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How will getting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) affect my Old Age Security or Guaranteed Income Supplement?

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How will getting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) affect my Old Age Security or Guaranteed Income Supplement?
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How will getting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) affect my Old Age Security or Guaranteed Income Supplement?
Reviewed: 
June 19, 2020
Answer

The government has not yet said how getting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will affect Old Age Security (OAS) or the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

This question explains what we know so far. We’ll update it as soon as we have more information.

What’s the CERB?

The CERB is for people who’ve stopped working because of COVID-19. It gives $500 a week to those who qualify, for up to 24 weeks.

For more information about applying for the CERB, read Who can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how do I apply?

Old Age Security

Old Age Security (OAS) is a program run by the Government of Canada. It provides seniors over age 65 with up to $613.53 a month.

The amount of money you get depends on how long you’ve lived in Canada.

If your income is over a certain level, you’ll have to pay back some of what you get from OAS at tax time. This level is called the “threshold amount”.

From July 2020 to July 2021, the threshold amount is $77,580 a year. The more money that you make over this amount, the more you have to pay back.

If your income between July 2020 and July 2021 reaches $126,058, you’ll have to pay back all of your OAS income when you do your taxes.

The government has not said whether the CERB will count towards your threshold amount. But it probably will. This means that you’d have to count your CERB payments along with your other income when doing your taxes.

Guaranteed Income Supplement

Seniors with low incomes may be able to get an extra payment called the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This can be up to $916.38 a month. The amount you get from the GIS depends on how much money you make.

The government has not said whether they’ll count the CERB as income when deciding if you can get the GIS and how much you get.  

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