Guaranteed Income Supplement

October 2008 / octobre 2008

What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly benefit that provides extra money to low-income seniors.

Who can receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

If you are eligible to receive the Old Age Security pension and you have little or no other income, you can receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

If you are a sponsored immigrant and you receive Old Age Security benefits as a result of a social security agreement, you are not eligible to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement until your sponsorship period ends, or until you have lived in Canada for 10 years or more, whichever comes first.

Exception: In the case of a breakdown of sponsorship, sponsored immigrants who were admitted to Canada after March 6, 1996, may be entitled to receive a partial Guaranteed Income Supplement.

How much income can I expect to receive from the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

The exact amount depends on your marital status and income. Benefits are lower if your spouse is receiving an Old Age Security pension or an Allowance.

How do I apply for the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

You will need to fill out an application form. The application form is only available in English or French, and you must fill it out in English or French. You can obtain application forms online at servicecanada.gc.ca, you can call us to request an application form by mail, or you can pick up a copy at your local Service Canada Centre. Service Canada Centres are offices where fully trained agents are ready to help you find the information you need on all Government of Canada programs and services.

Once I've applied for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, do I ever have to apply again?

If you are currently receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement, your benefits will be renewed automatically each year, as long as you remain eligible and file an annual income tax return on time. If you do not file your return on time, or if we need more information, you will receive a renewal form in the mail.

If you receive any forms for the Guaranteed Income Supplement from Service Canada at any time, be sure to complete them and return them to Service Canada so that your eligibility for the benefit is not interrupted.

If you do not renew your application for the Guaranteed Income Supplement in the spring by either filing your income tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency or completing a Renewal of Guaranteed Income Supplement form, you will only receive the basic Old Age Security pension starting in July that year.

What information and documents do I need to apply the first time for the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

Depending on your situation, you may need to show both of the following documents:

  • a marriage certificate; and
  • a yearly income statement.

Contact us

For more details on the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and to find out how to apply for benefits, visit servicecanada.gc.ca or call us toll-free at:

English: 1-800-277-9914
French: 1-800-277-9915
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-255-4786