Allowance: Do you qualify

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

The information provided below should be used as a guideline. We encourage you to apply and allow a Service Canada representative to determine if you are eligible.

Do you qualify for the Allowance

You may be able to get the Allowance benefit if:

  • your spouse or common-law partner receives an Old Age Security pension (OAS) and is eligible and entitled to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • you are 60 to 64 years of age
  • you are a Canadian citizen or a legal resident
  • you have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18
  • you and your spouse or common-law partner’s annual combined income is less than $35,136

Check the maximum annual income threshold.

If you have not resided in Canada for at least 10 years since you turned 18, but you have resided or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada, you may still be eligible for a partial benefit.

Other circumstances

If you are an immigrant who is sponsored

If you are a sponsored immigrant and have lived in Canada for less than 10 years after age 18, you can apply and have your benefit approved however, you will not receive a payment for the Allowance while you are sponsored unless your sponsor:

  • suffers personal bankruptcy
  • is sentenced to a term of incarceration for more than 6 months
  • is convicted of an offence against you under the Criminal Code
  • dies

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.

If you become entitled to the Allowance it will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence.

If you are an immigrant who is not sponsored

If you are an immigrant who is not sponsored, you may be eligible to receive the Allowance 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 Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor entitlement will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence.

If your spouse or common-law partner is in jail

You may be entitled to the Allowance if your spouse or common-law partner is in jail, provided that you meet all the eligibility requirements. The Allowance will be based on your own annual income.

If your spouse or common-law partner is in jail, he or she must be in receipt or apply for the Old Age Security or Guaranteed Income Supplement and be found eligible in order for you to be eligible to receive the Allowance.

If you are in jail

If you are in jail in a Federal institution, you can apply for the Allowance however, you cannot receive a payment until you are released.

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