[ Browse by Service Category : Public Assistance Programs : Sub-Topics of Basic Income Maintenance Programs (19) ]

Allowance for the Survivor Program

A federal financial assistance program for low income seniors between the ages of 60 and 64 whose spouse or common-law partner has died. Benefits will not be paid if the recipient remarries or lives in a common-law relationship that lasts for more than one year. At age 65, the benefit automatically converts to the Old Age Security pension and, if the survivor is eligible, the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

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Guaranteed Income Supplement

A federal program that provides additional payments for recipients of Old Age Security with a low annual income (or, in the case of a couple, a low combined income of the applicant and spouse or common-law partner). Recipients must re-apply annually for the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit by filing an income statement or by completing an income tax return. The Guaranteed Income Supplement is not subject to income tax.

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Old Age Security Program

A financial assistance program administered by the Income Security Programs Branch of HRSDC that pay monthly benefits to most Canadians age 65 and older. Old Age Security (OAS) is paid to most Canadians with at least 10 years of residency. An individual's employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility, nor does the applicant need to be retired. OAS pensioners pay federal and provincial income tax. Higher income pensioners also repay part or all of their benefit through the tax system.

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Provincial/Territorial Income Assistance Programs

Financial assistance programs administered by provinces/territories that serve as sources of last resort for families and individuals who, for various reasons, including disability, illness, low income or unemployment, cannot meet basic living costs and have no other sources of income. These programs are known by a variety of different names and have differing eligibility criteria. All include a case plan development component that aims to move employable recipients towards self-sufficiency through participation in job search activities and approved training programs. Applications are generally income and asset-tested, and applicants are expected to make use of all available resources before they can qualify. Additional emergency or hardship assistance may be available in some situations such as covering the cost of a burial for an immediate family member. In some jurisdictions, the province/territory may assume responsibility for providing federally-funded welfare programs to members of First Nations who live on reserve.

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Resettlement Assistance Program

A program administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that provides income support and a range of other services for government-assisted refugees (GARs) who arrive in Canada following an overseas identification and selection process. Benefits are available for up to 12 months in most situations and up to 24 months for GARs with special needs. Income support amounts are set in line with provincial social assistance rates. The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) also provides funding to a variety of service provider organizations (SPOs) who, on behalf of IRCC, provide a range of settlement and orientation services including an initial reception at the airport or other port of entry, temporary accommodation if needed, help in finding permanent accommodation, basic household items, financial orientation and ongoing access to support, as needed.

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Spouse's Allowance

A federal program (formally known as "Allowance") that pays a benefit to the spouse or common-law partner of a senior who is receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement. Recipients must be between the ages of 60 and 64 and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after turning 18.

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War Veterans Allowance

A financial assistance program available through Veterans Affairs Canada that provides a regular monthly income to meet basic needs for individuals who are qualified on the basis of service to their country during wartime. Included are Canadian Armed Forces veterans and Merchant Navy veterans who served in the First or Second World War or the Korean War; Allied Forces veterans with wartime service in the First or Second World War who were domiciled in Canada at the time of enlistment; and civilians who served in close support of the Canadian Armed Forces during wartime. WVA is an income-tested benefit and most regular income must be considered to determine eligibility. Other factors include family status and number of dependents. A special assistance fund is available to any WVA recipient for an emergency need that affects health or safety and that cannot be paid through other programs. In the event of the death of the WVA recipient, an allowance is paid to eligible survivors (spouses, common-law partners, orphans).

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.

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