Allowance: Your application
You need to do the following:
Step 1: Determine if you need to apply
You will need to apply for the Allowance benefit. You should apply for the Allowance benefit 6 to 11 months before you turn 60.
Step 2: Gather your information
Before you begin, please ensure you have:
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- information about your spouse or common-law partner:
- Social Insurance Number
- date of birth
- foreign income information (types of income and annual amounts in CAD)
- information about the countries where you have lived since age 18
- your banking information to sign up for direct deposit
- if your employment or pension income stopped or reduced you will need the date it reduced and stopped and the new monthly rate
- your foreign income information (types of income and annual amounts in CAD)
How to determine your income
When applying for the Allowance, you and your spouse or common-law partner, 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 (types of income and annual amounts in CAD)
- 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
- Some alimony
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
- Tax free savings account
- 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:
To apply online, you must:
- be age of 60 to 65
- not have a legal representative on your account
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
- Print and complete the paper form Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor (ISP3008)
- Print and complete the paper form Statement of Income for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor form (ISP3026)
- Include certified true copies of the required documents
- Mail the application to Service Canada or bring it in person to a Service Canada office
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:
- through your My Service Canada Account (MSCA)
- 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:
- have a medical professional complete the Certificate of Incapability form (ISP3505)
- print and complete one of the following forms that applies to you:
- Agreement to administer benefits under the Old Age Security Act and/or the Canada Pension Plan by a Private Trustee form (ISP3506) (for administration by an individual)
- Agreement to administer benefits under the Old Age Security Act and/or the Canada Pension Plan by an Agency or Institution form (ISP3507) (for administration by an agency, charitable organization or municipality)
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.
Protecting your information
Learn how we protect your privacy.
Step 4: Receive a response from us
We will mail you a letter with either:
- a decision on your application
- a request for more information
Your decision letter
If you are approved, your letter with a decision will include:
- the amount you will receive each month
- the date of your first payment
- any past payments that may be owed to you
Step 5: Review your application status
To view your application status, you can:
- Sign in to My Service Canada Account (MSCA)
- contact Service Canada
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.
A different staff from Service Canada will review your application. This staff is not involved in the original decision of your application. A review of your application will be made 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:
- submit your request online using My Service Canada Account (MSCA)
- complete and submit the Request for Reconsideration of an Old Age Security Decision form (ISP3134), or
- prepare and submit a written request to review the decision and include:
- your name
- your address
- your telephone number
- your social insurance number or client identification number
- a detailed explanation of why you do not agree with the decision
- any new information that could affect the decision
- your signature and the date
If you complete your request on paper
Sign and date your written request and submit it:
- by mail to the return address on the decision letter, or
- 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. You will receive 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.
If you would like a representative to help you communicate with the Social Security Tribunal about your appeal, you will need to:
- complete section 9 of the Notice of Appeal – Income Security – General Division form, or
- call the Social Security Tribunal and provide your representative’s information.
You must contact the Social Security Tribunal directly to change or cancel your representative.
Note: If you would like your representative to communicate with both Service Canada and the Social Security Tribunal, fill out section 9 of the Notice of Appeal form and complete the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form for Service Canada.
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