Alberta Seniors Benefit is one of the support programs that the Alberta government provides to supplement the federal government Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
This post covers everything you need to know about the Alberta Seniors Benefit, such as the eligibility, how much you will get, payment dates, and additional benefits.
We’ll start with the Alberta Senior benefit payment dates for 2022 and then provide an overview of the program and how it works.
Alberta Seniors Benefit Payment Dates for 2022
The Alberta Seniors Benefit payment cycle runs from July to June annually just like many other income-tested government benefit programs.
The payment dates for schedule for 2022 are shown in the table below:
|Benefit Months||Payment Dates|
|January||January 25, 2022|
|February||February 22, 2022|
|March||March 25, 2022|
|April||April 25, 2022|
|May||May 25, 2022|
|June||June 24, 2022|
|July||July 25, 2022|
|August||August 25, 2022|
|September||September 26, 2022|
|October||October 25, 2022|
|November||November 24, 2022|
|December||December 19, 2022|
The payments are paid from the 5th to the last business day of each month. To ensure your payment is timely, you’re advised to set up a direct deposit.
You can fill out the direct deposit form during the application process.
Alberta residents are eligible to receive the benefits one month after their 65th birthday and new residents are eligible after three months of living as permanent residents in the province.
What is Alberta Seniors Benefit?
The Alberta Seniors Benefit is a provincial financial assistance program that is paid monthly to low-income seniors in Alberta. The program aims to offset a portion of the monthly living expenses of Alberta’s low-income seniors.
If you’re an Alberta citizen living and paying a monthly accommodation fee in a designated supportive living or long-term care facility, you will receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit alongside the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit each month.
How much you get from the program depends on several factors, including your income, marital status, and type of accommodation.
Who is Eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit?
The Alberta Seniors Benefit is available to Alberta citizens that meet the following requirements:
- Be 65 years of age or older
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Lived in Alberta for 3 months or more
- Meet the income eligibility
- Be a recipient of Old Age Security (OAS) pension
For July 2021 to June 2022 period, the following is the income threshold for receiving the Alberta Seniors Benefit:
- $29,285 or less annual income – for a single senior
- $47,545 or less annual income – for senior couples
The above threshold applies to only Alberta seniors that currently receive OAS pension.
You are not eligible for Alberta Seniors Benefit or other seniors financial assistance programs if you or your spouse/common-law partner delay/defer your OAS pension.
How Much is the Alberta Seniors Benefit?
How much Alberta Seniors Benefit you get depends on several factors highlighted below:
- Marital/cohabitation status
- Accommodation type
- Eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) pension
Depending on your marital status and type of accommodation, you will receive the maximum benefit if your non-deductible income is $0.
But the maximum benefit is gradually phased out at higher non-deductible income – with a phase out rate of approximately $0.16 per $1 income.
In other words, the higher your income, the lower Alberta Seniors Benefit amounts you will receive.
We’ll cover how the non-deductible income is calculated in the next section.
The following are the maximum benefits for single seniors and couple seniors for the current period (July 2021 to June 2022):
Maximum Benefits for a Single Senior
|Residence Type||Annual Maximum Benefit||Phase-out Rate|
|Homeowner, resident, lodge renter||$3,431||$0.1560 per $1 income|
|Designated Supportive Living Facility or Long-Term Care Centre||$11,771||N/A|
|Other Residence Categories||$2,390||$0.1088 per $1 income|
Maximum Benefits for a Senior Couple
|Residence Type||Annual Maximum Benefit||Phase-out Rate|
|Homeowner, resident, lodge rente||$5,146||$0.1564 per $1 income|
|Designated Supportive Living Facility or Long-Term Care Centre||$15,202||N/A|
|Other Residence Categories||$4,779||$0.1453 $1 income|
How is Your Alberta Seniors Benefit Calculated?
Your income, marital/cohabitation status, type of residence and OAS eligibility determine how much Alberta Seniors Benefit you qualify for.
The government considers your previous year’s annual income to determine how much benefit you qualify for.
That is, your Alberta Seniors Benefit amounts for July 2021 to June 2022 payment period is determined using your 2020 income.
To determine your non-deductible income or eligibility, the government deducts the following from your total income on Line 15000 of your income tax return (combined with your spouse/partner’s returns).
- Old Age Security pension (Line 11300)
- Social Assistance payments (Line 14500)
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan deduction (Line 20800)
- Registered Pension Plan deduction (Line 20700)
- Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) income (Line 12500)
- CPP Death Benefit (T4 slip)
- GIS and Allowance (Line 14600)
- Employment Income/Other employment expenses (Line 10100 / Line 22900)
- Heroes’ Compensation Act lump-sum payment
- Spousal or partner’s total income tax return (Line 11600)
- Deduction for elected split – pension amount (Line 21000)
The calculated non-deductible income is then used to determine if and how much benefit you are eligible to receive.
How to Apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit
You can apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit online, by mail or by fax.
Depending on your situation, you will be required to submit at least one of the following documents:
- Income information form
- Income estimate form
- Authorization of Representative
- Undertaking to Administer Benefits and Certificate of Incapability
- Direct deposit request (recommended)
In addition to your date of birth validation, you’re required to submit your application with a photocopy of either of the following supporting documents:
- A valid Canadian driver’s license
- Canada Entry Documents
- Canadian birth certificate
- A valid Alberta identification card
- Canadian Citizenship Document/front and back of your Permanent Resident Card
On the other hand, you can apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit by downloading and filling the Seniors Financial Assistance application form and submit it along with your supporting documents to:
Mail: Alberta Seniors and Housing, Seniors Financial Assistance, PO Box 3100, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W3.
Once your application is reviewed, you will receive a letter from Alberta Seniors and Housing about your eligibility.
The Alberta Seniors Benefit stops a month following a recipient’s relocation to another location other than Alberta or a month following the death of a recipient.
That means you should keep the government updated about your current situation and any changes to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve and not have to repay any benefits.
Such changes include your residential address, marital status, OAS eligibility, annual income change and more.
You can inform the program of these changes by calling the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 or by mail.
Alberta Seniors Benefit First Time Exception
As mentioned earlier, the amount you can receive under Alberta Seniors benefit is calculated using your income tax returns from the previous year.
However, there is an exception that allows first time applicants for the program to use an estimated income for the current year.
You should take advantage of this exception if you know that your current year’s income will be substantially lower than the previous year. This way, you’ll be eligible to receive higher amounts.
Once you file the income tax returns for the current year with CRA, your total income will be compared to the estimate used.
You’ll get additional benefits, paid retroactively, if the estimated income is higher than the actual income since you would have been underpaid. On the other hand, you’ll be required to repay any overpayments received if the estimated income is lower than the actual income reported to CRA.
Seniors Financial Assistance Programs
The Seniors Financial Assistance programs comprise all Alberta supplementary support to federal government Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Since the Alberta Seniors Benefit is one of the Seniors Financial Assistance programs, you may also qualify for the following benefits that seniors get in Alberta:
1. Supplementary Accommodation Benefit
The Supplementary Accommodation Benefit is administered to Alberta seniors residing and paying monthly accommodation fees in designated long-term care or supportive living facility.
The government administers this benefit alongside the Alberta Seniors Benefit each month.
How much Supplementary Accommodation Benefit you get depends on your:
- Maximum monthly accommodation fee on designated long-term care or supportive living facility as determined by Alberta Health
- Total annual income (including your spouse/partner annual income)
- Minimum of $322 disposable monthly income amount
If you’re not eligible for the Old Age Security pension and have low income, you will qualify for the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit once you’re residing in a designated supportive living and long-term care facility.
2. Coverage for Seniors
The Coverage for Seniors covers a wide range of medical expenses for Alberta seniors. This includes:
- Prescription drugs: Covers up to $25 for co-payment of prescription cost listed in the Alberta Drug Benefit List.
- Chiropractic services: This offers up to $200 annually per individual for chiropractic services visits at licensed Alberta practitioners.
- Diabetes supplies: Depending on the diabetes management method, an eligible individual can receive up to $2,400 annually for diabetes supplies, such as syringes, needles, test strips, etc.
- Home nursing care: Your family can receive up to $200 annually for physician-certified nursing care at home by a licensed or registered nurse.
- Clinical psychological services: This offers up to $60 per clinical psychological services visit. Each family can receive up to $300 annually for treatment by a registered chartered psychologist on emotional or mental illness.
- Ambulance services: The AHCIP covers the complete bill of ambulance services for Alberta seniors (age 65 and older).
3. Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors
The Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors covers the basic dental and optical services of Alberta low-medium eligible seniors.
You can receive up to $5,000 every 5-year to maintain a considerable level of dental health through select dental services and processes.
While the government renews the $5,000 every 5-year, unused benefits are not rolled over to the next period.
On the other hand, you can receive up to $230 per every 3-year for select optical services. The government renews the $230 every 3-year and unused benefits are not rolled over to the next period.
4. Special Needs Assistance for Seniors
The Special Needs Assistance for Seniors covers the cost of certain appliances for particular health and personal support for low-income eligible seniors in Alberta.
You can receive up to $5,105 annually from this program. How much you get depends on your accommodation type, marital status and income (including your spouse/partner’s income).
The Special Needs Assistance for Seniors has the same income threshold with the Alberta Seniors Benefit, i.e:
- $29,285 or less annual income – for a single senior
- $47,545 or less annual income – for senior couples
5. Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program
The Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) offers up to $40,000 low-interest (2.45%) home equity to Alberta seniors and couples looking to cover the cost of their primary residence’s repairs, renovation or adaptation.
To qualify, you must have a 25% home equity in the property you want to work on and a $75,000 or less total annual income.
6. Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
The Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program offers low-interest home equity loans to eligible senior homeowners looking to defer their annual residential property taxes completely or partly.
Currently, the program charges a 2.45% interest rate. This is reviewed twice annually (April and October) to reflect the current realities.
You need to have an eligible residential and a minimum of 25% home equity to qualify for this program.
Once you meet the requirements, your residential property taxes will be paid to your municipality without your involvement.
Additional Government Benefits for Alberta Seniors
In addition to the foregoing Seniors Financial Assistance programs, you can also qualify for the Alberta Seniors Benefit alongside the following federal government benefits.
1. Old Age Security (OAS)
Old Age Security (OAS) is a monthly pension administered by the federal government to 65-year or older seniors in Canada.
If you qualify for this benefit, you are likely to qualify for one of its supplementary benefits as follows:
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- Allowance for the Survivor
- Allowance for a GIS recipient’s spouse or common-law partner
How much OAS pension you get depends on the number of years you spent in Canada after your 18th birthday and the previous year annual income
Learn more about the OAS payment dates and eligibility.
As the name implies, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is a supplementary benefit administered alongside the Old Age Security (OAS) pension to low-income Canadian seniors.
How much GIS you get depends on your marital status and income level. Unlike OAS benefits, GIS benefits are tax-free.
That said, you must be a recipient of OAS with less than the maximum annual income threshold to qualify for the GIS benefit.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a taxable monthly pension administered by the federal government to eligible seniors.
How much CPP benefit you get depends on the year you started collecting it, your average income over your working years, the duration of your contribution and how much you contributed to the program.
For the January to March 2022 period, $1,253.59 is the maximum amount for 65-year eligible seniors. The amount is adjusted quarterly to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Receiving the CPP benefit before the age of 65 will reduce your benefit by 7.2% annually. However, you can make the most of your CPP benefits by earning an 8.4% annual increase when you delay it after the age of 65.
Learn more about the CPP Payment Dates.
Alberta Seniors Benefit FAQs
The Alberta Seniors Benefit amounts are paid monthly to eligible low-income seniors in Alberta. Payments are scheduled for the 5th to the last business day of each month, except for December when payments are made before Christmas.
If you are deemed to be eligible to receive the benefit, you can appeal the decision in writing to the Director, Seniors Financial Assistance. If that fails, then you can request a final review addressed to the Assistant Deputy Minister.
Like OAS and CPP, you can apply for and receive retroactive payments for Alberta Seniors Benefits for up to 11 months before the date you applied for the benefit. However, the start date can not be earlier than your 65th birthday or 3 months after your residency in Alberta starts.
The benefit stops a month after the recipient’s death or relocation outside the province. Your payment can also stop if your annual income rises to the point where your benefit is completely clawed back.
The Alberta Seniors Benefit is just one out of many government benefits that you may be eligible for if you’re a senior that lives in Alberta.
In addition, you may also be eligible for one or more of the other seniors’ financial assistance programs covered above.
It is important to get familiar with these programs to maximize your post-retirement benefits and not leave any money on the table. And if you’re eligible for the benefits, sign up for direct deposits to ensure you get the benefits on the Alberta Seniors Benefit payment dates above.
If you need more clarification on how to go about it, please leave a comment below.
Kindly explore our existing relevant posts to learn more about other government benefits you may be eligible for.
Related: AISH Benefit And Payment Dates