The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is an additional Old Age Security pension benefit paid to low-income seniors.
GIS payments are made on a monthly basis and the amount you receive is dependent on your income and that of your spouse or common-law partner.
This benefit is one of several others available to retired pensioners. Others include the Canada Pension Plan, Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and workplace pensions.
This article covers the GIS payments dates in 2021, who qualifies, benefit amounts, and how to apply.
GIS Payment Dates in 2021
For the remainder of 2021, you can expect GIS payments on the following dates:
- August 27, 2021
- September 27, 2021
- October 27, 2021
- November 26, 2021
- December 22, 2021
GIS payment dates in 2022 fall on:
- January 27, 2022
- February 24, 2022
- March 29, 2022
- April 27, 2022
- May 27, 2022
- June 28, 2022
- July 27, 2022
- August 29, 2022
- September 27, 2022
- October 27, 2022
- November 28, 2022
- December 21, 2022
These are the same dates for the OAS pension.
What is GIS in Canada?
As already noted, the Guaranteed Income Supplement is a retirement benefit offered to seniors who have a low income.
It is not tied to your employment and like the OAS, you can receive GIS even if you haven’t worked in Canada.
Related: GST/HST Credits.
Eligibility for the GIS
To qualify for GIS, you must be at least 65 years of age (or older) and a resident of Canada.
You must also qualify for the OAS and meet specific income thresholds as follows:
|Situation||Maximum Income Threshold|
|Single, widowed, or divorced||$18,984|
|Combined income with a spouse receiving full OAS pension||$25,104|
|Combined income with a spouse not receiving OAS pension||$45,504|
|Combined income with spouse receiving the Allowance||$45,504|
When you leave Canada for longer than 6 months, your GIS payments stop. They resume when you return to Canada.
How Much GIS Will I Get?
A single, widowed, or divorced GIS beneficiary can get up to a maximum of $935.72 per month. Those who have a spouse receiving the full OAS or Allowance can get up to $563.27 per month.
If your spouse does not receive the OAS, your GIS benefit is up to $935.72.
As your income exceeds the maximum thresholds, your GIS benefits are clawed back until it gets to $0.
GIS amounts are reviewed in January, April, and October, to reflect increases in the cost of living.
Two other benefits are available under the GIS:
Allowance Benefit: This is a monthly payment given to seniors aged 60 to 64 whose spouses are eligible for the GIS.
To qualify, you must reside in Canada and your combined annual income must be less than $35,136.
The maximum monthly Allowance benefit in 2021 is $1,189.76.
Allowance for the Survivor: This monthly benefit is paid to seniors between age 60 and 64 whose spouses have died.
To qualify, you must reside in Canada, and your annual income must be less than $25,560.
The maximum monthly Allowance for the Survivor benefit is $1,418.25 in 2021.
How To Apply For GIS
Seniors may be automatically enrolled in the GIS program along with the OAS.
If you don’t get a letter informing you that you have been enrolled or are already receiving OAS but not GIS, you may need to apply.
Documents required include:
- You Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Information about your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable)
- Information about all the countries you have lived since the age of 18
- When you want your payments to start
- Bank details for direct deposit
- Any reduction in employment or pension income
After your application is processed, a letter of decision is mailed to you and includes how much you will get each month, any amounts owed in arrears, and the date of your first payment.
If you disagree with the decision letter, you can file a reconsideration request within 90 days.
If you disagree with the reconsideration, further redress can be sought by filing an appeal with the Social Security Tribunal.
Is GIS Taxable?
GIS payments are not taxable.
The Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor benefits are also non-taxable.
To continue receiving GIS (if eligible), always file your taxes on time, and at the latest by April 30th every year.
Guaranteed Income Supplement FAQs
How much is GIS in 2021? The maximum monthly GIS benefit in 2021 is $935.72.
OAS is paid on the same date as the GIS. The remaining OAS payment dates this year are on October 27, November 26, and December 22.
You can receive GIS benefits even if you have no other income apart from the OAS. Withdrawals from a TFSA do not count towards your taxable income and do not impact GIS eligibility.
GIS benefits are included on your income tax and benefit return, however, it is not taxed.
Yes, you can earn up to $5,000 per year without affecting your eligibility for GIS benefits.
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