Feds pledge one time benefit top up to seniors in COVID 19 aid

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The federal government is giving seniors a one-time, tax-free top-up payment to help manage extra costs associated with COVID-19.

Seniors Minister Deb Schulte says seniors who receive old age security will get $300, and those who receive the guaranteed income supplement will receive $200.

In all, the $2.5-billion measure will provide payments to 6.7 million seniors, Schulte says.

She says many have faced an increase in the cost of living as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, from more for dispensing fees for medications or delivery fees for food and services.

She also says their savings have taken a beating as stock markets have tumbled.

The government is also announcing that it won’t suspend OAS and GIS payments to seniors who forget to file their taxes on time.

The most recent federal figures show there were 6.5 million seniors receiving old age security payments in March.

There were 2.1 million receiving GIS payments, which are meant to put a financial floor under seniors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2020.

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