Allowance for people aged 60 to 64 – Eligibility

2. Eligibility

You qualify for the Allowance if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • you are aged 60 to 64 (includes the month of your 65th birthday);
  • your spouse or common-law partner receives an Old Age Security pension (OAS) and is eligible for the GIS;
  • you are a Canadian citizen or a legal resident;
  • you reside in Canada and have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18; and
  • you and your spouse or common-law partner’s annual combined income is less than the maximum allowable annual threshold.

Other situations where you might qualify for the Allowance:

  • If you meet all the above eligibility conditions, but your spouse or common-law partner does not receive the OAS pension or the GIS because they are incarcerated.
  • 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 qualify for a partial benefit. For the list of countries with which Canada has established a social security agreement, see Lived or living outside Canada.

Using your income information from your federal Income Tax and Benefit Return, we will review your entitlement for the Allowance every year. If you still qualify, your benefit will be automatically renewed. In July, you will receive a letter telling you:

  • that your benefit will be renewed;
  • that your benefit will be stopped; or
  • that your income information is required.

The Allowance stops the month after your 65th birthday, when you may become eligible for the OAS pension and possibly the GIS.

Sponsored immigrants

If you are a sponsored immigrant and you have resided in Canada less than 10 years after age 18, you are not eligible to receive an OAS income-tested benefit (i.e. GIS, the Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor) during your sponsorship period unless your sponsor:

  • suffers personal bankruptcy;
  • is imprisoned for more than six months;
  • is convicted of abusing you; or
  • dies.

Non-sponsored immigrants

If you are a non-sponsored immigrant, 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 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.

Old Age Security benefits for incarcerated individuals and their spouse or common-law partner

If you are incarcerated in a federal penitentiary for a sentence of two years or longer, your OAS benefits will be suspended.

For how long will my Old Age Security benefits be suspended?

Your benefits will be suspended for the duration of your incarceration, starting the month following the month you are incarcerated. Your payments will resume the month of your release as long as you notify Service Canada in writing once you know the date of your release.

In your written notification, you must include the following information:

  • your full name;
  • your date of birth;
  • your address;
  • your banking information (institution name and number, branch number and bank account number);
  • your date of release; and
  • your Social Insurance Number.

For payment of your OAS benefits to resume, you must mail the above information to:

International Operations
Service Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 0L4
Canada

Can my spouse or common-law partner receive any Old Age Security pension and benefits while I am incarcerated?

Yes. Your spouse or common-law partner may be entitled to the OAS pension and benefits during your period of incarceration, provided all other eligibility requirements are met. Their GIS may increase to the same amount a single-income beneficiary receives. If they receive the Allowance, it will be based on their own personal income.

Note that you must apply for the OAS pension and the GIS and be found eligible in order for your spouse or common-law partner to be eligible to receive the Allowance.

How can my spouse or common-law partner avoid receiving overpayments?

To ensure that payments are issued in the correct amount, your spouse or common-law partner must notify Service Canada of your release date and any change in your marital status. If you or your spouse or common-law partner receives any money to which you are not entitled, you will have to pay it back.

If I turn 65 while I am incarcerated, can I still apply for my Old Age Security pension?

Yes. You may apply for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, but you can't receive your OAS pension payments while you are incarcerated. If you meet the eligibility requirements, your OAS pension payments will begin the month of your release.

You can choose to defer your OAS pension and apply for it only after your release. However, you will not be entitled to the monthly increases for any months in which you are incarcerated.

Note that, if you are incarcerated, you must apply for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement and be found eligible in order for your spouse or common-law partner to be eligible to receive the Allowance.

Where can I get more information about the Old Age Security pension and benefits?

Please consult the Old Age Security program web page.

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