The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.
You qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement if you meet all of the following conditions:
- you are a legal resident of Canada
- you are receiving an Old Age Security pension
- your annual income (or in the case of a couple, your combined income) is lower than the maximum annual income.
Using your income information from your federal Income Tax and Benefit Return, we will review your eligibility for the GIS every year. If you still qualify, your benefit will be automatically renewed. In July, you will receive a letter telling you either:
- that your benefit will be renewed
- that your benefit will be stopped, or
- that your income information is required.
Note: Changes to the age of eligibility
Starting in April 2023, the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will gradually increase from 65 to 67 over six years, with full implementation by January 2029. This change will affect people born on April 1, 1958 or later.
If you are a sponsored immigrant, you are not eligible to receive the GIS during your sponsorship period unless you have 10 years of residence in Canada after the age of 18, or your sponsorship agreement ends because of the following situations:
- suffers personal bankruptcy
- is imprisoned for more than six months
- is convicted of abusing you
If you are a non-sponsored immigrant, you may be eligible to receive the GIS based on the number of years you have resided in Canada after age 18.
If you have lived in Canada for fewer than 10 years since you turned 18, but you have lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada, you may be eligible for a partial benefit. Your GIS entitlement will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence. For more information, see Lived or living outside Canada.
When do I apply?
You can apply for this benefit at various times depending on your situation.
You have not yet applied for your Old Age Security pension
On the Old Age Security (OAS) pension application form, you can indicate your wish to apply for the GIS and we will send you the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Statement of Income for the Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor application form (ISP-3025).
You were selected for automatic enrollment in the Old Age Security pension
If you were automatically enrolled in the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, you should apply for your GIS three months before your 65th birthday.
You are already receiving your Old Age Security pension
If you are already receiving an Old Age Security (OAS) pension, you should apply for your GIS as soon as possible so you don’t lose any payments (we may be able to give you a retroactive payment for up to a maximum of 11 months from the date we receive your application).
You were unable to apply when you became eligible
If, due to a medical condition, you were unable to apply earlier or to ask someone to apply on your behalf, please contact us to obtain the Declaration of Incapacity form. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, filling out and returning this form may allow you to receive your pension with an earlier start date.
How do I apply?
You must apply in writing for the GIS. Complete and mail the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Statement of Income for the Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor application form (ISP-3025) for the payment year that applies to you. You will find this form on the Old Age Security forms page.
To find out where to mail the forms, see Returning the form.
How much can I get?
The amount of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) you receive depends on your marital status and your previous year’s income (or in the case of a couple, your combined income). Find out what income and deductions you must report.
For the period from April 1 to June 30, 2013, the maximum GIS amount you could get if you were single was $740.44. Consult the table of Old Age Security payment amounts for current benefit rates.
You must contact us if one of the following situations occurs, since it might change the amount of your GIS payment:
- You or your spouse or common-law partner has a lower annual income due to a retirement or a reduction of pension income (in such cases, we can calculate your GIS by estimating your income for the current year instead of using last year’s income).
- Your spouse or common-law partner is incarcerated.
- You marry or separate, or your spouse or common-law partner dies.
- You and your spouse or common-law partner are both receiving the Old Age Security pension and are living apart for reasons beyond your control: for example, one of you is in hospital or living in a nursing home (in these cases, each of you may be allocated the GIS at the single rate if that gives you a higher monthly payment and is to your advantage).
Can someone else contact Service Canada on my behalf?
If you want to authorize a person to give and receive information to Service Canada on your behalf, you will need to print the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form (ISP1603OAS), complete it, and mail it to us at the Service Canada office mentioned on the page Returning the form.
This form does not provide authority for the person to apply for benefits on your behalf, change your payment address, or request/change the withholding of tax.
If an individual is incapable of managing his/her own affairs, another person or agency (a Trustee or someone with a Power of Attorney) may be appointed to act on the individual’s behalf. Contact us for the appropriate documentation.
I submitted my application. Now what?
Service Canada will inform you by mail whether your application was approved or not, or whether additional information or documentation is required to make a decision on your application.
When will my Guaranteed Income Supplement payment begin?
Once we approve your application for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), you will receive a letter with details about your monthly amount, the date you will receive your first payment, and any retroactive amounts to which you might be entitled. The GIS payments will be added to your Old Age Security pension payment each month.
Can my Guaranteed Income Supplement payment ever stop?
Yes, your Guaranteed Income Supplement payment will stop if:
- you have not filed an individual Income Tax and Benefit Return with the Canada Revenue Agency by April 30, or if, by the end of June each year, we have not received the information about your net income (or in the case of a couple, your combined net income) for the previous year;
- you leave Canada for more than six consecutive months;
- your net income (or in the case of a couple, your combined net income) is above the maximum annual income;
- you are incarcerated in a federal penitentiary for two years or longer;
- you die (it is important that someone notify us about your death to avoid overpayment).
What I need to know when receiving my Guaranteed Income Supplement
The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a benefit under the Old Age Security program. See what you need to know when receiving the Old Age Security pension for information on such things as payment dates and rates, income tax and when to notify Service Canada.
What if I disagree with a decision?
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of Service Canada concerning your application for an Old Age Security benefit, you may request a reconsideration of your case. You must make your request for reconsideration in writing within 90 days after you are notified in writing of the decision.