Federal and Provincial Benefits for Seniors in Ontario

Seniors have access to a range of federal and provincial benefits. Certain benefits will automatically apply when you are age 65 and others require you to make application. This is an overview only, intended for reference regarding available benefits in the province of Ontario.

Federal benefits

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

Canadians living and working in Ontario are likely eligible for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits at retirement. At age 60 you may apply for a permanently reduced amount, or defer to after age 65 for an increased pension.

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Old Age Security (OAS)

Canadian residents may apply for Old Age Security (OAS) at age sixty-five. To be eligible you must have resided in Canada for a minimum of ten years as an adult (18 years of age and up). Your employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility.

International benefits

International benefits, made possible due to social security agreements, are available to Canadians living outside Canada, but who have previously been a resident of Canada for twenty years. If you are a survivor of an individual that has worked in Canada and internationally, you may also be eligible.  

Guaranteed income supplement (GIS)

Low-income Canadian residents receiving OAS, may be eligible to receive a Guaranteed Income Supplement. Your household income must be within preset parameters. Note: Beginning in April 2023, the eligible age for OAS and the GIS will increase from age 65 to age 67 over a six-year period with full implementation by Jan 2029. Those affected were born on or after April 1, 1958.   

Allowance program

If you are age 60 - 64, a legal resident and citizen of Canada, having lived in Canada for 10 years since age 18, and your spouse or common-law partner is receiving OAS and GIS, you may be eligible for an allowance benefit - your household income will be considered for eligibility. If you have not lived in Canada for 10 years but your country of residence has a social security agreement with Canada, you may be eligible for a partial benefit.  

Allowance for the survivor

If you earn a low income and have lived in Canada and your spouse or common-law partner is deceased, you may be eligible for the Allowance for Survivor benefit. To be eligible you must be age 60 - 64, be a Canadian citizen or legal resident, and lived in Canada for at least 10 years after age 18. This allowance will stop at age 65 when you may be eligible for OAS and a GIS.   

Provincial benefits

Ontario drug benefit program

This program provides assistance with costs of medical prescriptions to Ontario seniors. Your application will be assessed for eligibility.

Long-term care homes

The Long-term care homes Act in Ontario ensures that seniors receive high quality care, and have the supports and services needed for their health and wellness.  Long-term care homes may be a good fit for seniors that need help with the activities of daily life, security and access to 24-hour nursing care.

Ontario energy and property tax credit

Low to moderate-income Ontario residents (age 18 and up on December 31, 2012) may be eligible for assistance with sales tax for energy and property.

Senior homeowner’s property tax grant

A yearly grant may be available to low and moderate-income senior homeowners for assistance with property taxes.

Community care access centers

Community Care Access Centers coordinate services for seniors that need health care services within their community, to help them live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

Guaranteed Annual income system for seniors

Ontario seniors age 65 and up, receiving OAS or a GIS either in full or partial payments, may apply for assistance meeting the minimum annual amount. Eligibility will be determined according to preset guidelines.  

Provincial Land Tax Deferral Program for Low-Income Seniors

Low-income seniors may apply to have a portion of the current year’s Provincial Land and Education Tax postponed. Outstanding amounts from previous years do not apply.

To ensure that you are aware of benefits available to you, refer to the Government of Canada website for complete information including contact telephone numbers and printable forms.


Written by Alice Lucette

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