Old Age Security - Apply

5. Apply

Automatic enrolment for Old Age Security pension

In April 2013, Service Canada implemented a process to automatically enroll seniors who are eligible to receive the OAS pension. In December 2017, automatic enrolment was expanded to include the GIS.

If you can be automatically enrolled, Service Canada will send you a notification letter the month after you turn 64.

In deciding when to apply for your OAS pension, consider your personal financial situation as well as the following scenarios, if they apply to you.

If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada informing you that you were selected for automatic enrolment, you must apply for the OAS pension.

The month after you turned 64 years old, you received from Service Canada

  • A letter informing you that you were selected for automatic enrolment
    • You will not have to apply for your OAS pension provided that the information in your letter is accurate.
    • If you wish to delay your OAS pension, your GIS benefit or both, you may do so by:
      • accessing your My Service Canada account and following the directions, or
      • signing and returning the automatic enrolment letter by mail.

Or

  • A letter informing you that you could be eligible for the OAS pension
    • You will need to apply for your OAS pension as soon as possible by:
      • applying online through your My Service Canada Account, or
      • by completing and mailing the application enclosed in your letter to Service Canada, or
      • by completing the application enclosed in your letter and bringing it to a Service Canada office.

The month after you turned 64 years old, you did not receive a letter from Service Canada

  • If you wish to start receiving your OAS pension at age 65, you should apply for your OAS pension right away.
  • If you have already reached 65, and you wish to start your OAS pension immediately, you should apply 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).

Gather your personal information

Before you begin, please ensure you have:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • information about your spouse or common-law partner if you have one (Social Insurance Number, date of birth)
  • information about where you have lived since age 18
  • your banking information to sign up for direct deposit
  • the date you would like your pension to start
  • your reduction in employment or pension income, if applicable

Submit your application

You can choose to apply online or by filling a paper application.

To be able to apply online, you must:

  • be at least one month past your 64th birthday
  • not be currently receiving an OAS pension
  • have not already applied for the OAS pension and Service Canada is not currently assessing your application
  • be currently living inside of Canada
  • not have an authorized third party on your account

If any of the above does not apply to you, you will need to complete the paper application.

Online application

Apply now by signing in or registering for a My Service Canada Account (MSCA).

If you don't have a My Service Canada Account (MSCA), you can register for one. You'll receive a personal access code to complete your registration.

Apply through My Service Canada account Register for My Service Canada Account

Note:

It's important to gather the information you need before you begin, because once you start the application, you cannot save it and continue later. Your session will expire after 20 minutes of inactivity (this time starts when your computer mouse stops moving and resets when your mouse is moved). 

Paper application

If you choose to fill a paper application:

You delayed receipt of your Old Age Security pension

If you chose to delay receipt of your OAS pension, you can apply up to 11 months before the date you want your OAS pension to start.

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, completing and returning this form may allow you to receive your pension with an earlier start date.

Can someone else contact Service Canada on my behalf

You can authorize a person to give information to and receive information from Service Canada on your behalf by signing in to My Service Canada Account (MSCA) or by completing the form Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person (ISP-1603OAS), and mailing it to the Service Canada office listed 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 or change the withholding of tax.

If an individual is incapable of managing his or her own affairs, another person or agency (a trustee) may be appointed to act on the individual's behalf. For information on third-party administration for homeless seniors, see Supporting Homeless Seniors Program: How to act as a third-party administrator.

If you are incarcerated

If you are incarcerated, you can still apply for your OAS pension, but your payments will be suspended for the duration of your incarceration.

Penalties, Interest and Disclosure Policy

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