Calling is one of the best ways you can learn about community and social service programs and financial help that can help improve your quality of life. In fact, the helpline in Ontario answered nearlycalls last year, with a quarter of those calls related to basic needs like housing, food, financial assistance and help with utility bills.
Many calls were from seniors and caregivers who wanted to know what type of practical help, like home support or income assistance was available and how to access it. If you need help filling in forms, there may be a local community agency that can help with forms or in person support to navigate to the right services.
Ontario help seniors find community supports and financial assistance
Even if you have no income, you still need to file a personal tax return each year to ensure you receive all the tax credits and benefits you may be eligible for. Keep in mind that hot must apply annually for some benefits—not all of them have automatic enrollment or renewal. The Old Age Security OAS programwhich provides most Canadians over 65 with a modest pension, Ontario at the top of the list of financial support for seniors. In addition, the federal government offers the Guaranteed Income Supplement GISwhich can substantially improve the quality of life for low-income seniors.
Take note — if you choose to defer your OAS pension, you will not be eligible for the GIS for the period you are delaying your OAS nor will your spouse or common-law partner be eligible to receive the Allowance. Your benefits will be determined based on information that the Ontario Ministry of Finance receives from Employment and Social Development Canada and information provided on your annual personal income tax and benefit dating. Another possible form of financial support for those who have worked outside the home is the Canada Pension Plan CPP retirement pension. You need to be at least 65 to get the full pension, although you can take a reduced CPP retirement pension when you turn You can also receive this pension as late as age 70 with a permanent increase.
If you continue to work while receiving your CPP retirement pension, and are under age 70, you can continue to contribute to the CPP, which will go toward post-retirement benefits. As well, those who have lived or worked in another country may be entitled to benefits from abroad. If you are low income and still working, TVO hosted a helpful session on The Reality granny Retiring on a Low Income which can provide some information that is good to know.
Veterans Canada also provides financial support to veterans and their families, including income support. In addition to income support programs there are also several tax credits you need to be aware of. For instance, the Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable federal tax credit that can help reduce the amount of income tax a person with a disability or a supportive family member has to pay. Finally, the Federal Excise Gasoline Refund Program refunds a portion of the federal excise tax on gasoline bought for use by people with a mobility impairment who cannot use public transportation.
Note: Make sure you understand which medical expenses can be claimed on your taxes.
Visit the following for more information. There are community agencies that run free tax clinics to help you ile your taxes from February to April for residents with low to moderate incomes. Calling is the easiest way to find these clinics. The Steps to Justice website has created legal information in easy to understand language which is easy to navigate. In a few communities, such as Bruce Grey, community programs offer low-income families and individuals financial assistance to pay for delivery of wood, oil or propane.
Electricity customers in Ontario no longer need to worry about being disconnected during the winter.
The Ontario Energy Board has permanently banned utility companies in the province from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment between Nov. For many Canadians, health care becomes increasingly important as they age.
There are also some other health care programs you should know about.
For instance, Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential phone service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Quitting smoking help can also be found through the Telehealth Ontario phone service now too. Also keep in mind that once you turn 65 most of the cost for approved drug prescriptions will be covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit ODB Program. If you want to know if your prescription is covered you can search here. Ontario also offers several free vaccines for those 65 years of age and older.
Ask your family doctor for more information. If you have a physical disability you can get help paying for equipment and supplies under the Assistive Devices Program ADP. It usually pays up to 75 per cent of the approved price for equipment or supplies ranging from home oxygen to wheelchairs to hearing aids.
Sometime a health charity may offer financial or other support for equipment or expenses for related health conditions. Veterans have access to a wide array of health care benefitsincluding prescription drugs, dental care and prosthetic devices. The War Veterans Allowancea tax-free monthly benefit for low-income veterans and their dependents or their survivors, also covers medically related travel costs.
Funeral and burial assistance may be available for social assistance recipients and individuals with a low income from some municipalities. Learn more about your consumer rights when planning for a cremation, funeral or burial.
If getting to and from medical appointments is challenging, there are often different programs that can help provide transportation to medical appointments. Calling is the easiest way to learn more about programs in your area. The Ontario government is providing the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Programwhich provides low-income seniors with dental services like exams, cleanings and restorative services to repair broken teeth and cavities. If you, or someone you care about, needs help living independently or is considering long-term care options, contact your Local Health Integration Network LHIN for help.
There is no charge for any professional, personal support or homemaking service provided through a LHIN if you meet eligibility criteria. If you are not eligible for a service, your LHIN can refer you to a fee-for-service community support service. Some community agencies can provide free home assessments for mobility aides and devices that can support day to day activities.
The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation provides a guide to help you think through the possible adaptions for your home. To learn more about how community service organization can support your independence to help you stay in your own home, read our blog post here.
In an emergency situation, you do not have to pay land ambulance fees if your trip is deemed medically necessary and you are receiving social assistance, certain home care services or are living in a long-term care home.
However, if your ambulance trip is deemed not medically essential or you do not have a valid Ontario health card, you will be billed a co-payment charge. The grants help pay some of the transportation costs for northern Ontario residents who must travel at least km for medical specialist or hospital care that is not locally available.
Many Ontarians now have an option to attend specialist consultations via telemedicine instead of the traditional face-to-face method. As you age you may lose mobility, which can make it more difficult to shop for food or cook. Volunteers will not only deliver nutritious and affordable meals but they will stay for a little chat and check on your health and safety. If you can get around a little more easily, you can access free or low-cost meal programs at community agencies such as senior centres.
You may also be eligible for food bank services, food vouchers and emergency food hampers. Some municipalities also operate Good Food Box programs, which deliver boxes of affordable, fresh produce to pick up locations on a regular basis. Call to find out what food or meal programs are available near you. Many community and seniors centres offer dozens of social and recreation programs from exercise classes to art and crafts to organized outings.
Another way to keep active and socially connected is through volunteering. Local Parks and Recreation Departments also offer a variety of low-cost recreation options, everything from line dancing to Indian cooking to making jewellery. Check to see if your local department offers discounts to seniors. If you own a cat or dog, you are probably aware that they can promote well-being. Nevertheless, paying their expenses can be a source of stress if finances are tight. On top of this, some municipalities offer low-cost spay and neuter clinics and other organizations may operate pet food banks.
Programs and services available vary by community and can change from season to season. Call to get up-to-date information 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Old Age Security Toolkit. We hope these snippets of information are useful t Help for Woman Who Left an Abusive Relationship A woman called looking for multiple services including food, financial help, divorce Enter Name Enter address. Newcomers Older Adults. Programs and services available vary by community, and can change from season to season. Veterans Benefits Veterans Canada also provides financial support to veterans and their families, including income support.
Tax Credits In addition to income support programs there are also several tax credits you need to be aware of. Legal Help There are community agencies that run free tax clinics to help you ile your taxes from February to April for residents with low to moderate incomes.