Overview

On behalf of the Government of Alberta, Advanis is conducting phone surveys with recipients of the Alberta Seniors Benefit. For more details on the survey, please read the Seniors Financial Assistance Surveys: Information for program recipients(PDF, 290 KB).

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit you must:

  • be 65 years of age or older (benefits may start the month of your 65th birthday)
  • have lived in Alberta for at least 3 months immediately before applying
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • receive the Old Age Security pension from the Government of Canada
  • meet financial eligibility criteria

If you and/or your spouse/partner have chosen to defer or delay receipt of Old Age Security (OAS), you are not eligible for seniors financial assistance programs.

Use the Seniors Benefit Estimator to help determine your eligibility for Seniors Financial Assistance programs.  You are not required to share any personal information to use the calculator.

Get an estimate

New Alberta residents

If you are a new Alberta resident, you are eligible to begin receiving benefits on the later of the following dates:

  • the month of your 65th birthday
  • the month following 3 months of permanent residency in Alberta (for example, if you moved to Alberta on July 15, you are eligible to receive benefits on October 1 of the same year)

How your benefit is determined

In general, for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, a single senior with an annual income of $27,690 or less, and senior couples with a combined annual income of $44,965 or less, may be eligible for a benefit. These income levels are guidelines only, and are for seniors whose income includes full Old Age Security pension.

The amount of benefit you may be eligible to receive is determined by:

  • your income, combined with your spouse/partner's income, regardless of age
  • whether you receive the federal Old Age Security pension (i.e., have lived in Canada for 10 years)
  • your accommodation category
  • your marital/cohabitation status

Income factors

Benefits are paid based on your previous calendar year’s total income, from January to December.

Your income information is needed each year to accurately calculate your benefits.

Your application to the Alberta Seniors Benefit program asks you to authorize the Canada Revenue Agency to release limited income information to Alberta Seniors and Housing.

Tax return information used

Only the following lines relevant to verifying your eligibility and determining your benefits are provided.

  • Line 150 – Total income
  • Line 116 – Elected split – pension amount (applicable for senior couples only)
  • Line 101 – Employment Income*

This income information cannot be used for any other purpose.

The amounts on the following lines are deducted from your total income to determine the income which is used to calculate your benefits from the Alberta Seniors Benefit program:

  • Line 113 – Old Age Security pension
  • Line 125 – Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) income
  • Line 145 – Social Assistance payments
  • Line 146 – Net federal supplements (Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance)
  • Line 207 – Registered Pension Plan deduction
  • Line 208 – Registered Retirement Savings Plan deduction
  • Line 210 – Deduction for elected split – pension amount (applicable for senior couples only)
  • Line 101 / Line 229 – Employment Income / Other employment expenses*

*Up to $3,600 of your employment income or the amount on line 229, whichever is higher, will be deducted from your total income.

Maximum benefit amount

For a single senior

Type of residence Maximum annual benefit (where income for calculating benefit is $0) Phase out rate (for income greater than $0)*
Homeowner, renter, lodge resident $3,360 0.1618
Long-Term Care Centre or Designated Supportive Living Facility $11,700 See the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit section below
Other Residence Categories $2,340 0.1128
*Phase-out rate refers to the gradual reduction of benefit that an individual is eligible for as their income approaches the income threshold. For every dollar of income used to calculate benefits approximately $0.16 is deducted from the maximum benefit amount.

For a senior couple

Type of residence Maximum annual benefit (where income for calculating benefits is $0) Phase out rate (for income greater than $0)*
Homeowner, renter, lodge resident $5,040 0.1622

Long-Term Care Centre or Designated Supportive Living Facility (with one partner living at home)

$15,060 See the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit section below
Other Residence Categories $4,680 0.1507
*Phase-out rate refers to the gradual reduction of benefit that an individual is eligible for as their income approaches the income threshold. For every dollar of income used to calculate benefits approximately $0.16 is deducted from the maximum benefit amount.

Use the Seniors’ Benefits Estimator to see if you are eligible for benefits.

First time exception

The Alberta Seniors Benefit program bases your benefit on your income from the previous calendar year. However, an exception is made for seniors applying to the program or receiving benefits for the first time.

For seniors applying to the program for the first time, or those who have previously applied but have never received benefits, an estimate of income is allowed to determine benefit eligibility for the current calendar year.

Fill out the Income estimate form (PDF, 176 KB) and attach it to your application.

When an estimate is used, the estimated income is compared to the actual income reported to the Canada Revenue Agency at the end of the benefit year. If the estimated income was too high, benefits are paid to you retroactively. If an estimated income was too low, and you received benefits for which you were not eligible, you will have to repay the overpayment.

Supplementary Accommodation Benefit

The Supplementary Accommodation Benefit supports eligible seniors who reside in a designated supportive living or long-term care facility. It ensures a disposable income of at least $315 for personal expenses, such as personal hygiene, telephone, cable, etc., after accommodation fees are paid.

The monthly disposable income required to cover expenses will vary depending on individual circumstances.

The Supplementary Accommodation Benefit is combined with the Alberta Seniors Benefit. You will receive one combined payment each month.

When a couple is required to live apart for health reasons, a review of eligibility is completed  to consider the couple as 2 single seniors living in separate dwellings.  Normally this is done by dividing the couple’s total combined income equally (50:50 split) and calculating benefits using the single senior income threshold. Seniors whose monthly income from all sources is less than the current private room rate may receive a benefit.

Seniors with low income not eligible for the federal Old Age Security pension, who are residents of designated supportive living and long-term care facilities, are considered for the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit.

How to apply

Step 1: Read the information booklet

Seniors Financial Assistance information booklet

Step 2: Complete the application package

Complete the Seniors Financial Assistance application:

Optional forms are available to help you complete your application:

Step 3: Include supporting documents with your application

Date of birth validation must be submitted for you and your spouse/partner (if applicable). Attach a photocopy of one of the following documents:

  • Canadian birth or baptismal certificate
  • Canada Entry Documents
  • Canadian Citizenship Document
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Passport

You are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. Attach a pre-printed cheque from your bank/financial institution with your:

  • name
  • current address
  • bank account number

Make sure to write “VOID” across the cheque

You may also complete a direct deposit form (PDF, 100 KB)

Step 4: Mail or fax the completed application

Completed applications may be faxed to 780-422-5954 or mailed to:

Alberta Seniors and Housing
Seniors Financial Assistance
P.O. Box 3100
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W3

If you need help completing an application, visit an Alberta Supports Centre.

Find an Alberta Supports Centre location near you.

After you apply

Alberta Seniors and Housing will send you a letter explaining your benefit eligibility once your application is reviewed.

Update your information

Contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 (or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton) if:

  • you move to a new address
  • your marital status changes
  • your annual income changes
  • your eligibility for the Government of Canada Old Age Security pension changes

When benefits end

Benefits stop:

  • the month after you leave Alberta to live permanently in another province or country
  • the month following a recipient’s death

Retroactive payments

You may receive benefit payments retroactively for up to 11 months before the date Alberta Seniors Benefit receives your completed application form.

Retroactive payments will not be available before your 65th birthday or before 3 months of permanent residency in Alberta.

Payment schedule

The Alberta Seniors Benefit year begins July 1 of each year and ends June 30 of the following year. Below is the 2018 monthly payment schedule.

Month Payment day
January Thursday, January 25, 2018
February Thursday, February 22, 2018
March Friday, March 23, 2018
April Tuesday, April 24, 2018
May Friday, May 25, 2018
June Monday, June 25, 2018
July Wednesday, July 25, 2018
August Monday, August 27, 2018
September Monday, September 24, 2018
October Thursday, October 25, 2018
November Monday, November 26, 2018
December Monday, December 17, 2018

View and download a printable version of this schedule (PDF, 84 KB)

Appeals

You may appeal a decision regarding your Alberta Seniors Benefit file or benefit amount.

Step 1: Call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Phone: 1-877-644-9992. Staff will clarify the program’s decision or request a file review and call you back.

Step 2: Write the Manager of the Alberta Seniors Benefit program

If you were unable to resolve the issue with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre, write to:

Manager, Alberta Seniors Benefit
Seniors and Housing
PO Box 3100
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W3

Step 3: Write the Director of Seniors Financial Assistance programs

If you were unable to resolve the issue with the Manager of Alberta Seniors Benefit program, write to:

Director, Seniors Financial Assistance
Seniors and Housing
PO Box 3100
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W3

Step 4: Contact the Assistant Deputy Minister of Seniors Services

If you were unable to resolve the issue with the Director of Seniors Financial Assistance, write to:

Assistant Deputy Minister
Seniors Services Division
Seniors and Housing
PO Box 3100
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W3

Step 5: Submit a Notice of Appeal form

If you were unable to resolve the issue with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Seniors Services, a Notice of Appeal form will be mailed to you. Follow the instructions provided with the form.

Contact

To connect with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

Hours: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-9992 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992
Fax: 780-422-5954

Address:
Alberta Seniors and Housing
Seniors Financial Assistance
PO Box 3100
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W3