it retroactive from Jan 2021?

    Thank you so in advance


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Steve – You should expect that each of your monthly GIS payments will decrease by somewhere between $143 and $214 per month for a one-year period starting July 2021 and ending June 2022. If you want more precise amounts, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

  311. Steve Kon

    Hi Doug
    In your above answer to me you say “You should expect that each of your monthly GIS payments will decrease by somewhere between $143 and $214 per month for a one-year period”. Only now it is the first time that I apply for GIS payment, so my question is:
    “a decrease from what”?. For my spouse and me our total income excluding our partial OAS was $23,808 for the 2020 year. According to Service Canada for this annual income for a married couple we are entitled for a GIS payment.

    I will appreciate your answer

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Steve – When did you each start receiving OAS and how many 40ths are you each receiving. What are each of your months and years of birth? I hope you do understand that your 2020 income will not be used to determine your GIS entitlement until July 2021. Until then it will be based on your 2019 income. Do you already know what your current GIS entitlement is based on your 2019 income?

      If you were in touch with Service Canada already, I’m curious why you didn’t ask them how much GIS you would be receiving?

  312. Steve Kon

    Hi Doug
    Each of us started to get a partially OAS (16/40) from Jan 2019. We both retired on 31 Dec 2018. I was born in 12/1950 and my wife in 07/1952

    In 2019 I received a relatively high dividend from my Corp(already was dissolved in 08/2020), so together with the RIF, the QC pensions and interest, we were not entitled for GIS according to Service Canada tables. This why I only applied For GIS now (March 2021). And as I mentioned before our total annual income for 2020 was $23,808 excluding the partial OASs and it includes a last time dividend of $6874.
    So what I kindly ask is: Are we going to receive a GIS stating in 07/2021?

    Thank you so much

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Steve – 16/40ths OAS should be $246.15, so it’s not clear to me why you’re each receiving $275ish. Leaving that aside, based on income of $23,808 you should each be eligible to OAS/GIS of $632.31 effective July 2021.

  313. Steve Kon

    Hi Doug
    Thank you very much for your quick respond
    Really appreciate


  314. Brenda Ebsen

    Hi Doug,
    Regarding the $10,000 GIS Exemption, if I have RRSP 10,000 + CPP 5600 + capital gain $4000 in 2020 but no T4 employment income, do I qualify for the GIS exemption?
    How much GIS I will get?
    Thank you so much!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Brenda – I don’t know where you heard anything about a $10,000 GIS exemption, but I’ve never heard about it. There is an exemption for income from employment or self-employment, but “NO” it cant be used to reduce other income.

  315. David

    Hello Doug
    Myself and my spouse were retired on 1/1/2019 both of us are 70 years old.
    We started to get our partial OAS beginning of 2019. (We were then less than 20 years in Canada)
    My wife’s OAS is $276.9 per month, myself is $280.6 per month.
    Our total annual income for 2020 was $24,986, this is without the OAS. This is based on our 2020 Tax Return documents which are already on line in Service Canada/CRA
    We applied for GIS first time only beginning of 2021. For the previous years, Service Canada told us that according to our total annual income we were not entitled.
    How much GIS me and my spouse will get and from what date?
    Thank you so much

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi David – Your 2020 income wouldn’t normally be used for GIS purposes until July 2021. Since you indicate that you both retired in January 2019 though, it could be usedmuch earlier. You should go back to Service Canada to make sure they understand that you both retired in 2019.

      • David Smith

        Hello Doug
        Although we retired both on Jan 2019 our annual income from all sources were low enough not to be eligible.
        Assuming that we will start being eligible only from July 2021 based on our total annual income ($24986 for 2020 without our partial OAS), how much GIS will we receive?
        Thank you so much

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi David – Assuming that the whole amount of $24,986 counts for GIS purposes, you would each receive approx $607 combined OAS/GIS.

          • David Smith

            Thank very much I really appreciate

            David Smith

  316. David Smith

    Hi Doug

    I guess it will start on July 2021
    Thx David

  317. Phill Jones

    Hello Doug
    Just a quick one:
    Me and my wife total annual income for 2020 was $21,000, our both OAS’s not included.
    If our medical expenses were $1000 in 2020, is the annual income will be based on $20,000 for the GIS calculation?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Phil – You cannot deduct medical expenses from your income for GIS purposes.

  318. Jan

    Hi Doug,
    Wondering if you can help this confused single woman. I am 64 currently with 15 years of non-Canadian residency (34/40 if I understand correctly) by 65. If I don’t withdraw any RSP or take CPP until 70, I understand that I will be eligible for GIS if I apply in my 66th year as my taxable income will be below $18,500. (Note I would be eligible at 65 if they don’t count the CRB payments I have had this tax year). This means 4 – 5 years with the GIS supplement with my OAS. However, I am wondering if it is more beneficial to defer OAS to 70 and collect the higher amount that comes with deferral, at which time I would also collect QPP and have to withdraw from RIF. Appreciate if this is too involved to answer here but thanks in advance.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jan – It is too complex to answer here, and my fee would be $100 plus GST offline. If interested, email me at [email protected]

    • Phill Jones

      Dough, thanks so much


  319. Doug

    Hi Doug
    If you are 60-64 and single, is it correct to assume you don’t qualify for the G.I.S. allowance even if those who have a spouse do qualify? Isn’t this discrimination based on Marital Status, plain and simple?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Doug – Yes it’s correct, and I would have to agree with you about the discrimination issue, especially considering that someone could be eligible for the Allowance for a survivor benefit even if their spouse passed away 40 years earlier.

      • Doug

        So Doug, how can we convince the Federal Government to correct their mistake and give single people 60-64 access to the GIS allowance and end their discrimination? Can you write to them on our behalf?

        • Doug Runchey

          It will require many people writing and calling their MP in order to convince the government of the day to make that change.

  320. Jennifer

    Hi Doug,

    My father was approved for the GIS and received a letter approximately a week ago stating so, including the retroactive start date and payment amount. However, he received only his regular OAS payment amount today, not the new one and no retroactive payment. Do you know how long after approval it normally takes for the new amount to kick in and the retroactive amount to be deposited?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jennifer – The letter should have clearly explained what months would be included in the retro payment and when the first regular would occur, but I suspect the retro payment will include May 2021 and it will arrive within a few days. June would then be the first regular payment at the higher rate.

  321. Ali

    Hi, dear Mr.Doug
    I am single and it is almost 4 years I became retired and as a low income I am under GIS program, recently I married with some one that she is living out of Canada with her child.
    Now Recently I did apply to bring my wife and her child to Canada live together.
    would you please tell me ,
    Is this an issue in my monthly receipt will effect?
    If yes
    what effect does it have?
    My wife is 51 years old and her daughter is 18 years old naturally because they are new in Canada will not be able to make any income at least for a year.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ali – You should let Service Canada know that you are married, and if your wife has no income in her country, it will likely cause your GIS to be more, depending on what income you have.

  322. mark

    Why do the Table 3 clawback rates range from 12% to 37%?

    Here are some sample ranges I examined:
    Income GIS Clawback
    40320 108
    41320 88 24%
    30816 306
    31816 286 24%
    20448 522
    21448 502 24%
    10000 823
    11000 792 37%
    5728 918
    6728 908 12%

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – It’s partly due to the legislation and partly due to Service Canada’s stupidity.

  323. Stephen Arndt

    Hi Doug

    Does the $2000 RRSP withdrawl using the PITC effect your next years GIS payment?
    Or do your still get dinged $83 per less GIS per month the next year?

    Thanks very much for your help
    take care

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Stephen – Yes, any RRSP withdrawal will generally reduce your GIS for the nextpayment year, and you can normally expect the annual GIS reduction to be somewhere between 50% to 75% of the RRSP amount.

  324. Stephen Arndt

    Question 2
    If I’m collecting the Allowance $1400. Can I use the $5000 exemption and take that out of my RRSP? Or will there be a penalty the next year with my Allowance?

    take care

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Stephen – The only $5,000 exemption that I’m aware of applies only to income from employment or self-employment, so it wouldn’t apply to RRSP withdrawal income, so there will be a reduction in your Allowance for the following year.

  325. Stephen Arndt

    Thanks very much for the answer!

  326. Winci

    Hi Doug, thank you for your article!

    My parents are going to both receive OAS together and their combined income is below the maximum allowed income. I’m curious if only one of them will receive the GIS amount or both will get that GIS amount?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Winci – They will both receive GIS along with their OAS.

  327. Rick

    GIS is regarded as non-taxable income, yet my GIS is taxed each month (15% category 1 under 47k/yr.). What do you suggest to recover the total amount paid back to me at tax time? Is it possible to arrange for ONLY OAS to be taxed. If so how do I proceed?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rick – What makes you think that your GIS is taxed?

      • Rick

        At application time I was under the impression that non-taxable income was AUTOMATICALLY EXCLUDED from VTW application. Not the case. Seems to be a learning curve for me at this time.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Rick – I don’t think that I’ve ever given this issue any thought, but now that you’ve raised it, I have to admit that I too am surprised that they would withhold taxes from the GIS portion of your payment. If this is actually happening to you , my recommendation is to request that they change to withhold from 15% to $90 or $100 per month (approx 15% of the OAS portion only), In any case, when you do complete your income tax return, any excess tax withhold should be refunded to you at that time.

  328. Adam

    Hi, I was wondering whether income assistance (Welfares) would be considered toward the allowed income threshold for purpose of GIS amount calculation.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Adam – No, welfare does not count as income for GIS purposes.

  329. Randy

    Doug … on the CRA site it states that GIS uses CPP as one of the income items for eligibility. Further in the site it states that “Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor payments” are exempt from the calculation for eligibility.

    In my case my Mom is widowed and receives part CPP from her own contributions and part as a survivor benefit … does this mean that she has only to include her portion (not the survivor portion) of the CPP payments as income to determine eligibility for GIS … or does she have to include both hers and the survivor payments?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Randy – Unfortunately, both her CPP retirement pension and her CPP survivor’s pension will count against her for GIS purposes. the allowance for a survivor benefit that they doesn’t count against her for GIS purposes is a different benefit from the CPP survivor’s pension.

  330. Frank

    Hi Dave
    This past year 2021 I earned 22,000 self employment. I am receiving GIS which I know I probably will lose once I filed my return for this year. Do I report the whole 22,000 or do I deduct the $10,000 I can earn as a senior?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Frank – You report the whole $22,000 and they will deduct the $10,000 from that amount.

    • Paul

      Hello Doug…. My brother will soon be applying for his OAS and GIS soon. For many years he has been on ODSP and CPPD as his only income. I understand that GIS is generally determined by using a person’s previous year net income. Does this mean that his CPPD income will impact his GIS during the period when he becomes 65. Could you please carify this for us. Many Thanks!

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Paul – You are correct in your understanding, but there is a provision that in situations where someone’s current-year income is lower than the previous year’s income due to retirement or due to the reduction or cessation of “pension income”, the person can provide an estimate of their current income and that will be used instead. This requires your brother to make Service Canada aware of this reduction (even if they should already be aware, since they are paying him the CPP) and it seems to take Service Canada 9-12 months to make the retroactive adjustment.

  331. Will

    Hiya Doug,

    If one spouse is receiving OAS and GIS (let’s say 68 years old) and the other spouse is at least 65 years old, does the younger spouse have to claim OAS or can they hold off until age 70?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Will – If the younger spouse was receiving the Allowance while they were under age 65, it would automatically end at age 65 and convert to OAS. The younger spouse could however request that the OAS be cancelled so that they could defer the OAS until later, but they couldn’t have the Allowance reinstated so they would receive nothing in the interim.

      • Will

        Thank you DR!

  332. Maria

    Hi Doug,
    I applied parent sponsoring immigration for my mom back in 2011 when the sponsor undertaking was only 10 years, but due to the CIC processing delay my mom finally received the landing paper as permanent resident until Dec of 2017. but my mom has been living in Canada with me since the immigration application was submitted which was 2011 as she was widowed and im the only child. my question is since she has been residenting in canada for 10 years now, is she eligible for OAS and GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Maria – If your mom is over age 65 and she has been legally residing in Canada since 2011 then she should be eligible for OAS; and if her income is under the GIS threshold then she should also qualify for GIS.

  333. Alan h.

    HI Doug, So I am still a few years away from 65 but my retirement date is late november. Let say I make 50,000 dollars in my final year before retiring but starting on jan 1st of the following year I will likely only have OAS as income, how does the government calculate my GIS. Is it based on my income from the last year I worked before I retired if so then I wouldnt qualify or does one get retroactive pay.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Alan – If you retire in November, you could be eligible for GIS effective December (if you’re over age 65 then) based on your estimated income in December, annualized to a full year’s amount. The difficult part is that you can’t estimate your income until after you have retired and it takes approx 12 months for Service Canada to process that estimate form, so you won’t receive that GIS until approx one year later, but it will be retroactive to December.

  334. Mark

    Hi there,

    Is a GIS recipient who is divorced, who moves in with their adult children at risk of losing their GIS benefit? The info I’ve seen references needing to be below a certain income level to receive the benefit. Would the government consider the adult childrens’ incomes in this scenario? Thanks!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mark – No, income from adult children (or minor children) would never impact GIS entitlement.

  335. Eva

    Hi. Both my husband and I receive GIS, and travel extensively; my question is if we were away 6 months, came back for a couple of months then leave again, are we still receiving GIS continually?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Eva _ Yes, provided that Canada is truly your permanent home and you don’t do that too often. If you did that repeatedly, you would no longer be “normally living in Canada”, so you would be ineligible for GIS because you would no longer be residing in Canada, according to the definition of resident for OAS purposes.

  336. TJ

    I have been out of the country for more than 6 months. So I called in to STOP my GIS payment.

    Since November 2021, I have not been receiving GIS, which is perfectly fine with me as I am still outside the country as of February 2023.

    I am receiving OAS & CPP only via direct deposit.

    However the T4 OAS slip which I received for 2022 tax year and the one sent to CRA by Service Canada is still showing Net Federal Supplements paid on it! Nearly $ 8,000 for last year.

    Why is that amount shown and reported to CRA, if I did not receive any GIS in my bank account & if I am not eligible for it ( & rightly so).

    I hope someone else like an employee is not depositing the GIS in their account.

    Shouldn’t the Net Federal Supplements or GIS amount on the T4 slip show $ 0 since I didn’t get any last year 2022?

    I am not eligible for it & have stopped it. I am just worried tomorrow they will say we gave you the GIS because the T4 slip says so, although I got nothing. Thanks.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi TJ – I would contact Service Canada too see what’s going on, because it appears that they think that they were paying you GIS for at least part of 2022.

      • TJ

        Thanks, I will contact them. Something is definitely fishy.

  337. JL

    Suppose one is 81 and the spouse is 65, the income in most recent tax filing is $10,000. Does the GIS paid will be one payment (let say $100) for both, or the GIS paid will be for each one of them (let say $100 + $100)? They live together, if that makes any difference.

  338. Sammy

    Hi Doug
    Are there any exceptions when GIS can be still earned when leaving Canada (for a couple of years) for serious health reasons and invalidity? Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sammy – I’m afraid not.

  339. Silvano Del Rio

    Does the website of the govt assume that you are receiving the FULL CPP and OAS, even if you don’t?

    In other words, do the govt figures need to be adjusted if you are not in full receipt of both?


    • Doug Runchey

      It isn’t clear what government website you are asking about. Can you be more specific?

  340. Mark Neltrie

    Hi Doug, I follow your articles but this is the first time for me to post a question. Hope that’s okay! My question is about what is considered as “other income” for GIS calculation purposes, specifically, concerning the 50 cents reduction from maximum payable for every dollar of other income. I’ve been receiving OAS/GIS for a few years. On my tax return, I report some interest income from my personal savings. I was wondering: have my interest earnings been affecting my GIS payments, i.e., reduced by 50% for every dollar of interest earned? Or will my interest earnings not kick in unless my net income exceeded certain GIS threshold? Thank you for your comments!

  341. Clayton

    Hello Doug, My mother currently receives GIS benefits. This year (2023) she will begin receiving additional pension income, which will increase her total income above the GIS qualification threshold. Service Canada, expectedly, will discontinue her GIS benefits in 2024 when they review her 2023 Income Tax submission but do you know if they will expect her to repay the benefits she receives from July 2023 to June 2024?

    • Doug Runchey

      No, she is entitled to GIS for that year based on her 2022 income.

  342. james simonds

    Hi Doug. I applied for OAS/GIS in October 2022 when I turned 65. At the time our net family income was approx. $52,000 based on 2021 tax filing. We’ve had significant family income reduction with my wife leaving her work in November 2022. We filed our taxes well before the deadline this spring. When will CRA catch up and increase my GIS reflecting the decrease in family income? I assume they will base it on our net family 2022 income which in fact has dropped substantially since then . Our net family income has gone from $52000 when I started receiving GIS, to just over $28,000 in 2022 to $22,000 now with no change in GIS since I first applied in 2022. Thoughts on when I might see an increase? Input or suggestion on how I might light a fire under the CRA process?

  343. Meely

    Hi Doug! Thanks for the info. My dad recently got approved for OAS but there was no mention of GIS in his decision letter, even though we applied simultaneously. Will that come later in a separate letter?

  344. ishak

    I live in Canada since 2008 ,my age turn 70 next october ,I receive OAS+GIS and my wife receive allowance since I became 65 if I have with my wife income
    22000$ how much my OAS+GIS and my wife allowance must be because it change every year and both of us decreased by 100$ this month,


  345. Shenouda

    I live in Canada since 2008 ,my age turn 70 next october ,I receive OAS+GIS and my wife receive allowance since I became 65 if I have with my wife income
    22000$ how much my OAS+GIS and my wife allowance must be because it change every year and both of us decreased by 100$ this month,

  346. ishak

    I am 70 years old and live in Canada since 2008 I have investment and jet benifit 1458 monthly I get OAS+GIS 1100$ my wife get allowance of 400$ but last month July it decrease to1000 for me and 300$ for my wife , Why? if by mistake what can I do? Thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ishak – The amount of your GIS and your wife’s Allowance is based on your income, as reported on your income tax returns. For the payment year starting with July 2022 and ending June 2023, your GIS/Allowance benefits would normally be based on your 2021 income and for the payment year starting with July 2023 and ending June 2024, your GIS/Allowance benefits would normally be based on your 2022 income.

  347. Will

    Hi Doug,

    Can you explain how clawback works with regard to GIS allowance?

    Thank you!

  348. Hui

    Hello Doug,
    My husband has been receiving GIS . He left Canada to visit relatives 3 months ago and had a serious stroke abroad. He could not stand or even sit back now so it is impossible for him to fly 12+ hours back to Canada before 6 month rule takes effect . In this case , does Service Canada give an exemption from stopping his GIS payment ?
    Thanks .

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Hui – You probably should ask Service Canada just to be sure, but there is certainly nothing specifically in the legislation that would allow GIS to be paid for more than 6 months absence.

  349. george stevenson

    I have applied for GIS and I got a form from them asking for dates started on a very small pension from UK. asking for dates we started getting pension and how much. We reported this pension income with Rev Canada for months and it does not put us over the limits for GIS

  350. alkam

    My cousin turned 65 in October of 2020 and retired in December of 2020. She is single. She didn’t work in 2021 and had no income that year other than OAS and CPP of 153 dollars a month. She applied and started receiving GIS in July of 2021. This year we discovered that she had a LIRA account from her first employment that was almost 40 y/o. She had no idea she had it until this year. She didn’t even understand what LIRA was. She cashed the account fully and received a payment of almost $30 thousand. She had to do it as her house badly needed serious repairs. We know that this amount will be shown on her income tax and her GIS payments will stop from July of 2024. But will she have to return the GIS payments she received in 2023 and she will receive the first 6 months of 2024? She really has no money and we all worry now. Thank you, Doug

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Alkam – No this will not affect her GIS retroactively.

  351. Deb

    My husband was on LTD we didn’t receive a t4 as it was tax free. He applied for the gis supplement when he turned 65 does he have to put the LTD as money earned?

  352. mark

    Could you explain table 3? Does it mean your spouse can be any age (< 60) to receive GIS, as long as you are 65+.

    I thought the spouse had to be 60-64 for the allowance?

    What is the difference?

  353. Gordon

    If you are already on a full GIS and then you apply for your small ($300) CPP benefit… When does the GIS claw back start… Does the GIS claw back start immediately or does it start after the government does the income assessment the following July… If it’s immediate, then it’s hardly worth applying for the CPP. After the fifty percent claw back and the loss of the BC low income benefit, there is hardly anything left over.



  354. Gary Frost

    Hi Doug

    I am being asked by GIS to complete a Statement of Estimated Income after Retirement or Reduction of Pension Income form for the Year 2021. In conversation with the agent, she was specifically focusing on my 2021 EI income and my RRIF income.

    I believe that I know that to calculate my 2021 GIS Income, I start with a line on my tax return and then deduct / exclude exempt income such as OAS, 100% of my first $5,000 employment income and 50 % of my next $10,000 of employment income. But what other income is exempted? Covid benefits? EI benefits? RRIF benefits?

    Please advise what the 2021 formula is. Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Gary – I don’t know what decision was finally made regarding how covid-related income was considered for GIS purposes. Neither EI nor RRIF are ever exempted for GIS purposes, but where either of them cease there are special provisions around using your estimated current-year income instead of those incomes. I cannot be more specific or precise at this time.

      • Gary Frost

        HI Doug,

        Thank you for your response. Per my last email, would you you like to know more? If so, please call me. I believe I have some info that might interest you. You have my phone number. Cheers!

  355. Josel Castillo

    My parents are finding cost of living in Canada ever increasing. They would like to have options to live outside of Canada!
    If they live outside of CANADA for 6 consecutive months how long would they need to stay in CANADA to again qualify for 6 more months of GIS assistance!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*