Allowance for the Survivor: Your application

Your application

You need to do the following:

Step 1: Determine if you need to apply

You will need to apply for the Allowance for the Survivor benefits. You should apply for this benefit when your spouse or common-law partner has passed away and if you are 60 to 64 years of age.

You can apply 6 to 11 months before your 60th birthday if your spouse or common-law partner passed away before this.

Step 2: Gather your information

How to determine your income

When applying for the Allowance for the Survivor, you must report your income and deductions.

What you must include as income
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) benefits
  • Other pension income, such as private pensions, superannuation and foreign pension income
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) that you cashed during the year
  • Employment Insurance benefits
  • Interest and other investment income
  • Capital gains and taxable Canadian dividends
  • Net income from any rental properties
  • Net employment or self-employment income
  • Other income from sources such as workers' compensation payments
What is exempted as income
  • Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor payments
  • Payments of retroactive CPP or QPP benefits for previous years
  • Other benefit and assistance payments from municipal, territorial or federal government or universal child care benefits to name a few
  • Grants, rebates, refunds programs and credits
  • Some war service pensions, retribution payments and ex gratia payments
  • Aboriginal people tax – exempt income
  • Lottery winnings
  • Inheritances
  • Tax free savings accounts
  • CPP death benefit or children’s benefits
  • Wage loss replacement benefits paid under a private insurance plan
What can be deducted from your income
  • Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan contributions and your Employment Insurance premiums
  • Elected pension split income deduction
  • Union dues, professional or like dues
  • RRSP, RPP or Saskatchewan pension plan contributions
  • Moving expenses related to employment and other employment expenses
  • Clergy residence deduction
  • Deductions to reduce rental income
  • Some child support payments
  • Some spousal support payments
  • Attendant care and other disability supports deduction
  • Other deductions permitted by CRA

Note: If you are employed or self employed and receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor, you can earn up to $5,000 and still receive the full benefit amount. For earnings between $5,000 and $15,000, your Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar of income you receive.

Step 3: Submit your application

Decide how to apply:

Apply online

To apply online, you must:

If you are applying online, you will need a My Service Canada Account (MSCA). If you do not have an MSCA account, you can register for one. You will receive a personal access code to complete your registration.

Apply or register through My Service Canada Account

Note: It is 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).

Apply using a paper application

Consult the Information Sheet for Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor (ISP3008A) for information on how to fill your application.

If someone is helping you with your application

You must provide consent for someone to help you with your application. You can do this in 2 ways:

  1. through your My Service Canada Account (MSCA)


  2. print and complete the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person (ISP1603) and mail it to us, or drop it off at a Service Canada office

This does not give the person helping you authority to:

  • submit your application
  • apply for benefits on your behalf
  • change your payment address
  • request or change the withholding of tax for you
If you need to apply or act on someone’s behalf

If someone cannot manage their own affairs, another person or agency may act on their behalf.

To apply to administer benefits on someone’s behalf you need to:

You will need to mail it to us, or drop it off at a Service Canada office.

These forms do not give the person applying on someone’s behalf authority to submit an application through My Service Canada Account (MSCA). You must submit a paper application.

Protect your information

Learn how we protect your privacy.

Step 4: Receive a response from us

We will mail you a letter with either:

Your decision letter

If you are approved, your letter with a decision will include:

Step 5: Review your application status

To view your application status, you can:

If you do not have an MSCA account, you can register for one.

Step 6: If you disagree with the decision

If you disagree with the decision, you may request to have the decision reviewed. You must request a reconsideration in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.

Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in the original decision on your application.

More information on how to request a review of the decision

There are 3 ways you can make a request for reconsideration:

  1. submit your request online using My Service Canada Account (MSCA)
  2. complete and submit the Request for reconsideration of an Old Age Security decision (ISP3134), or
  3. prepare and submit a written request to review the decision and include:
    1. your name
    2. your address
    3. your telephone number
    4. your social insurance number or client identification number
    5. a detailed explanation of why you do not agree with the decision
    6. any new information that could affect the decision
    7. your signature and the date

If you complete your request on paper

Sign and date your written request and submit it:

  1. by mail to the return address on the decision letter, or
  2. in person at a Service Canada office

Reconsiderations can take several months to complete, depending on the case. Service Canada will review your application and any new information you submit in support of your request and send you a (new) decision by mail.

If you disagree with the reconsideration

If you disagree with the new decision, the next step is to contact the Social Security Tribunal to appeal.

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