More low-income seniors could receive support from the provincial government with a proposal to expand the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) program. 

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones announced on Mar. 23 the proposal to expand the GAINS program by about 1 million seniors and index the program annually to inflation as part of the provincial 2023 budget. The expanded GAINS program would begin in July 2024. 

“Our government is working hard for Ontario’s seniors. They deserve to have steady and reliable programs, services and income supports now and into the future,” said Jones. “Increasing our investment in the GAINS program, if passed, helps our most vulnerable seniors. They deserve the dignity and respect and this sows that our government take the wellbeing of seniors very seriously.” 

The provincial government is also investing $1 million over three years to expand the Seniors Safety Line, a 24/7 resources available to help seniors who are experiences or at risk of elder abuse, by connecting them with trained counsellors to support and assist them. 

“Our government is working for the Ontario seniors who have built this province so they can live comfortably and with dignity,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, minister of finance. “By expanding and annually indexing the GAINS program, we are providing financial support to more vulnerable low-income seniors and ensuring that when their costs rise due to inflation, our support also increases.” 

As of January 2023, the government doubled the GAINS payment for all recipients for 12 months, which increased the maximum payment to $166 per month for single seniors, and to $332 per month for couples, and a maximum increase of $1,000 per person. 

To be eligible for the GAINS program, seniors must file a tax return each year, even if there is no income to report. Monthly GAINS payments are issued on the 25th day of the month.

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 30, 2023 at 21:16

This item reprinted with permission from   Shelburne Free Press   Shelburne, Ontario

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