Canadian government pledges more help for seniors amid the pandemic

After being victimized by a scammer that used their personal information to commit fraud, more than a dozen Filipino-Canadian seniors can now look forward to a new round of help from the government.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau said the government recognizes the extra costs that seniors have incurred because of the pandemic, and the government is ready to help them.

“If you’re receiving old age security, you will get an additional $300 to offset some of the extra costs you’ve had to cover because of the virus. This means that across the country, almost 7 million seniors will get the help that they need.”

Additionally, seniors who are still working and are getting a monthly guaranteed income support, or GIS, will also receive $200.

This one-time benefit will cost the government more than $2 billion.

Salma Zahid, a Member of Parliament, Scarborough Centre Riding, said: “In total, seniors will get $500. Those who get Old Age Security and GIS. So they will get a tax-free one-time payment of $500 for which they don’t have to apply and those payments will be automatically sent.”

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Zahid added that another $20 million will be released to fund the new horizons for seniors program that aims to help seniors cope with loneliness.

“We will be investing additional $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects in order to reduce isolation for the seniors and improve the quality of life for the seniors.”

Filipino seniors welcomed the additional help that is expected to be included in this month’s cheque.

“I am happy and thankful for every blessing we receive. It’s much better here in canada. At least, we never go hungry. We’re even given free food.”

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Aside from the federal OAS and GIS money for seniors, they also get a supplement from the province they live in, as well as subsidy for rent and medicine.

But Angie Igonia of Sampaguita Seniors hopes the coming $500 dollars in “OAS” and “GIS” top-up will become an ongoing support to those aged 65 and up.

“If it’s a one-time benefit, then it’s also just temporary relief so to speak.”

Last April, seniors have also received their GST credit from the Canadian government.

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