Federal and Provincial Benefits for Seniors in Québec

Federal and Provincial Benefits for Seniors in Québec

Residents of the Province of Québec may qualify for benefits from both provincial and federal governments at the time of their retirement from the workforce or upon reaching 60 or 65 years of age. Following is a brief overview intended to help Québec seniors understand the benefits they may be eligible to receive.

Federal benefits

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Retirement Pension

Canadians living and working in the Province of Québec are usually eligible for Canada Pension Plan benefits at the time of their retirement. You may apply at age 60 if you are willing to take a reduced amount. Age 65+ is the standard age for Canada Pension Plan benefits.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

If you are a low-income Canadian resident receiving Old Age Security benefits you may be eligible for a Guaranteed Income Supplement. Household income must be within preset parameters. Note: Beginning April 2023, the eligible age for OAS and GIS will increase from age 65 to age 67. Those affected must have a birth date after April 1, 1958.  

Old Age Security (OAS)

If you are age 65 and have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since your eighteenth birthday, you may apply for Old Age Security. Employment history is not a determining factor for eligibility.

Allowance for the survivor

Low-income Canadians whose spouse or common law partner is deceased may apply for the Allowance for Survivor’s benefit. Qualifying factors - you must be age 60 to 64, a Canadian citizen or legal resident having lived in Canada for a minimum of ten years after age 18. The allowance stops at age 65 at which time you may apply for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

International benefits

If you have lived or worked in Canada and in another country, or you are the survivor of someone who has lived or worked in Canada and in another country, you may be eligible for pensions and benefits from both countries. This is made possible by the social security agreement between Canada and a list of other countries that also offer similar pensions to their citizens. The Service Canada website has additional information on countries holding an agreement with Canada.

Provincial benefits

Retirement pension under the Québec Pension Plan

Seniors eligible to receive this pension must have made contributions to the Québec Pension Plan and the amount will be based upon your earnings since the plan started in 1966. You may receive a reduced pension beginning at age 60 but at age 65 the normal amount will apply. If you stop working before age 60 you will be required to wait until at least age 60 to apply.  Check the Government of Québec webpage to determine eligibility.

Survivor’s benefits under the Québec Pension Plan

There are three possible benefits available to survivors after the death of a person that paid into the Québec Pension Plan.  

  • Death benefit - this is a one-time payment to the maximum of $2500.
  • Surviving spouse's pension - A surviving spouse must be recognized by the Régie des rentes du Québec as having been married or in a civil union with the deceased.
  • Orphan’s pension - The person who supports a minor child of the deceased may be eligible for the orphan’s pension until the child turns 18. The minor child must have been living with the deceased for at least one year to be eligible.

To be eligible for survivor’s benefits, the deceased person must have paid the minimum amount into the Québec Pension Plan. More information on survivors benefits here.

Home Adaptation for seniors’ Independence

The intent of this program was to provide financial aid to low-income seniors in the Province of Québec for modifications to their dwelling. The program has been suspended for 2013 to 2014 in order that the Société d'habitation du Québec may reevaluate the program making it more beneficial to eligible seniors. In the interim, seniors with disabilities may make application for assistance with home modification under the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program. Check the Government website for more information.

 

Written by Alice Lucette

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