Seniors Outreach - May 23, 2018

Hello Age 64! This is a call to action!

At present, the governmental departments that are given the task of connecting with those who are going to be 65 within the next year have a monumental step ahead of them. They need to contact us, let us know that we are coming to that senior milestone and give some direction as to what we may apply for.

Two departments are involved:

Federally, the government of Canada has given jurisdiction to Service Canada for:

Canada Pension – You normally must apply for this! PLEASE APPLY AT LEAST 11 MONTHS AHEAD of Age 65. Remember that this is YOUR money which has been accumulated in a pension plan throughout your job contributions and those contributions of your employer during your work years. You can contribute to this up to age 70 if you wish to continue to work and do so. The government will divide up your contributions (any time you wish to receive it from age 60 to age 70) and give you a monthly stipend from your contributions. Speak with a financial advisor or someone you trust as to when the best time would be to begin receiving it.

Old Age Security – Unless you receive a letter from Service Canada in the month immediately after your 64th birthday indicating that you will automatically receive OAS, you must apply for this! PLEASE APPLY AT LEAST 11 MONTHS AHEAD of age 65! This pension payment is provided by the Government of Canada and is given each year in the budget. Other than application, we have no control over receiving these funds. If we are eligible, we will receive it and at this point most Canadians are eligible.

The payment amount for the Old Age Security pension is determined by how long you have lived in Canada after the age of 18 (40 years is the maximum). It is considered taxable income and is subject to a https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/recovery-tax.html recovery tax if your individual net annual income is higher than the net world income threshold set for the year. In 2018 this world income was:

OAS Year (July 2018 - June 2019). Income Tax Year - 2017. Minimum World Income $74,788. Maximum World Inome - $121,314. Your calculation is based on how far above the minimum threshold you are for the year. The first step is to figure out how much higher your income is than the threshold. You must repay 15 percent of that amount.

In other words any repayment would only happen if your income was over $74,788. If so you would have $0.15 held back for every $1.00 over. This would go on until you hit $121,314.00 at which time you would not receive any OAS.

Guaranteed Income Supplement – You must apply for this and if you receive it is because you have a very low income. Any GIS will be added to your OAS payment each month.

Allowance – This is to be applied for and is for spouses between ages 60 – 64. Beyond that, they would receive their own OAS payments.

Allowance for the Survivor – This is to be applied for and is for OAS recipients whose spouse has passed away.

[ https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/recovery-tax.html]

Provincially, Albertans who are within three months of their 65th birthday should apply for the Seniors Financial Assistance which opens the door to:

a. Seniors Benefit – a monthly payment dependent upon your income for the previous year.

b. Special Needs Assistance – If you are under the income threshold(s) you may apply for income assistance for a variety of appliances, health needs, prescriptions, supplies, orthotics, maintenance and housekeeping support, etc.

c. Optical Support – Depending upon the threshold that you are under you may receive $115/3 year term or up to $230/3 year term. Optical Support has a higher income threshold than Special Needs or Seniors Benefit.

d. Dental Support – Depending upon the threshold that you are under you may receive 10% - 100% support of $5000/5 year term. You do need to be aware that only the dental listings supported by the government and at the cost that they will cover is part of the $5000/5 years.

e.g. Dentist pulls a tooth and charges you $250. The Dental Support may value the tooth pulling at $175. You as the patient will pay the remaining $75.

Dental Support has a higher income threshold than Special Needs or Seniors Benefit.

e. Seniors Home Adaptation & Repair Program (SHARP) – This is a loan program open to Alberta Seniors who, either as a couple or an individual make(s) less than $75,000 in a year and able to maintain 25% equity in the home - may borrow up to $40,000 for home repairs at simple interest. This loan + simple interest (simple interest will be charged each year) may be repaid on a payment schedule or all of it is due upon the senior(s) moving out of the home that they own or when they decide to sell it.

f. Property Tax Loan Program – Should Alberta Seniors be unable to pay their property taxes, they may apply for a loan + simple interest to pay these each year. Again, this loan + simple interest (simple interest is charged each year) may be repaid on a payment schedule or all of it is due upon the senior(s) moving out of the home that they own or when they decide to sell it.

All of these six areas are open, provincially, when the Seniors Financial Assistance application is sent in and processed.

Why bring this up? It seems that some of these applications are not done, for whatever reasons, and then later on some seniors have needs that one of programs could address and the seniors have never applied for this support. As the process takes some time, applying later on when needs arise may be extremely difficult.

Please do review this at age 64. Find out what you need to do? Seniors Outreach provides support in regards to these applications and the information surrounding them, if you are in need of assistance. Do contact us at 403-443-2555 or 1-888-443-2555 (toll free from Carbon)