Thousands of seniors across Canada have reported receiving some shocking news regarding their Guaranteed Income Supplement cheques over the last few months.
As reported recently on Global News by David Akin in an article titled
“Thousands of low-income seniors press Ottawa to restore cut off GIS cheques”.
There are tens of thousands of low-income seniors across the country who received notice over the last few months that their GIS payments would be cut. Why? Because the pandemic benefits those seniors received in 2020 — benefits like the Canada Emergency Recover Benefit (CERB) — put them temporarily into a higher-income bracket and made them appear to Revenue Canada as if they were no longer “low-income” seniors.
The benefit that could come as high as $950 per month to help low-income seniors deal with the added living expenses is now being reduced or in some cases removed due to the help they received from CERB in 2020.
The relief payments that they received has directly increased their income for 2020 and is now affecting eligibility to an income they once relied upon to make ends meet.
Many seniors understood that receiving the CERB would increase their income, but they failed to understand that the Guaranteed Income Supplement would be directly affected.
How Does It Work?
The GIS is currently paid out to seniors with an added income of less than $20,000 per year not including old age security payments. So, any senior with a job or receiving an income from an RRSP with more than a combined added income of $20,000 would not be eligible for the guaranteed income supplement.
In this case, seniors who received the Canada Emergency Recover Benefit of $2,000 per month in 2020 could easily put them over the added income threshold and jeopardize eligibility for the guaranteed income supplement that they have come to rely on to help with living expenses.
It seems that for every $2 earned as added income will remove $1 eligibility towards the GIS income that is meant for low-income seniors. So, if we do the math any senior that earned the $2,000 per month of CERB in 2020 would not qualify and lose the GIS cheques for 2021.
$2,000 CERB per month in 2020 = $24,000 added income at a $2 to $1 ratio would mean that $12,000 would reduce the max GIS of $950 to $0.00 each month for the year of 2021.
Seniors would have to wait to file their income tax for 2021 before they would be eligible to see if they qualify for the GIS again in 2022.
Some people may think that because of the increased income from CERB in 2020 simply makes sense that they should not be receiving GIS in 2021.
When you take 2020 and 2021 added together as an income, seniors actually received more than if they were to receive only the GIS every month for the two years consecutively.
Unfortunately many seniors, if given the chance, would not have opted into receiving CERB if they knew how it would affect their future income and benefits on the overall effect for GIS cheques. The numbers may add up but for seniors it could be construed as simply bad accounting.
Let’s agree to disagree, but one important point we would like to make here at Senior Protection is how important our seniors in Canada are to us. The pandemic has caused major Chaos and strain among all ages in the world but it is evident that seniors were stressed the most.
Senior Protection customers have voiced their opinion on this matter and have been very transparent on how their lives have been affected. For many the added costs incurred because of family not being able to travel and help them was one of the major concerns they voiced to us.
Finding help during the pandemic was not an easy task and for many were forced to pay out of pocket expenses for the much needed help they required on a daily basis.
Back To Living Life with Safety
Senior Protection continues to make receiving a medical alert device as affordable and effective as possible for seniors in Canada.
We believe everyone should have the opportunity for peace of mind through a personal emergency response system allowing them the independence and confidence to live life on their terms.
For information on how to receive a medical alert device from Senior Protection with absolutely no money down, $0 for the device, $0 for shipping, $0 for setup and activation. Simply pay the low monitoring fee that keeps you protected 24/7
For more information on how Senior Protection can help you keep your independence and living life on your terms: Please reach out to our customer care team 1 866 416 0838