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Understanding GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement)

Updated with July 2016 rates

GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) 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 (OAS) 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 levels.

Magnifying GlassWhat 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 an 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 receives the Allowance

The maximum allowed income levels for these four different rate tables effective January 2016 through March 2016 are as follows:

Rate Table Maximum Allowed Income(combined income if a couple) Maximum monthly GIS
1 $17,376 $856.39
2 $22,944 $515.53
3 $41,664 $856.39
4 $32,160 $515.53

 

These income levels and maximum GIS amounts change quarterly, based on increases in the Consumer Price Index. For the current amounts, see: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/payments/index.shtml.

What is considered as income for GIS purposes?

For the most part, income for GIS purposes is the same as your net income reported on your Income Tax return (excluding OAS). Here is a link that provides more detail: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/income-deductions.shtml.

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 2016 through June 2017 is normally based on your income for the 2015 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 type of 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.

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

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/payments/index.shtml.

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 become 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 penitentiary for two years or longer, your GIS eligibility will be suspended.

Summary

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 qualifies 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 at: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/gis/index.shtml

Written by Doug Runchey

Doug Runchey worked for the Income Security Programs branch of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada for more than 32 years, and was a specialist in the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security legislation, regulations and policy areas. He now runs his own company, DR Pensions Consulting, which provides pension advice, including detailed calculations for CPP retirement planning and “credit splitting” purposes. Doug can be reached by email @ DRpensions@shaw.ca or check out his website at http://www.drpensions.ca/.

298 Responses to Understanding GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement)

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. Richard

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Question:
    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?

    • Lindsay

      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.

      • 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.

  5. 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.

    • Mike

      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.

  6. Doug:

    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.

  7. 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?
    Thanks!

  8. Helen

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

    • Hal

      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.

  11. Hello!:)

    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

    • Bartek

      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.

  12. 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.

    • Renu

      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 DRpensions@shaw.ca I may be able to help you a bit more.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.
    Thanks

  15. Jeff

    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).

  16. 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?

    • Jim

      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.

  17. 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

    • Haraka

      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.

  18. Doug:

    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?

  19. Haraka

    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: https://retirehappy.ca/cpp-survivor-benefits/

    If you want me to do a calculation for you (for a fee of $25), email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca

  20. Hello,

    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?

    • 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).

  21. Doug,
    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,
    Bruce

    • Bruce

      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.

  22. 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.

    Gail

    • Gail

      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.

  23. 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,
    Bruce

    • Bruce

      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.

  24. 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.

    • Rima

      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.

  25. 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.

  26. Abbass

    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.

    • 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

          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.

  27. 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

    • Ron

      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?

      • 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

        • Jim

          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.

  28. Jim

    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.

  29. 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?

    • John

      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.

    • 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.

  30. 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.

    • Mona

      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?

  31. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • Brenda

          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.

  32. 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.

    Regards

    Wayne

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

        Regards

        Wayne

  33. 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.

    • Dave

      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.

  34. 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

    • Karoline

      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.

    • 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.

  35. Karoline
    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.

  36. 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,

    Lori.

    • Lori

      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.

  37. 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

    • Heather

      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.

  38. 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,

    • Janet

      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.

  39. 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?

    • Shirley

      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.

  40. 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.
    Ramona

    • Ramona

      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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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…??

    Thanks

    • Ray

      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.

  43. 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.

    • Ron

      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.

    • Ray

      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.

  44. 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,

    Ray

    • Ray

      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;

  45. 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

    • Ray

      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.

    • Ray

      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.

  46. 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,
    Lloyd

    • Lloyd

      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.

  47. 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!

  48. Lloyd

    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.

  49. 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.

    Regards

    Wayne

    • Wayne

      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.

  50. Doug,

    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.

    Andrew

  51. 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.

  52. Doug,

    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.

    Regards,

    Ray

  53. 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?

  54. 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.

    • Talak

      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.

  55. 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

  56. 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.

    • Ky

      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.

  57. 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?

  58. 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.

    • Fred

      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.

      • 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?

    • Ray

      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.

  59. 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,

    Ray

  60. 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

    • John

      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.

  61. 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?

  62. 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?

    Thanks,
    Sheldon

    • Sheldon

      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?

  63. 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.

    • Fred

      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.

  64. 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.

    • Arthur

      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?

    • 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.

  65. 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!

    • Lloyd

      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?

  66. 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 ?
    Thanks.

    • Arthur

      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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. Doug,

    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,

    Ray

    • Ray

      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.

  70. 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.

    • John

      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.

  71. 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

      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).

  72. 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

    thanks

    • Mel

      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.

  73. 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,

    Ray

    • Ray

      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)

  74. 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)

    Regards,

    Ray

    • Ray

      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

          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.

  75. 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.

    • 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.

      Regards,

  76. 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)?

    • Fred

      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.

  77. 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

  78. 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.

  79. 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?

    Thanks,
    Sheldon

  80. 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?.
    Thanks,
    Jay

  81. 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

  82. 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.

    Regards,

    Ray

  83. Doug,

    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.???

    Regards,

    Ray

    • Ray

      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

          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.

          • 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)

          • Ray
            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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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?

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

  87. 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.

  88. 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!

    • 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?

  89. 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?

  90. 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.?

    thanks
    Alex Kh.

  91. 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.

    • Leon

      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.

  92. Hi Doug,

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

    Regards,

    Ray

  93. 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!

    • Chris

      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.

      • 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!

  94. 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?

    Thanks,
    Sheldon

    • Sheldon

      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.

  95. 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?

  96. 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 ?

  97. 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,
    Hajrudin

  98. 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.

    • 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.
      Thanks.

    • 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.

  99. 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,
    Donald

    • Donald

      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).

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

    • 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.

  101. 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.

    • Steven
      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.

  102. 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?

      • 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?

        • Alice

          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.

  103. 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.

    • 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.”

  104. 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?

      • 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.

  105. 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.

  106. I recently did a form for estamated income for 2016 to recalculated my gis. I fully retired april1 2016.my 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.

  107. 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?

    Greg

  108. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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.

  109. Doug,
    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?
    Tks,
    Carmie

  110. 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 ?

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

    • 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.

  112. 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

    • 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.

  113. 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.
    Thanks

    • 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.

  114. 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

    • 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).

  115. 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.

  116. 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?

  117. 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).

    • 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.

  118. 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.

  119. 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?

  120. 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..

    Thanks.

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

    • 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).

  123. 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.

    • 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!

  124. 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.

    • 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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?

    • 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.

  127. Doug,

    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.

    • 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?

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

    • 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.

  130. 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.

    • 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.

  131. 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.

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