The Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is available to low-income seniors living in Canada, who are receiving (or are eligible to receive) the Old Age Security Pension (OAS). An application must be filed to receive this supplement – it is not done automatically when you file a tax return. Once a person is receiving the GIS, it will be automatically adjusted each year after the income tax return is filed. However, if there is a reduction in your pension or employment income, Service Canada may calculate your GIS benefit by estimating your pension and employment income for the current year, instead of using last year’s pension and employment income. If you or your spouse or common-law partner have a lower income this year for either of these reasons, you should contact Service Canada. Your benefits may increase.
For January to March 2012, the maximum combined payment from OAS plus GIS is $1,272.48 ($540.12 OAS + $732.36 GIS) per month, for a single person. This maximum is reached if there is no income other than OAS and GIS.
For more information visit the Tax Tips website