Guaranteed Income Supplement: While receiving GIS

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Your first payment

Your Guaranteed Income Supplement will be added to your Old Age Security pension each month as one payment.

You will receive your first payment either:

  • the same month you start your Old Age Security pension
  • the date on your decision letter

You must file your taxes on time

You do not have to pay taxes on your Guaranteed Income Supplement 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. 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 your situation changes

Some changes in your life may affect your future benefits.

If you leave Canada for more than 6 months

You cannot collect the Guaranteed Income Supplement 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 Guaranteed Income Supplement, we’ll determine if you’re eligible to those payments. If not, we’ll 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 haven’t 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:

  • marry
  • enter into a common-law union
  • divorce or separate
  • your spouse or common-law partner dies

If you and your 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.

Download the Statement - Spouses or Common-law Partners Living Apart for Reasons beyond their Control (ISP-3040) form.

Mail the completed form to the nearest Service Canada office.

If you are in jail

Your Guaranteed Income Supplement 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

When your benefit could stop

Your Guaranteed Income Supplement payment can stop for any of the following reasons:

  • you did not file a tax return by April 30
  • by the end of June, you did not give us the information about your income (or in the case of a couple, your income plus the income of your spouse/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 die (it is important that someone notify us about your death to avoid overpayment)

When someone dies

If you're 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 Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits on behalf of a deceased person.

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