“Initially, the Minister of Seniors said, as long as seniors get their income tax filed by June 1, there will be no interruption in their GIS payments,” said Duvall. “However, a memo from the CRA indicated that GIS payments may be interrupted.”
Over 2 million Canadians receive benefits each year under the GIS program. The benefit is designed to help lift low income seniors out of poverty. Benefits for those eligible are determined each year, based on tax returns of the previous year. The new benefit cycle starts on July 1. Many seniors fear their GIS payments will be interrupted, and they will not get a benefit cheque for the month of July.
“Missing a cheque for even one month would be devastating for seniors who depend on their GIS to get by on a month-to-month basis,” said Duvall. “For this to happen during a pandemic, when seniors are stressed and their expenses are higher, is unacceptable.”