Various measures were and continue to be taken by the federal government to ensure the safety and well-being of our seniors:
We reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020.
To learn more, click here.
For low income seniors, we are providing a GST credit supplementary payment worth on average $400 per adult and $600 per couple.
To help seniors and others get essential services and supplies, such as the delivery of groceries, we are investing half a billion dollars as follows:
$350 million in charities and non-profits;
$9 million in United Way Canada; services would include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other essential items to seniors and personal outreach to assess individual needs;
$100 million in food banks and local food organizations;
$50 million of previously funded New Horizons for Seniors projects can be modified to meet seniors’ needs due to COVID-19.
Greater Financial Security
Our Government is taking significant action to provide Canadian seniors with greater security and give them the help they need during the crisis. We will introduce a special one-time payment for those who receive OAS (top-up of $300) and GIS (top-up of $200), representing up to $500 tax- free to seniors that receive both.
You do not have to apply. This payment will be issued during the week of July 6.
For more information, please click here.
Deployment of Canadian Armed Forces to Quebec
The Canadian Armed Forces currently have assigned hundreds of members to the operation in long-term care centres in Quebec, including 500 to 550 directly in 13 CHSLDs. We are currently working with the Government of Quebec to deploy more military personnel to other CHSLDs. The Canadian armed forces are working day and night to ensure that the deployment is carried out as quickly as possible. There will be more than 1,350 members by the time the deployment is over.
Seniors and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Those who have lost their job but are receiving a pension can be eligible for the CERB, provided they stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 and meet the other eligibility criteria. Pension income does not affect eligibility for the CERB. Pension income (including CPP, OAS or GIS) does not count towards the $5000 in income criteria. The income of at least $5,000 may be from employment and/or self-employment within the last year or throughout 2019.
Workers who are making less than a $1000 a month, are also eligible to CERB if they meet the other criteria.
For information on how to apply, click here.Long-Term Care Residents
While the administration of long-term care is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments, the federal government is working together with all governmental levels to help keep residents and staff safe.
The Government of Canada released Interim Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes to prevent and control COVID-19 infections. Developed by federal, provincial, and territorial Chief Health Officers, the guidelines reflect the latest science and best practices across the country. The guidance can be adapted for retirement homes and residential homes for those with developmental disabilities.
The federal government is committed to working with provinces and territories to temporarily boost wages for workers who are providing essential services during the pandemic and who are making less than $2,500 a month. These essential services include senior and long-term residences, assisted living-care facilities, and much more.