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BENEFITS UPDATE Federal Income Security Benefits: Ten Things that Elder-Law Lawyers “Need to Know”

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Presentation on theme: "BENEFITS UPDATE Federal Income Security Benefits: Ten Things that Elder-Law Lawyers “Need to Know”"— Presentation transcript:

1 BENEFITS UPDATE Federal Income Security Benefits: Ten Things that Elder-Law Lawyers “Need to Know”

2 Benefits Update2 Gender Doesn’t Matter Federal income security benefits are given in identical circumstances to “spouses” and “partners” whether same-sex or opposite-sex. Federal income security benefits are given in identical circumstances to “spouses” and “partners” whether same-sex or opposite-sex. The Canada Pension Plan Act and the Old Age Security Act were amended in July 2000 to treat same-sex common-law partners identically to opposite-sex common-law partners. The Canada Pension Plan Act and the Old Age Security Act were amended in July 2000 to treat same-sex common-law partners identically to opposite-sex common-law partners.

3 Benefits Update3 CPP Contributors Benefits Retirement Benefits of up to $844/mo. Retirement Benefits of up to $844/mo. Death Benefits of up to $2,500. Death Benefits of up to $2,500. Survivors Benefits for: Survivors Benefits for: Spouses under age 65 of up to $471/mo. Spouses under age 65 of up to $471/mo. Spouses age 65 or more of up to $506/mo. Spouses age 65 or more of up to $506/mo. Children (of Deceased or Disabled Contributors) Benefits of up to $200/mo. Children (of Deceased or Disabled Contributors) Benefits of up to $200/mo. Disability Benefits of up to $1,031/mo. Disability Benefits of up to $1,031/mo.

4 Benefits Update4 CPP Credit Splitting and Assignment Since 1987, CPP credits may be divided between separated and formerly cohabiting spouses or partners for the period of actual co-habitation. Since 1987, CPP credits may be divided between separated and formerly cohabiting spouses or partners for the period of actual co-habitation. Unmarried “partners” must apply for a credit- split within four years of separation. Unmarried “partners” must apply for a credit- split within four years of separation. CPP Retirement Benefits may be shared or “assigned” between co-habiting spouses or partners. CPP Retirement Benefits may be shared or “assigned” between co-habiting spouses or partners.

5 Benefits Update5 OAS Benefits OAS Pension of up to $484/mo. OAS Pension of up to $484/mo. Eligibility is based on (1) age of 65 y.o. and (2) years of “residence” in Canada, after reaching age 18, of: Eligibility is based on (1) age of 65 y.o. and (2) years of “residence” in Canada, after reaching age 18, of: 40 years residence for a full pension; or, 40 years residence for a full pension; or, 10 years residence for a partial “pro-rated” pension. 10 years residence for a partial “pro-rated” pension. Residence after the receipt of benefits doesn’t count. Residence after the receipt of benefits doesn’t count. “Treaty” residence outside Canada will count for the 10- year or 40-year rules, depending on the terms of the treaty. “Treaty” residence outside Canada will count for the 10- year or 40-year rules, depending on the terms of the treaty.

6 Benefits Update6 GIS Benefits Comes in one single combined payment with the OAS pension. Comes in one single combined payment with the OAS pension. Must be applied for yearly. Must be applied for yearly. Maximum GIS payment is: Maximum GIS payment is: $593/mo. for a single person; $593/mo. for a single person; $389/mo. for a pensioner’s spouse or partner. $389/mo. for a pensioner’s spouse or partner. Reduced by $1 for every $2 of “other income”, i.e.: any income on the previous year’s tax return, except OAS. Reduced by $1 for every $2 of “other income”, i.e.: any income on the previous year’s tax return, except OAS.

7 Benefits Update7 Spouse’s Allowance OAS “Spouse’s Allowance” and “Widowed Spouse’s Allowance” are now officially known as the “Allowance”. OAS “Spouse’s Allowance” and “Widowed Spouse’s Allowance” are now officially known as the “Allowance”. Same rules as the GIS for spouses, partners or widows of OAS recipients ages y.o. Same rules as the GIS for spouses, partners or widows of OAS recipients ages y.o. Spouses Allowance up to $967/mo. Spouses Allowance up to $967/mo. Equivalent to OAS $484 + GIS $389/mo. Equivalent to OAS $484 + GIS $389/mo. Widowed Spouses Allowance up to $874/mo. Widowed Spouses Allowance up to $874/mo. Roughly equivalent to 2X OAS of $484/mo. Roughly equivalent to 2X OAS of $484/mo.

8 Benefits Update8 Payments Outside Canada CPP benefits are paid to a contributor anywhere world-wide, regardless of residence; subject to non-residents tax. CPP benefits are paid to a contributor anywhere world-wide, regardless of residence; subject to non-residents tax. OAS benefits are paid outside Canada: OAS benefits are paid outside Canada: indefinitely, for 20-year contributors. indefinitely, for 20-year contributors. for up to six months for less-than-20-year contributors. for up to six months for less-than-20-year contributors. Absence from Canada for more than six months disqualifies one from GIS. Absence from Canada for more than six months disqualifies one from GIS.

9 Benefits Update9 You Must Apply for Benefits Income Security Benefits are not paid unless an application is made. Income Security Benefits are not paid unless an application is made. Retro-active benefits can be paid for the month of application and the eleven preceding months. Retro-active benefits can be paid for the month of application and the eleven preceding months. Longer retroactivity can be paid based on: Longer retroactivity can be paid based on: mental incapacity to make an application; or, mental incapacity to make an application; or, administrative error. administrative error.

10 Benefits Update10 Appeals Process Eligibility for CPP, OAS and GIS benefits can be appealed by: Eligibility for CPP, OAS and GIS benefits can be appealed by: an internal review or “reconsideration”; an internal review or “reconsideration”; a review before the CPP or OAS Review Tribunal; and, a review before the CPP or OAS Review Tribunal; and, with leave, before the Pension Appeals Board. with leave, before the Pension Appeals Board. Rectifying “Administrative Error” is a matter of ministerial discretion only. Rectifying “Administrative Error” is a matter of ministerial discretion only.

11 Benefits Update Income Security Programs can be easily accessed by phone. Income Security Programs can be easily accessed by phone. Service Agents have immediate access to on-line client information. Service Agents have immediate access to on-line client information. Oral consent to release information can be given by conference call. Oral consent to release information can be given by conference call. The client will need to give a date of birth and Social Insurance Number. The client will need to give a date of birth and Social Insurance Number.


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