Guaranteed Income Supplement – What you need before you start

4. What you need before you start

You can apply for this benefit at various times depending on your situation.

You are already receiving your Old Age Security pension

If you are already receiving an OAS pension, you should apply for your GIS as soon as possible so you don’t lose any payments (we may be able to give you a retroactive payment for up to a maximum of 11 months from the date we receive your application).

You have not yet applied for your Old Age Security pension

In April 2013, Service Canada implemented a process to automatically enroll seniors who are eligible to receive the OAS pension. In December 2017, automatic enrolment was expanded to include the GIS.

If you can be automatically enrolled, Service Canada will send you a notification letter the month after you turn 64.

In deciding when to apply for your OAS pension, consider your personal financial situation as well as the following scenarios, if they apply to you.

If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada informing you that you were selected for automatic enrolment, you must apply in writing for the OAS pension. Complete and mail the Application for the OAS and the GIS (ISP-3550) to the address listed in Returning the form.

You were unable to apply when you became eligible

If, due to a medical condition, you were unable to apply earlier or to ask someone to apply on your behalf, please contact us to obtain the Declaration of Incapacity form. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, completing and returning this form may allow you to receive your pension with an earlier start date.

Can someone else contact Service Canada on my behalf

You can authorize a person to give information to and receive information from Service Canada on your behalf by signing in to My Service Canada Account (MSCA) or by completing the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form (ISP1603CPP) and mailing it to the Service Canada office mentioned on the page Returning the form.

This form does not provide authority for the person to apply for benefits on your behalf, change your payment address, or request or change the withholding of tax.

If an individual is incapable of managing his or her own affairs, another person or agency (for example, a trustee) may be appointed to act on the individual’s behalf. For information on third-party administration for homeless seniors, see Supporting Homeless Seniors Program: How to act as a third-party administrator.

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