How do I apply for Old Age Security?

One month after you turn 64, one of the following will happen:

  • You'll get a letter from Service Canada saying you'll automatically start getting when you turn 65. If you're eligible, it will also say that you'll start getting the .
  • You'll get a letter from Service Canada saying that you could be eligible for OAS. But the letter does not say that you'll automatically start getting it.
  • You don't get a letter from Service Canada.

If your letter says that you'll automatically start getting OAS and the information in the letter is correct, you don't have to do anything more. Your OAS payments and the GIS, if that applies, will automatically start when you turn 65.

If you want to delay getting OAS until you're older, you must write to Service Canada and tell them.

If your letter says that you could be eligible for OAS, you need to fill out an application for OAS as soon as possible. That way your OAS payments can start when you turn 65.

Applying for GIS

If you think you're also eligible for the GIS, you can apply for it by filling out the GIS section on the OAS application. To be eligible for GIS, you have to file your income taxes because the amount you get is based on your net income.

If you started getting OAS and later become eligible for the GIS, you can fill out the application for GIS.

If you don’t get a letter from Service Canada

If you don't get a letter and think you're eligible for OAS, apply as soon as possible.

If you're already 65 and didn't get a letter, you can still apply. OAS can pay you for the months when you didn't get the pension, for up to 11 months from the date Service Canada receives your application. But the 11 months cannot go further back than when you turned 65. For example, if you didn't apply until after you turned 66, you might be able to get the 11 monthly payments that you missed.

If you missed applying for OAS because of a medical condition

If you're 65 or older and could not apply because of a serious medical condition, contact Service Canada and ask for a Declaration of Incapacity form. Your doctor has to fill out the form to confirm that you could not apply earlier because of a medical condition.

If you're eligible for OAS, completing this form may help you to get your OAS payments going back to an earlier start date.

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