Both the federal and provincial government’s provide income support programs for seniors such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the B.C. Seniors Supplement. There are also federal and provincial tax credits and provincial health insurance plans that benefit seniors. Follow the links below to find more information about managing your finances.
Resources for Seniors
View the Government of Canada’s seniors’ website for information on:
- the Canada Pension Plan
- Old Age Security
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
The provincial government runs programs for low-income seniors to access medical services and supplies, transportation and housing. It also contains legal information on protecting yourself and finances.
View the B.C. Government website to learn more about:
- MSP and Fair PharmaCare programs for low-income seniors
- Subsidies for housing and transportation
- Legal information on protecting yourself and your finances
The Canada Revenue Agency has a directory of community organizations hosting free tax clinics. Some clinics that are currently operating may complete and file taxes for free, by videoconference or by phone. To find a clinic in your community, check the directory, which is updated regularly. Before visiting a clinic, call to learn about any COVID-related restrictions or protocols.
Please note: many clinics that have provided services in the past may have been cancelled or postponed due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
If you collected the Canadian Economic Recovery Benefit (CERB) in 2020 it may have impacted your federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments. However, you could be eligible for additional support from the provincial government.
Request an assessment for provincial income assistance through the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction. You should receive a response to your request within five business days.
Note: If you receive the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) supplement via BC Housing, this might impact your eligibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What income supports am I entitled to?
A. The main income support programs are the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. These are run by the federal government. For information on these programs, including whether you are eligible, visit the Canada Benefits website. The B.C. government also offers the Seniors’ Supplement program for low-income residents who receive Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or federal Allowances.
Q. Are there programs to help me with medical costs?
A. There are provincial programs that help pay for Medical Services Plan premiums as well as prescription drugs and medical supplies. See the Health Care section of this website for more information.
Q. Are there programs to help me with housing costs?
A. The provincial government has programs that provide financial assistance for a number of housing issues, including:
- rent subsidies (Shelter Aid for Elderly Residents – SAFER)
- property tax deferral
- modifications to your home (Home Adaptations for Independence – HAFI)
See the Housing section of this website for more information.
Q. Are there programs to help me with transportation costs?
A. There are provincial programs that provide financial assistance for:
- public transit (BC Bus Pass Program)
- transportation to medical appointments
- taxi travel
- BC Ferries
See the Transportation section of this website for more information.