Guaranteed Income Supplement – While on GIS

7. While on Guaranteed Income Supplement

The GIS is a benefit under the OAS program. See While receiving an Old Age Security Pension for information on such things as payment dates and rates, income tax and when to notify Service Canada.

You must contact Old Age Security if one of the following situations occurs, since it might change the amount of your GIS payment:

  • you or your spouse or common-law partner has a lower annual income due to a retirement or a reduction or cessation of pension income (in such cases, we can calculate your GIS by estimating your income for the current year instead of using last year’s income)
  • your spouse or common-law partner is incarcerated
  • you marry, enter into a common-law union, divorce or separate, or your spouse or common-law partner dies


As of January 1, 2017, for couples where one of you receives the GIS and the other person receives the Allowance, if you are forced to live apart for reasons beyond your control (such as a requirement for long-term care), you may be eligible to receive higher benefits based on your individual income, as is currently the case for couples where both spouses or partners receive the GIS.

To be eligible, you must advise Service Canada in writing by submitting the Statement – Spouses or Common-law Partners Living apart for Reasons Beyond their Control explaining your living situation, and indicating the date that you and your spouse or common-law partner were first forced to live apart.

What if I disagree with a decision

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of Service Canada concerning your application for an OAS benefit, you may request reconsideration of your case. You must make your request for reconsideration in writing within 90 days after you are notified in writing of the decision.

Can my Guaranteed Income Supplement payment ever stop

Yes, your Guaranteed Income Supplement payment will stop if:

  • you have not filed an individual Income Tax and Benefit Return with the Canada Revenue Agency by April 30, or if, by the end of June each year we have not received the information about your net income (or in the case of a couple, your combined net income) for the previous year
  • you leave Canada for more than six consecutive months
  • your net income (or in the case of a couple, your combined net income) is above the maximum annual income
  • you are incarcerated in a federal penitentiary for a sentence of two years or longer; or
  • you die (it is important that someone notify us about your death to avoid overpayment)
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