Tips and resources to help you throughout your caregiving journey

One-time payments and help for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has invaded all aspects of our lives, including our financial situation. The federal government, in response, has provided one-time payments and help for seniors (65 +). This, in turn, helps adult daughters and sons because many consistently pay for some of their parents’ expenses.  This financial assistance is reviewed and explained in terms of eligibility, amounts and application process. A review of  Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is also provided.

COVID-19 and increased costs for seniors

  • Food price increases (because of supply chain disruptions)
  • Transportation and delivery costs
  • Increase in prescription medication fees

Summary of COVID related federal aid to seniors

  • GST credit
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), also available to seniors who were working and lost income during COVID
  • RRIF flexibility AND
  • As of May 31st, there will be a one-time payment for seniors who receive OAS and GIS benefit.

OAS AND GIS one-time, tax-free payment for eligible seniors (65 +)

  • $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension
  • $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • Seniors who receive both the OAS pension and the GIS will be eligible for both payments for a total one-time payment of $500.

If you are already receiving the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), you do not have to apply for this new one-time payment. It will be automatically paid to eligible seniors as of May 31st, 2020.

What is Old Age Security (OAS)?

The OAS program is a federal funded monthly available to seniors over the age of 65 who meet the requirements.  Individuals do not have to pay into it directly, unlike the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada ( a month after turning 64) informing you that you were selected for automatic enrollment, you must apply for the OAS pension.

What is Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The Guaranteed Income Supplement provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada. To be eligible, individuals must be receiving OAS and their annual income must be lower than “maximum annual threshold” .

In March, 2020, there were 6.5 million seniors receiving old age security payments and 2.1 million receiving GIS payments.  That means that almost 1/3 of Canadian seniors are low-income! No wonder that Canadian caregivers are spending, on average, $275 per month on out-of pocket expenses like prescription dispensing feeds, transportation, and meals.

Get that income tax filed!

Eligibility for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is reviewed every year and is based on the applicant’s (or couple’s) net income in the previous calendar year. Payments can increase, decrease or even cease according to reported changes in annual net income.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has temporarily extended GIS supplements without this income tax assessment. All seniors, however, are encouraged to complete and file their 2019 income tax as soon as possible and no later than October 1, 2020. Why wait? For simple tax filings, it is possible to have it completed for FREE by community volunteers or tax clinics over the phone or by video conference.

The importance of income tax completion can’t be overstated. Much of the financial aid for seniors (including at the provincial and municipal level) requires this as a way to verify income.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit

The one-time payment doubled the annual GST/HST credit amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year (2018 tax year).

You will have received the one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount automatically (April 2020) if you normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return. An average payment of $375 for single seniors and $510 for senior couples was provided to almost 85 per cent of single seniors and almost half of senior couples.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) flexibility

In Canada, Registered Retirement Savings (RRSP)Plans have to be converted to either a RRIF or a registered annuity before the end of the year you turn 71. Individuals must withdraw at least the required minimum amount annually from your RRIF, starting in the year after you set it up.

For 2020, the federal government has reduced the minimum withdrawal by 25 %. The intention is to preserve assets during these pandemic times when the market is so volatile.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This is a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers, including seniors, who have lost their income due to COVID-19. Pension income does not affect eligibility to the CERB. The government also extended the eligibility of this benefit to individuals who earn up to $1,000 per month.

Questions? Contact MP’s constituency office

If your parents are eligible for this COVID related financial assistance from the federal government, and have not received it, the quickest route to resolution is to have your parents contact the local constituency office of their federal Member of Parliament (MP). Without a Power of Attorney, you won’t be able to do this for them unless you are calling with general questions. If you are unsure of the contact information for the MP, here is a list of current MPs, which you can search by Postal code.

Let us know how this government assistance has helped your parents during this pandemic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





  • Glenda
    Wed May 27 2020, 00:05
    I am a senior and my kids do not help nor do I want the abusive brats to do so!! I am grateful for tje help I get from OAS/GIS AT THIS TIME. THANKS!
  • Mariam Namo
    Wed May 27 2020, 12:03
    There are some seniors with ODSP. They are not eligible for this one time payment. My mother is one of them.
    • JaneVock
      Thu May 28 2020, 08:53
      Yes, it is unfortunate that those on ODSP are not eligible for this one-time payment. One option is to call your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to express your concerns. Take good care.
  • Barbara Morris
    Wed May 27 2020, 12:14
    I did not receive my extra Gains suppliment and I am eligable. How do I rectify this.
    • JaneVock
      Wed May 27 2020, 16:14
      It is best to contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance and inform them (and hopefully get it rectified) at: 1-866-ONTTAXS (6688297)
  • Helen Gracie
    Wed May 27 2020, 14:40
    when exactly canwe expect this one time payment
    • JaneVock
      Wed May 27 2020, 16:08
      It is for the month of June, so May 31st or as early as the 29th of May
  • Rene noble
    Wed May 27 2020, 18:51
    I'm glad that your helping seniors but wat about odsp an ontario works do to the increase of food an stuff personal high jean the prices an inflation are ridiculous high its hard life really hard im having a hard time for food an i need a special diet thank you for reading this an i hope u do something about the situation thank you
  • Cheryl Sawyer
    Wed May 27 2020, 19:12
    I'm on ODSP and CPP together monthly I get $1280.00 everything has gone up. Why are we not entitled to any money. I have to pay for masks plus gloves and hand sanitizer. I got an extra $100.00 from ODSP that was the end of March
  • Heather Slaunwhite
    Thu May 28 2020, 06:13
    What about people like myself on cpp disability isn't there any help for us. Thank You
    • JaneVock
      Thu May 28 2020, 08:50
      I don't believe there is any assistance for people like yourself on CPP disability. If this does happen, I will let you know. Take care.
  • diane bursey
    Thu May 28 2020, 10:58
    sherry gambin walsh tells me this info is not true because it is not from the frderal govt web site,,,can you explain that to me please& thanks ,,DIANE BURSEY
    • JaneVock
      Thu May 28 2020, 11:00
      Actually, this information is indeed from the federal government. There are links in the article. It's good to check these things.
  • Linda Vautour
    Fri May 29 2020, 09:07
    I did not receive the 500.00 extra on my pension for the end of May.
    • JaneVock
      Fri May 29 2020, 09:15
      Yes, while the one-time payment is for seniors eligible for June OAS/GIS payment, the government has stated that the payment will be "as soon as possible". I truly hope you receive this payment soon! Take good care.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:31
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • joan daye
    Fri May 29 2020, 11:53
    I am hoping that seniors on a low income widows will get a fair substantial increase in July 2020, in their oas, try living on 21000 today, just not enough. I believe this was one of Prime Minister Trudeau's promises.
  • Paula Stevenson
    Fri May 29 2020, 23:01
    Just wondering if I am entitled to the one time payment for the OAS and GIS payments
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:26
      If you are currently receiving OAS, you will be entitled to this one-time payment. Please note that this money hasn't yet been deposited into people's accounts. The government has stated that it will do so "as soon as possible". Take good care.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:30
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Karen
    Sat May 30 2020, 05:56
    I turn 65 June 1 , am I eligible for the 300.00 and do I have to apply for it?
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:24
      No, you do not have to apply for it. Please note, however, that this money hasn't yet been deposited into people's accounts. The government has stated that it will be deposited "as soon as possible". Take care.
  • Lynda Morningstar
    Sat May 30 2020, 09:08
    what about persons that retired at age 60 .. we have expenses too ...
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:28
      I understand your concerns, because of course you have expenses too. I do not believe there are any one-time payments available for retirees per se. This benefit is for those who are 65 years and older.
  • Rob
    Sat May 30 2020, 12:31
    When will payments actually be made? All I can see so far is ....in the coming weeks. Thankful for the additional payment and only hope that is may be briefly extended.
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:23
      Yes, the government has stated it will be "as soon as possible".I also hope it will be extended.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:30
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:31
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Sue
    Sat May 30 2020, 20:46
    If someone is receiving the widows pension would they get and increase due to the covid 19. Like the elderly r getting
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:29
      I am sorry to relay that this one-time payment is for those who receive OAS and GIS, and doesn't apply, at this time, to those who are receiving a widow's pension/survivor's pension.
  • Adele
    Sun May 31 2020, 03:09
    Thank you very much for the $300 dollars that we are about to receive. However, the cost of medications is horrendous. My husband is unemployed and he has rheumatoid arthritis; three weeks ago he paid for his medications: $550 for the three months , which puts us on a shoestring budget. $300 per month would be much more helpful.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:43
      Hi Adele. I am wondering whether your husband is aware of the Trillium Drug Program. If eligible, this would reduce the costs of his medications, which I understand are quite high. Here is the link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-coverage-prescription-drugs. You could also call your pharmacist and ask about programs that provide coverage for prescription drugs. Good luck!
  • louise whalen
    Sun May 31 2020, 13:23
    If you DO NOT recevie GIS do you have to apply for the senior relief, your description says if you are receiving GIS & OAS you do not have to apply nothing is said if you only receive OAS.
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:21
      You do NOT have to apply if you are only receiving OAS. Please note that the government has not yet deposited this money and has stated it will do so "as soon as possible".
  • coreine paul
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:14
    i never received any extra and i receive old age security. coreine paul
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 08:19
      Yes, I understand there is a delay. The government has stated that it will be deposited "as soon as possible". Thanks for letting us know.
  • Edna Hewitt
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 13:41
    Today is June 1st-I did not receive the one time payment. I’m a recepient of OAS & GIS Edna Hewitt
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 13:59
      Yes, I am sorry to hear that. The payments haven't been deposited yet. The government has stated that they will be depositing them "as soon as possible".
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:30
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:30
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Wanda Porter Davis Corneal
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 15:25
    I receive old age pension, but do not think I got this extra benefit, could you please check on this for me. I was born March 11/54 thank you Wanda Corneal
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 16:26
      Hi Wanda, Hang in there!! Ideally, it was supposed to be deposited with the June cheques, but it wasn't. The government has stated that it will be "as soon as possible". Take good care.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:29
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:30
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Debbie Burke
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 17:25
    It’s good that you are helping the seniors but what about people with disabilities that are not 65 ....costs went up for them as well....so far anybody working got help and fishermen and small businesses large businesses students and seniors, families as well ....but I didn’t hear anything for people with disabilities....
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:45
      Hi Debbie, I understand your frustration. To date, the government hasn't offered any one-time payments for people with disabilities. You could call your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) if it is a provincial disability pension or Member of Parliament (MP) if it is CPP disability, to raise your concerns.
  • Sheila Rodaway
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 19:06
    This $500 pension top-up was not paid May 31st nor June 1st. CRA website says it'll be out with June payments
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 20:26
      Yes, you are exactly right. The government has stated that the one-time payments will be deposited "as soon as possible".
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:28
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:15
      Yes, and the government is stating it will be deposited "as soon as possible". Hopefully it will be this month!
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:27
        Hi Sheila, The government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:29
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Rita Cormier
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 19:07
    What’s the date for the seniors check to be deposit
    • JaneVock
      Mon Jun 01 2020, 20:25
      Well, it was designated for the June pension payment but it has not yet happened. The government has stated that it will be deposited "as soon as possible".
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:29
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:14
      The government has stated "as soon as possible". The hope was that it would be deposited for the June pension payment...fingers crossed it will be soon!
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:29
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Tanya
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 21:34
    I am on Canada Pension plan Disability, I am 57 years old, I made 11,000$ last year, I have stage 4 LGSC ( ovarian cancer). I didn’t qualify for Cerb, GST or any of the governments help. It truly sucks, I can no longer work and my husband has been off work since the middle of March., doesn’t qualify for UI as he works in New York and we live in Ontario. What are we to do?
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:38
      Hi Tanya, The only other option I know you can explore is for your husband to apply for Ontario Works. It may be that your income is low enough that he may be eligible (they do look at joint or household income). Here is the link:https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/ow/apply.aspx
  • Janice Gray
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 21:35
    I am 62and on surviver benefit does this onevtime payment apply to me to help me
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:27
      I am sorry to report that it doesn't apply to you. This one-time payment is for those who are on OAS, which requires you to be 65 +.
  • Karen
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 22:14
    I turn 65 June 1st. Am I eligible for the 300.00
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:32
      I am not sure. The best thing to do is to call Service Canada for this information. They will ask for your Social Insurance Number as identification. The number is Toll-free: 1-800-277-9914 The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.
  • Ginette
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 22:35
    I will be 65 on July 27, do I qualify for the one time payment?
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:31
      To be honest, I am not sure. It was intended for the June pension payment, but it has not yet been deposited. You can call and check this out at Toll-free: 1-800-277-9914. To be identified you will need to provide your Social Insurance Number. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:26
        The federal government stated today that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you
  • Loretta
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 23:12
    What happened to the money for the seniors that was being paid our according to you on the 31st of May
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:26
      The government has stated that this money will be deposited "as soon as possible". The intention was to deposit it with the June pension payments.
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:27
        The federal government has stated this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:28
      The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you.
  • Linda Campbell
    Mon Jun 01 2020, 23:16
    Sure takes a long time for seniors to receive anything (piddley as it is) and other money is doled out within 3 days. This is certainly not fair.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 09:28
      I understand it is frustrating. The government has stated it will be deposited "as soon as possible".
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:27
        The federal government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you
  • JIM TURNER
    Tue Jun 02 2020, 12:57
    I am wundering when my wife and I will receive this payment.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 02 2020, 13:16
      Ideally, it was to be deposited for the June pension payment. The government has stated that it will be deposited "as soon as possible". I am sorry I cannot give you an exact date. Take good care, Jane
      • JaneVock
        Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:25
        The federal government has now stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th. Thank you, Jane
  • Earl MacLean
    Thu Jun 04 2020, 13:55
    Not sure how the date of May 31st was identified. Non of my friends or my family including myself have not received a dime extra. Maybe Mr Trudeau forgot to sign the approval or forgot on purpose as he doesn’t care about Canadian seniors. Why has he not increased the pension as promised in the last eclection, he said we would get $800 more a year, have not received a dime of that either. Trudeau words can not be TRUSTED
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 04 2020, 14:54
      Hello there. The federal government stated today (confirmed on website) the money for eligible seniors will be deposited the week of July 6th. Take good care
  • dianne longley
    Thu Jun 11 2020, 05:44
    Myself and my wife did not receive the April one time supplement. I am using a friend's computer as I do not have one. My name is Donald Payne and my wife Lauretta Payne. My birthday is April 8 1942. Sincerely Don
    • JaneVock
      Thu Jun 11 2020, 08:52
      Hello. The best thing to do is contact Service Canada and inquire about this. You will need your Social Insurance Number for this conversation. The number is: 1-800-277-9914
  • Violeta Jaravata
    Mon Jun 15 2020, 13:12
    It says that Senior's eligible for OAS and GIS received payment last May 31st, 2020. How come I didn't receive any of what it said? Kindly reply.
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 16 2020, 12:17
      Hi violeta, The government has stated that this money will be deposited the week of July 6th.
  • Elaine Sadana
    Tue Jun 16 2020, 13:05
    I have not received any financial help from Clovid 19 and do receive Pension every month and the disability tax credit also. Why was I missed with Clovid 19 help?
    • JaneVock
      Tue Jun 16 2020, 13:10
      If eligible to receive OAS or OAS and GIS in June, the government has stated that they will deposit this money into accounts the week of July 6th.