As many individuals had lower income
in the 2020 year, some may be
surprised that they are eligible to
receive the Guaranteed Income
Supplement (GIS). In addition,
changes in July 2020 allow individuals
to earn more without eroding benefits.
For those who have been eligible for
some time, GIS (and OAS) can be applied for retroactively
(up to eleven months back).
Individuals over the age of 65, living in Canada, receiving
OAS and having income not exceeding certain thresholds,
will qualify for GIS. A single, widowed or divorced individual
must have income below $18,648. The combined income
of a married or common-law couple cannot exceed the
– $24,624 if the spouse/common-law partner receives the
full OAS pension;
– $44,688 if the spouse/common-law partner does not
receive an OAS pension; and
– $44,688 if the spouse/common-law partner receives the
Income for this purpose is generally net income on the
personal tax return (line 23600) with the most notable
difference being the exclusion of OAS, GIS and related
payments. CPP and EI premiums can also be deducted
against income. In addition, effective July 2020, up to
$5,000 of employment and self-employment income annually
is exempted. For those earning between $5,000 and
$15,000, 50% of income earned in this bracket is also
Payments from July to June are based on the previous year’s
income. So, the 2020 personal tax return will impact
benefits from July 2021 to June 2022.

Also, note that individuals outside Canada for more than
six months cannot collect GIS. Service Canada and the
Canada Border Services share information.

Review whether you or a relative may be
eligible for GIS as soon as possible. Retroactive
applications can only be made for the previous 11

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