GIS Back Pay is on the Way

A recent article reported that seniors who were denied their guaranteed income supplement (GIS) for up to seven years will finally receive back pay.

The government has currently sent out $271 million worth of GIS cheques to over 89,000 low-income seniors who have been stranded with no pay.

Though the government was originally opposed to any compensation, they have since reversed their position and have included an additional cost-of -living payment to account for inflation.

The news also raises questions like- will a large cheque suddenly delivered to a low-income senior can put their eligibility for other benefits at risk?

CARP has long called for a comprehensive approach to ending poverty in old age and retirement security.

Thousands of Canadians joined CARP’s Feet to the Fire Campaign to call the government to take action on  campaign promises including boosting the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) by 10% to provide almost $1000/year more per GIS recipient – aimed especially at helping low-income seniors who live alone and setting a new seniors’ price index to ensure that OAS and GIS benefits keep up with rising costs.

A seven year wait for GIS payments is certainly unacceptable putting many people in great financial peril, an issue that is of great concern to CARP.

We continue to fight for retirement security for our vulnerable low-income seniors and though retroactive pay may be better than no pay, we express concern for the seniors whose benefits were compromised due to the bungle.