Allowance: While receiving the Allowance

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Your first payment

You will receive your first payment either:

  • the month after you meet the eligibility requirements
  • the month after you turn 60
  • the month your spouse or common-law partner becomes entitled to the GIS, or
  • the date that is indicated on your decision letter

You must file your taxes on time

You do not have to pay taxes on your Allowance payment. You must file your taxes by April 30 every year to avoid any disruption of payments.

If your income changes

Your income may change due to several factors. Find out how to determine your income.

Contact us if you or your spouse or common-law partner has a lower annual income due to retirement or if other pension benefits are reduced or stopped.

In these cases, we can set your benefit payment by estimating your income for the current year instead of using last year’s income.

If you leave Canada for more than 6 months

You cannot collect the Allowance benefit if you are outside of Canada for more than 6 months.

If you plan to leave Canada for more than 6 months, you must contact us to avoid an overpayment.

Service Canada compares information with the Canada Border Services Agency. If you leave Canada for more than 6 months while collecting the Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor benefit, we will determine if you are eligible to those payments. If not, we will calculate how much we overpaid you, and you will then have to repay that amount.

Note: You could be fined for giving false, misleading, or purposely omitted information.

You can also come forward to correct wrong or incomplete information or to give important information that you have not already shared with Service Canada. Learn about Penalties, Interest and Disclosure Policy.

When you return to Canada, contact us to restart your payments.

If your marital status changes

You must contact us if you:

  • divorce
  • separate
  • your spouse or common-law partner dies

If you and your spouse or common-law partner have to live apart

If you and your spouse or common-law partner live apart for reasons beyond your control, such as long-term care for one or both of you, you may be able to receive a higher benefit payment amount.

Print and complete the Statement – Spouses or Common-law Partners Living Apart for Reasons beyond their Control (ISP3040).

Mail the completed form to the nearest Service Canada office.

If you are in jail

Your Allowance payments will stop if you are in a federal prison serving a sentence of 2 years or more. You must notify Service Canada in writing of your release and your payments will start again the month you are released.

If your spouse or common-law partner is in jail

You must contact us if your spouse or common-law partner is in a federal prison. The Allowance may increase to the same amount a single-income beneficiary receives; it will be based on your own personal income.

How to avoid being overpaid

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

When your benefit could stop

Your Allowance payment can stop for any of the following reasons:

  • you or your spouse or common-law partner have not filed a tax return by April 30
  • by the end of June, you did not give us the information about your income plus the income of your Spouse or Common-law partner for the previous year
  • you leave Canada for more than 6 consecutive months
  • your income (or in the case of a couple, your income plus the income of your spouse/common-law partner) is higher than what is allowed to receive the benefit
  • you are in a federal prison for a sentence of 2 years or longer
  • you have reached the age of 65 (payments stop the month after your 65th birthday when you may be eligible for the Old Age Security pension)
  • you divorce or separate from your spouse or common-law partner
  • your spouse or common-law partner is no longer eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • if your spouse or common-law partner passes away the Allowance will convert to the Allowance for the Survivor
  • you die (it is important that someone notify us about your death to avoid overpayment)

When someone dies

If you are reading this following the loss of a loved one, please accept our condolences.

When someone dies, please inform us as soon as possible to avoid overpayment.

Find out how to cancel Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor benefits on behalf of a deceased person.

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