The Canadian government administers income support programs for seniors under the auspices of the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Pension. Please note that you must apply in order to qualify for the benefits of these programs. The government does not automatically begin paying you benefits if you happen to meet the criteria.

At the constituency office, we can provide detailed information regarding the three primary federal programs aimed at aiding seniors; the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security Pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

1. Old Age Security Pension

Monthly benefits for Canadians aged 65 and older. In order to qualify, you must apply and meet the proper residency and legal status requirements. It is possible to receive the benefits even if you are still working or have never worked.

Requirements relating to your legal status

-You must be 65 years or older.
-You must live in Canada and be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident in Canada at the time of the pension application approval.

Requirements relating to residence

-You have lived in Canada for at least 10 years since your 18th birthday.

For further information regarding what constitutes an “eligible person”, see “Old Age Security Pension (OAS)” on the Service Canada website.

2. Canada Pension Plan

This program operates throughout Canada, except in Quebec, where similar services are offered through the Quebec Pension Plan. Throughout the rest of Canada, if you have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan while working and are at least 65 years old, you can make a request to receive monthly benefits. This also applies to those who are within the ages of 60 and 65 and are stopping work. For more details, please consult “Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension,” on the Service Canada website.

3. Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The GIS provides additional money, on top of the Old Age Security pension, to low-income seniors living in Canada. To be eligible for the GIS benefit, you must be receiving the Old Age Security pension and meet the income requirements outlined by the Federal government. For more information, please consult “GIS” on the Service Canada website.


It is strongly recommended that you apply at least 6 months in advance to the time you intend to access these programs.

Service Canada also offers other programs aimed at seniors. For more information, please consult, “For Seniors” on the Service Canada website.

Problems with your application process?

If you encounter any problems or difficulties during the processing of your application, do not hesitate to contact us. A member of the staff will contact Service Canada directly to inquire about the status of your application.