The federal government has launched automatic enrolment for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefit.
Implementing GIS automatic enrolment means that each month, up to 17,000 seniors who turn 64 years old on or after December 1, 2017, will be selected to be automatically enrolled for the GIS benefit without ever having to complete an application.
Beginning in January 2018, these seniors will receive a letter notifying them that they will be enrolled for both Old Age Security (OAS) and GIS without needing to apply and will begin receiving their benefits automatically, if eligible, when they turn 65.
The first payment will be made one month after the client turns 65.
Once automatically enrolled for OAS benefits, recipients will be automatically considered for the GIS each year based on their household income information included in their tax filing. It is important that tax returns are filed on time each year in order to receive or maintain these benefits.
GIS automatic enrolment is a key component of Employment and Social Development Canada’s Service Strategy, which aims to transform services in a way that responds to clients’ current and emerging needs and expectations.
As part of a wider effort to increase awareness of the GIS, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, had committed to introduce automatic enrolment for GIS by January 2018. Building on previous phases of automatic enrolment for OAS, GIS automatic enrolment will not only contribute to ensuring Canadian seniors receive services and benefits that are easy to access, convenient and timely, it will also play an important role in helping reduce the incidence of low income among seniors.