The Guaranteed Income Supplement (or GIS) is a government-funded monthly financial assistance for eligible seniors in Canada.
Perhaps you know too little or nothing about the income supplementary scheme; this article discusses GIS payment dates, application guides, and eligibility requirements.
I’ll also go over two programs designed by the government to help partners of persons eligible for Guaranteed Income Supplement – Allowance and Allowance for The Survivor.
If you’re eligible, it’s essential to keep an eye on these dates so you don’t miss out!
GIS Payment Dates 2024
The Guaranteed Income Supplement GIS payment dates for 2024 are:
|GIS Payment Date
|January 29, 2024
|February 27, 2024
|March 26, 2024
|April 26, 2024
|May 29, 2024
|June 26, 2024
|July 29, 2024
|August 28, 2024
|September 25, 2024
|October 29, 2024
|November 27, 2024
|December 20, 2024
The GIS payment dates above are the same payment dates for Old Age Security (OAS), Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor benefit payments.
If you’re enrolled for direct deposits, the amount you’re eligible for will be paid to your bank account on the scheduled GIS payment dates. For those receiving GIC cheques, the cheque should come via mail around the same date.
However, you’re strongly advised to enroll for direct deposit for safe and prompt payment of all government benefits.
About Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Guaranteed Income Supplement (Or GIS) refers to the Canadian government’s non-taxable Allowance payable to retired seniors. Elderlies living off Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits are the primarily targeted beneficiaries.
The GIS scheme qualifies a specific income threshold/benchmark as beneficiary. GIS payouts are reviewed recurrently based on the present inflation indexes and living standards. However, your income will not reduce in the event the standard of living drops.
As the senior population (65 and above) soars, the Guaranteed Income Supplement has been widely commendable as support for the aged, who are usually not listed in the country’s workforce.
Who is Eligible for GIS?
The eligible requirement for GIS is pretty straightforward.
- you must be 65 or older
- you must reside in Canada
- must be a beneficiary of the Old Age Security (OAS) pension
Sponsored immigrants who have resided in Canada under ten years after their 18th birthday are not eligible for the GIS. except where:
- Your sponsor is bankrupt
- Your sponsor jailed for over six months or is convicted of abusing you
- Your sponsor passes on
If you’re not a sponsored immigrant, you may be eligible for the GIS if you receive your OAS pension.
Maximum Income to Qualify for GIS
Being for low-income earners, only single, divorced, or widowed seniors who earn below $21,168 qualify for GIS.
If you have a common-law partner or spouse, you and your partner’s income must not exceed:
- $39,168 if your spouse gets the Allowance benefit
- $50,736 if your spouse receives neither an OAS nor the Allowance
- $27,984 where your spouse receives complete OAS pension
Before applying for GIS, do your calculations to figure out the income and deductions that count.
How to Apply for GIS?
Some eligible seniors are automatically enrolled for the GIS benefits. But, too often, it isn’t automatic, as the government may lack all the necessary information to process your enrollment.
If you do not receive a letter confirming an automatic enrollment, then apply manually.
Suppose you’re an OAS beneficiary but have not yet received a GIS payment. In that case, the information provided on your enrolment letter is inaccurate, or you received a letter asking you to apply, proceed to apply. Also, if you haven’t got a correspondence for over a month after you clock 64, you should make a move.
Not sure what your next step should be? Here are the steps:
Prepare the documents
The first step to applying for GIS is to sort out the required GIS documents. They include:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Names and details of all the countries you’ve lived in since your 18th birthday
- If applicable, info about your common-law partner or spouse
- Bank details for payment deposit
- When you desire payouts to begin
- Proof of reduction in pension or employment income
Gauge Your Income
Remember, the GIS is specially intended for low-income earners and calculated based on an annual threshold, which is reviewed quarterly.
To determine your income, the scheme recognizes the following income sources:
- QPP and CPP added to any private pension received home or abroad
- Funds collected from an RRSP and union dues in the year under review
- Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
- Interest on investment income or savings.
- Taxable dividends and capital gains added to net profit from self-employment or rental properties.
- Alimony and workers compensation – and related income
When calculating your GIS, some funds are not counted as income. These exemptions include:
- Gains from GIS and OAS – whether as the primary beneficiary or receiving survivor benefits or an allowance.
- Self-employed are required to declare up to $5000 received funds.
- If your income for the year floats between $5,000 and $15,000, your GIS amount will be cut down by 50 cents on every dollar received.
Submit Your Application
You can apply for the GIS scheme either digitally or in paper form. Let’s quickly discuss the options:
If you’re eligible for GIS, you can apply online. For online application, ensure you’ve stayed at least a month after your 64th birthday without receiving the OAS pension.
If you got a decision letter, you’d find a form attached to fill out. Or, you can download the ISP-3550 application form online and fill it out.
Both paper and online applications require the same documents. You can send the certified copies in-person or by mail to any Service Canada outlet.
If you’ve filed the documents and submitted your application, be patient. The response will either be a request to provide more information or a final decision. But while you await a response meanwhile, you can monitor the progress of your application if you apply online.
Approval or Disapproval
Eventually, you’ll receive a letter of the decision on whether or not your request was approved. Successful applicants are sent a letter that details:
- Your monthly Allowance
- Date your monthly payment begins.
- Arrears payments
If you think details in the decision letter, for whatever reason, don’t meet your expectation, you can make a reconsideration request. This appeal should be sent no later than 90 days after you receive the letter.
If the reconsideration still doesn’t cut it, you can seek further redress at the Social Security Tribunal.
A fresh pair of eyes usually handle the reconsideration.
Again, with the quarterly threshold evaluation, you may luckily become eligible during the period of appeal.
IS GIS Taxable?
The short answer is No, GIS is not taxable.
In Canada, GIS is not a taxable income; hence it’s exempted from your eligibility threshold. However, incomes including the Canada Pension Plan benefits fall under taxable income in Canada and influence your yearly income.
GIS Amount – How Much Can I Receive?
As an eligible senior, your GIS rate is primarily determined by your income level and marital status. The amount you receive from Your Old Age Security is also a determinant.
However, the maximum payout is $1,065.47 for January to March 2024 payment period. This is for singles, widowed, and divorced pensioners with not more than $21,624 annual income.
These rates are, however, reassessed quarterly – based on your current income and general living condition.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about GIS and how it works.
If you’re eligible for GIS, there are two related supplementary income schemes your partner can benefit from
- Allowance benefits
- Allowance for Survivor
What is the Allowance Benefit?
Allowance benefit is also a non-taxable monthly payment designed for common-law partners or spouses of those eligible for GIS.
Who is Eligible for the Allowance Benefits?
Qualified persons for the Allowance payments include:
- Persons between 60 and 64 years
- Partner or spouse to a person eligible for GIS or an OAS beneficiary
- Canadian residents
- Couples whose combined income is under $39,984 (for January to March 2024 payment period)
Allowance Benefit Rates
The highest monthly allowance benefit payable for the January to March 2024 period is $1,354.69 and your combined income with your partner must be below $39,984.
Your monthly Allowance payments cease a month after you clock 65 years.
If you’re eligible for the Allowance, apply in writing a month after you’re 59 years
Allowance for the Survivor
Allowance for the Survivor is another income booster under the OAS initiative. Eligible for this non-taxable benefit are low-income-earning seniors aged between 60 and 64 whose common-law partner or spouse has passed on.
Eligibility for Allowance for the Survivor Benefit
To qualify for the Allowance for Survivor benefit, you;
- Must be between 60 and 64 years
- Must be a Canadian resident.
- Must earn less than the maximum annual income threshold – i.e., $29,112 (for January to March 2024 payment period)
- Must have lost your common-law partner or spouse and not started another common-law relationship or remarried after their demise.
How Much is Allowance for the Survivor?
From January to March 2024, eligible seniors will receive up to $1,614.89 maximum as Allowance for the Survivor. Other peculiar situations determine the exact amount you will receive.
You can decide to receive your benefit in your Canadian bank account or by cheque.
Applying for Allowance for the Survivor
You begin to enjoy the Allowance for Survivor benefit from the first month after you turn 60 until a month after your 65th birthday.
Thankfully, at 65, you may be eligible and continue enjoying either or both the OAS and GIS benefits.
Although you may qualify for the Allowance for the Survivor monthly stipends, you still have to send a written application to receive the payments.
In the first year, you can submit your application from a month after you clock 59 years. Subsequently, your income tax return will automatically determine your eligibility.
Closing Thoughts on GIS Payment Dates
The Government of Canada has some benefits for low-income Canadians – the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is one. The Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor are other income supplements for spouses of OAS and/or GIS beneficiaries.
Feel free to take advantage of these schemes to boost your income and overall living standard if you’re eligible. For more useful financial articles and benefits you may be eligible for, check the other related posts below.