OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Seniors across Canada will receive several hundred dollars, or more this week to help deal with increased costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government is issuing $2.5 billion starting Tuesday. Seniors on Old Age Security will automatically receive a one-time payment of $300, while those on the Guaranteed Income Supplement will get an additional $200.
No application is required.
Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte said the money will help many.
“So for low-income couples, that would give them a $1,000 in automatic, tax-free payment to help them with the cost of the pandemic,” Schulte added.
In total, 6.7 million seniors will receive the one-time payment to help with costs such as groceries and medications, while 2.2 million will receive the full $500 in their bank accounts this week.
This week the federal government is issuing $2.5 billion in financial support for seniors due to #COVID19. Seniors eligible for OAS, GIS or the Allowances will automatically receive their special one-time tax-free payment. NO application is required. pic.twitter.com/3W84bnpCRD
— Deb Schulte MP (@_DebSchulte) July 6, 2020
Critics suggest more needs to be done to help seniors, such as more flexibility to access their retirement savings.
But the minister is not ruling out further assistance for seniors in the months ahead.
“Most important right now is to put a significant amount of money in the hands of seniors who need it,” she said. “Those more vulnerable often don’t have savings, so they’re the ones, at this point in time, who need the money. So those are the ones that we’ve been focussing on, making sure they get support.”
The federal government first announced funding to help seniors during the pandemic in May.