Last updated: August 17, 2023
At Visavie, we strongly believe that all seniors deserve to enjoy retirement with dignity. With this aim in mind, we are pleased to present to you this short guide highlighting the main available government grants for seniors, hoping that these financial assistance measures will give you a helping hand in your day-to-day life.
Reducing financial stress, through those government subsidies for seniors will certainly help to improve quality of life, whether at home or in a retirement home, while allowing you to focus on your priorities!
Main objectives of financial help programs
Whether through the federal or provincial government, various financial aid initiatives are available to seniors. While each program has its own particularities, the primary goal remains the same. With the help of such subsidies, many seniors can choose what is best for themselves: maintaining good health and well-being.
Wondering why this kind of financial support is so important for the elderly?
Here is a small list of some of the reasons:
- Being able to explore the possibility of moving to a retirement home without having to worry about costs;
- Receive the care you need, both at home or in a retirement home;
- Take advantage of a wide range of useful home care services;
- Reduce the effects of loss of autonomy for some seniors.
Government grants for seniors represent a great opportunity for you, or an elderly parent for example, to benefit from assistance that is adapted to your financial situation.
Government grants for seniors in Quebec: 7 helpful measures deserving our attention
From tax credits to assistance services, many programs exist to support seniors across the province. Here is a comprehensive overview of the main financial help programs the Government of Quebec offers, as well as their eligibility criteria.
1. Tax Credit for Home-Support Services for Seniors
Do you wish to continue living in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible? If so, you may be interested to know more about the Home-Support Tax Credit for Seniors!
Who can benefit from this financial assistance?
Designed to encourage seniors to take full advantage of the benefits of home care, this program gives Quebec residents, who are 70 years old or over, access to a variety of day-to-day assistance services at home.
Including both maintenance services (housekeeping, laundry services, grocery, or pharmacy delivery services, etc.) and personal assistance services (hygiene care, meal, nursing care, etc.), this financial grant program can be used in a variety of ways.
Helping you maintain independence, at home or in a private retirement home
Interestingly, despite its name, this tax credit is not exclusively reserved for seniors still living in their own homes. In fact, if you (or an elderly relative) are living in a private retirement home, or even an apartment, you may still be eligible for this tax credit!
In all cases, the aim remains the same: encouraging Quebec’s seniors to maintain a good level of autonomy, while prioritizing well-being and health!
How much money can you get from this credit?
Since the total is calculated according to your personal situation, it is difficult to determine a precise amount in advance.
Many factors are considered, including:
- family situation (single or in a couple);
- family income ;
- living environment (house, apartment building, retirement home, etc.);
- as well as the level of autonomy of everyone.
Interested in finding out more about this assistance program ? We invite you to read our Visavie blog post specially dedicated to the Home Support Tax Credit for Seniors.
2. Independent Living Tax Credit for Seniors
Another provincial tax credit designed to enable people aged 70 and over living in Quebec to maintain a maximum level of autonomy in their daily lives is the independent living tax credit. More concretely, this financial help program enables seniors to purchase, lease or install specific eligible equipment (walk-in bathtub, hospital bed, safety devices, etc.). The objective being to adapt their living environment as functional as possible.
It is also interesting to note that this tax credit can be used to reimburse the cost of a stay in a functional rehabilitation transition unit. Following hospitalization, seniors who may eventually be able to return home can take advantage of these rehabilitation services to regain the full potential of their independence. For seniors who have recently been through major surgery, for example, this is certainly a great resource to consider.
3. Senior Assistance Tax Credit
Complementing the two previous programs, the Senior assistance tax credit is another measure worth knowing about. This government grant may even be easily accessible to you, depending on your financial situation.
Eligibility conditions for this tax credit for seniors
To qualify for this financial support, two simple conditions must be met:
- be 70 years of age or older (and/or that your spouse has reached that age) ;
- reside in Quebec (as of December 31 of the current tax year).
Calculation of the amount paid by this program
The amount of this provincial tax credit for seniors is calculated based on criteria such as marital status, spouse’s age, and family income.
For example, for the 2022 tax year, a couple who qualified could expect to receive a maximum amount of $4,000. For a single person (or a couple where only one member met the eligibility criteria), the maximum credit would be $2,000. To determine the exact amount granted, a percentage is then calculated based on family income.
The most important thing to remember is that you may be entitled to some financial support! We therefore recommend taking advice from professionals such as your accountant, financial planner, or income tax expert, to learn more about the options available to you.
4. Shelter Allowance Program
The Shelter Allowance is a provincial government financial assistance program intended for low-income households. Since this measure is designed to facilitate access to rent for people aged 50 or over, eligible individuals may receive monetary compensation to help cover the cost of rent.
What are the benefits of the shelter allowance program?
Whether you own, rent, or share your home with others (roomer), the shelter allowance program is intended for any eligible person who has to pay rent.
For 2023-2024, this financial help will provide monthly amounts of $100, $150 or $170, depending on your situation.
Eligibility for this government grant
To benefit from this program, certain eligibility criteria must be respected:
- you must be 50 years old or over (or your spouse must be at least that age);
- that the portion of your budget allocated to rent payments is considered too high in comparison with your overall income.
* Note that families with at least one dependent child, and living on a low income, are also eligible for this financial support.
Wondering if you, or an elderly relative, might be eligible? The Shelter allowance program questionnaire, easily available online on the Revenu Québec website, will help you get a clear answer !
5. Grant for seniors to offset a municipal tax increase
If you currently own your property, you may be interested to know that the provincial government has introduced a measure to further protect the financial security of the elderly population: the grant for seniors to offset a municipal tax increase.
To take advantage of this financial assistance, there are some criteria that need to be met:
- Be 65 years of age or older;
- Officially reside in Quebec ;
- Have owned your current property for a minimum of 15 years;
- Use your home as your principal place of dwelling;
- Your residence must be used exclusively for residential purposes;
- Family income not exceeding $58,200 (for 2022).
6. Tax Credit for Seniors’ Activities
Recognizing the importance of active living for the elderly population, as well as its many benefits, a specific program is available to encourage participation of seniors to social activities. With the Tax credit for seniors’ activities, it is possible to receive a partial refund of the cost of registration in a sports, cultural, artistic and/or recreational activity.
Real benefits for seniors
By encouraging seniors to take part in activities on a regular basis, this provincial tax credit promotes many advantages:
- Maintaining good physical condition (cardiovascular health and muscular strength) ;
- Developing new knowledge and skills;
- Stimulating intellectual capacity and memory;
- Preventing social isolation among seniors.
By staying active, both physically and mentally, seniors can enjoy a positive impact on both their health and well-being. Moreover, these benefits can be seen both for the person and for society.
Eligibility criteria for the tax credit for activities
To qualify for the tax credit for activities for seniors, some conditions have to be fulfilled:
- Must be 70 years of age or older;
- Be a resident of the province of Quebec;
- Demonstrate proof of registration for an activity via an invoice showing the total cost paid;
- Have an income of less than $44,630 (for the 2022 tax year).
If you think you might be eligible, do not hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to save some money while maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle!
7. Income Tax Assistance Program
With all the different government grants for seniors, we understand that it can be a little confusing to differentiate between them. If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements for any of these financial assistance programs, we encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to help you file your income tax return. In doing so, you can make sure to take full advantage of all the tax credits and refunds for which you are eligible. While also ensuring that all is coordinated, for example, with the retirement pension you may receive from the Quebec Pension Plan.
Having a modest income and a simple tax situation? If so, the Income Tax Assistance Program represents a perfect solution! Thanks to the participation of volunteers, usually from community organizations, this service is offered completely free of charge.
* To protect your personal information, we recommend you make sure that the help service is provided by an official, registered organization.
If you have any questions about these government subsidies for seniors in Quebec, it is always a good idea to refer to specialists who can provide you with the answers you need. Accountants, tax experts and financial planners are available to give you accurate information and professional advice.
Of course, it is also possible to contact Revenu Québec directly if you need assistance and information about financial assistance measures for seniors in the province of Quebec.
Financial assistance programs for seniors in Canada: a brief overview of 3 key measures to be aware of
In addition to provincial seniors’ assistance programs, the Government of Canada also offers several financial support measures for the elderly population throughout the country.
Through this overview, let’s find out which ones are most likely to help you relieve some of your financial stress.
1. Canada Pension Plan retirement pension
Intended to support Canadian seniors with a minimum level of income, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension is a national social security program that allows you to replace a portion of your income earned prior to retirement.
How to qualify for this pension?
Eligibility criteria for the CPP retirement pension are simple:
- Be 60 years of age or older.
- Have been contributing (at least through one valid contribution) to the Canada Pension Plan during your active working life.
What you need to know about the Canada Pension Plan?
In brief, here are some of the key points to remember about the Canadian retirement pension:
- To be eligible, you must have contributed to the CPP for a significant portion of your working life.
- Monthly pension payments are calculated according to the contributions you have made to the plan throughout your career. The more you have contributed, the higher your retirement benefit will be.
- The exact amount of your pension is determined using a formula that takes several factors into account. For instance, the total depends on your previous earnings while working, as well as the number of years you participated in the CPP.
- Official retirement age is 65. However, you also have the option of applying for reduced benefits as early as age 60 or, on the contrary, choosing to defer the start of your benefits until age 70 to obtain increased benefits.
- Note that the Canada Pension Plan is coordinated with other major retirement and social security programs, such as the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) in Quebec and the Old Age Security (OAS) pension in Canada. The objective of this approach is to ensure some consistency regarding the benefits received by all eligible seniors.
- To obtain this government grant for seniors, you must formally apply for it. You can complete your application online, by mail or by visiting a Service Canada Centre.
2. Old Age Security pension
As another federal social security program, the Old Age Security (OAS) pension is designed to provide basic financial support to seniors, helping them maintain a good quality of life after they retire.
Eligibility criteria for this program
The requirements to qualify for this pension are minimal:
- be 65 years of age or older;
- officially be a Canadian resident.
What to know about the OAS pension?
Here is a summary of some of the most important facts you need to know about the Old Age Security pension in Canada:
- The program is available to all Canadian citizens and legal residents who have lived in the country for a specified number of years.
- Registration is most often automatic. But if a request is necessary, for whatever reason, you will usually be notified by Service Canada.
- Regular Old Age Security benefit represents a fixed monthly amount paid to eligible persons. However, it may vary from year to year, reflecting the effects of annual indexing and inflation, for example.
- This financial help can be received even if you are still employed. The amount will then be adjusted according to your income.
- In addition to the basic benefit, the program also provides a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for seniors living on lower incomes. The purpose of this complementary program is to ensure that all seniors benefit as equitably as possible from sufficient financial support to meet their needs.
To summarize, Old Age Security is a federal program that provides financial assistance to seniors aged 65 and over, in the form of a monthly pension. It aims to contribute to the financial well-being of seniors across the country, helping them maintain a satisfactory quality of life upon retirement.
3. New Horizons for Seniors Program
Are you familiar with the New Horizons for Seniors Program? Also known as NHSP, this program consists of several government contributions and grants designed to encourage the development of positive and beneficial projects for seniors, both within the community and across Canada.
While the projects put forward as part of this program are varied, they all share common objectives such as:
- Promote volunteering among seniors ;
- Stimulate intergenerational solidarity and its many benefits ;
- Raise awareness of the importance of caring for the elderly.
- Enable greater inclusion of seniors in the community.
Overall, whether through the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, or the New Horizons for Seniors Program, canadian seniors have access to various types of subsidies and financial support. All of them are designed to have a positive impact on the lives of seniors living across the country.
Additional resources for seniors and their families
In addition to the financial assistance measures mentioned above, it is also interesting to consider the other resources available to support seniors and their relatives. From tax credits for caregivers, to home support services for the elderly, each of these resources contributes to achieving maximum well-being and quality of life for seniors on a day-to-day basis.
Government grants for caregivers
In recognition of the valuable contribution caregivers make to the lives of seniors, and to encourage as many people as possible to fulfill this essential role, tax credits and government grants have been introduced specifically to support family caregivers.
Find out about the main assistance measures available in Quebec and Canada:
- Canada caregiver credit (federal);
- Tax credit for caregivers (provincial);
- Solidarity tax credit (Quebec) ;
- Spouse or common-law partner amount (Canada);
- Amount for an eligible dependant (Canada);
- Senior assistance tax credit (Revenu Québec);
- Amount for other dependants (Quebec);
- and more, based on the specific situation of everyone.
Home support for seniors and personalized retirement home search services
In addition to financial assistance, it remains essential to also consider other resources available to seniors. At Visavie, our mission is to work together to support seniors and their families through each of life’s important steps.
Looking for a retirement home ? Whether for yourself or an elderly relative, Visavie‘s senior living advisors offer personalized assistance to help you find the best living environment for your needs. Through a caring and compassionate approach, we can help you make a smooth transition, so that you can quickly benefit from the services and advantages of living in a retirement home.
Would you prefer to continue enjoying retirement in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible? Visavie‘s professional caregivers offer a wide range of homecare services to help seniors maintain maximum independence, while receiving the assistance and services they need.
In conclusion, whether you are looking for more information on government grants for seniors, or in search of personalized accompaniment resources, Visavie’s team can guide and assist you through each of these important steps.