Below is a submission from Canada’s Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte about the effects of COVID-19 on seniors and how the federal government is working to support seniors during this time.
More pandemic help for seniors this summer
Seniors in Canada have experienced some of the most negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, staying safe at home has meant added expenses. Deliveries come at a premium and some groceries are costing more. Prescription dispensing fees have increased in many provinces.
The Government of Canada responded early. In April, more than 4 million low- and middle-income seniors received a supplementary GST Credit automatically in their bank accounts.
But as the pandemic wore on, seniors were clear that while welcome, it wasn’t enough.
That’s why we’re providing more help this summer. A special one-time, tax-free payment for seniors will be made on the week of July 6. This payment will provide $2.5 billion for 6.7 million seniors eligible for the Old Age Security, with extra support for the most vulnerable.
For a low-income couple on GIS, the April and July payments add up to over $1,500 in support to help with increased costs caused by COVID-19.
To help prevent fraud and make it easy to receive, the payment is automatic. Seniors do not need to apply and they should not share any personal or banking information to receive it. This financial support complements other federal supports for seniors during the pandemic, such as support for charities and community groups to provide essential services, like the delivery of groceries, and community projects help to reduce social isolation.
We continue to look at all the ideas that are coming in on how we could better help seniors. During these unprecedented times, we will always to be there for Canadian seniors.
— The Honourable Deb Schulte
— Canada’s Minister for Seniors
— Scott Bardsley
— Director of Communications