Federal and Provincial Benefits for Seniors in Alberta

As a Canadian living in the province of Alberta, it’s important that you are aware of government funds that may be available to you. This article is an overview only, but consider using it as a starting point to understanding the range of federal and provincial benefits available to seniors in Alberta.        

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Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and International Benefits

If you are a Canadian residing and employed in the province of Alberta, it is likely that you are eligible to receive Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits when you retire. At age 65, Canadian residents may also apply for Old Age Security (OAS), provided you’ve lived in Canada for at least ten years (after turning 18). If you are living outside of Canada but have previously resided in Canada for twenty years (after turning 18), you may also be eligible for International Benefits.   

CPP Survivor’s benefit and Allowance for the Survivor

If your spouse contributed to the Canada Pension Plan and is now deceased, you may be eligible to receive a monthly survivors benefit. In addition to this benefit, if you are age 60 - 64 and you have not remarried nor entered into a common-law relationship, you may make application for an Allowance for the Survivor. Your annual income will be taken into consideration upon your application for this allowance. Additional information is available on this website.  

Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance Program

Canadians with a low income may apply for a GIS, which may be added to your OAS benefit. If you are widowed or if you have a spouse that receives a GIS you may also be eligible. The Allowance Program is a monthly benefit for low-income seniors (age 60 - 64) whose spouse or common law partner is receiving or who is eligible to receive OAS and the GIS. 



Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB)

In addition to CPP and OAS if you are age 65 and older you may qualify to receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit. You must be a Canadian resident for ten years and eligible for OAS plus you must be an Alberta resident for at least three months directly prior to applying for the ASB. Factors that will be taken into consideration include your marital status, your income plus your spouse’s income and the type of home in which you are living.

Long-term Care

For seniors with complex care needs that may not be safely provided in the home or in a supportive living environment, long-term care facilities funded by the Alberta Government may be the only option for you or a senior in your care. Medication management, unstable behavior and complex care for end of life needs will be considered in the process of deciding eligibility.

Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP)

Alberta residents that use a wheelchair may apply for a provincial grant up to $5000 for the purpose of modifying the home to accommodate access and wheelchair use within the home. The grant is available to qualified individuals regardless of age. 

Dental, Optical and Prescription Assistance

Alberta seniors may qualify for assistance with basic dental services to a maximum of $5000 every five years and optical services not in excess of $230 every three years. Premium-free prescription coverage may be available to Alberta seniors and their dependents with a co-payment of thirty percent to a maximum of $25 for drugs on the Alberta drug benefit list; information is on the website.

Housing Programs

Seniors lodge, cottage and self-contained housing programs

These programs funded by the Alberta provincial government provide accommodation to low or moderate-income seniors depending upon their eligibility.


Be certain to make yourself aware of benefits that you contributed, and may still be contributing to, as an employed Alberta resident. The Government of Canada website provides complete information about benefits that you as a senior may be eligible to receive.


Written by Alice Lucette

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