Federal and Provincial Benefits for Seniors in Manitoba

Residents of Manitoba age 55 and older may be eligible for assistance with monthly living costs. Certain benefits will be automatic at age sixty-five and some will require formal application. This is a guideline for reference only -- review it closely to be sure you are taking advantage of both provincial and federal benefits available to you.

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FEDERAL BENEFITS

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Retirement Pension

Canadians living and working in Manitoba are generally eligible for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits at retirement. A reduced pension may be applied for at age 60, or you may wish to defer to age 65+ at which time an increased pension may be available to you.

Old Age Security (OAS)

At age 65, Canadian residents may apply for Old Age Security (OAS). You must have been a resident for at least ten years as an adult (18 years of age and up). Your employment history is not a determining factor for eligibility.

International Benefits

International benefits are available to Canadians living outside Canada, and who have previously resided in Canada for twenty years. If you are a survivor of an individual that has been employed in Canada as well as 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. 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 January 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 in determining 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

55 plus program

Manitoba residents age 55 and up may be eligible for a Manitoba Income Supplement -- the 55 PLUS Program, which provides assistance to low-income residents. Benefits that you may be receiving from a GIS, Federal Allowance or Survivors Allowance, plus your regular income, will be considered when determining the 55 PLUS benefit amount. You do not need to apply if you are receiving federal Old Age Security.     

Seniors Eyeglass Program

For Manitobans age 65+ the seniors eyeglass program provides assistance with the cost of eyewear once during a three-year period, or if an updated prescription is required.

Manitoba housing - social housing

For moderate to low income Manitoba seniors, the social housing program makes affordable as well as subsidized housing available.

Rent Aid

Low income Manitoba seniors or individuals with disabilities may qualify for a monthly rental benefit. Household income will be taken into consideration in determining eligibility for this monthly benefit.

Rent Supplement Program

Moderate to low income Manitoba residents may apply for this benefit in which the provincial government subsidizes the difference between the rate charged by the landlord and the rent-geared-to-income (RGI) paid by the qualifying tenant.

School Tax Assistance for Tenants 55 plus

Moderate to low income Manitoba resident homeowners age 55+ may apply for assistance with school taxes.  

For a complete guide to benefits, check the Government of Canada website. You will find links to printable application forms as well as contact telephone numbers where you may receive information and additional assistance.  

 

Written by Alice Lucette

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