Seniors age 75 and older who receive Old Age Security (OAS) will see a permanent 10% increase in their monthly check starting July 27.
This permanent increase in the OAS was the first since 1973 that was not linked to inflation. That means seniors age 75 and older could pay an extra $800 a year, now getting the full benefit to $733.51 a month.
The increase will benefit about 3.3 million people across Canada, according to the federal government, which announced the move in the 2021 budget.
It should also be noted that Old Age Security is indexed to inflation and it increases every three months. Thus, the amount sent in the month of July should have increased by 2.8% compared to those received in the previous months.
Seniors already receiving OAS do not need to do anything to receive the new amounts as the process is automated.
Last summer, a month before the election, the federal government issued a $500 check to pension-eligible seniors to help them deal with affordability problems related to the pandemic.
Status of 65 to 74 year olds
Aside from inflation-indexed increases, full OAS for ages 65 to 74 will remain unchanged at $666.83 per month.
The Bloc Québécois has been calling for an increase in OAS for all seniors over the age of 65 since last year, also talking of “discrimination” against those aged 65 to 74.
Statistics Canada reported an inflation rate of 8.1% on Wednesday, the highest number since 1983. This significant increase in the cost of living was largely offset by increases in gasoline prices.
“In 2018, 59% of OAS pensioners aged 75 or older had an income of less than $30,000, compared to 52% of pensioners aged 65 to 74,” Employment and Social Development Canada said in a statement.