Alberta Seniors Benefit

Alberta Seniors Benefit

Written by Mark Gregorski
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated January 27, 2022

If you’re a recently retired senior, or close to that point, you’ve undoubtedly spent some extra time contemplating your financial situation. It’s easy enough to collect income from a steady job when you’re young and fit, but when you enter your senior years, that’s no longer a possibility. You have to rely on alternative income streams to fund your retirement.

Wise financial planning, consistent saving, and sound investing can help you prepare for a comfortable retirement. There are also federal government benefits programs available, for example, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), and Guaranteed Income Supplements (GIS), to complement your personal savings.

But not all seniors are fortunate enough to end up with a mountain of cash to support themselves in retirement. Sometimes, the additional income from federal government programs may still be insufficient to cover living expenses. As a result, the shortfall leaves them struggling to pay for essentials such as food, rent, and healthcare costs.

Luckily, there’s additional help available for seniors at the provincial level.

The Alberta Seniors Benefit Explained

The Alberta Seniors Benefit is a government assistance program that helps seniors cover the cost of living. The program pays a monthly benefit, which varies according to several factors.

How To Qualify For The Alberta Seniors Benefit?

To be approved for the Alberta Seniors Benefit, you will have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be 65 years age or older
  • be a resident of Alberta for a minimum of three months 
  • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent residence status (landed or sponsored immigrant)
  • Receive OAS payments

There are also income requirements you must satisfy before being accepted. For the 2020-2021 year, the income threshold is $28,785 if you’re single. If you’re married or in a common-law relationship, the income threshold is $46,745. The program administrators will use the income you earned from the previous year to determine your eligibility and assign your monthly benefit amount. Keep in mind that these figures are guidelines rather than strict requirements.

Learn how to avoid OAS clawback.

Alberta Seniors Benefit Payment Dates

The Alberta Seniors Benefit program runs from July 1 to June 30 each year. Below is a table monthly payment schedule:

MonthPayment day
JanuaryTuesday, January 25, 2022
February Tuesday, February 22, 2022
MarchFriday, March 25, 2022
AprilMonday, April 25, 2022
MayWednesday, May 25, 2022
JuneFriday, June 24, 2022
JulyMonday, July 25, 2022
AugustThursday, August 25, 2022
SeptemberMonday, September 26, 2022
OctoberTuesday, October 25, 2022
NovemberThursday, November 24, 2022
DecemberMonday, December 19, 2022

How To Calculate Your Senior Benefits

The amount of your monthly benefit is determined by the following factors:

  • Your income from the previous calendar year and that of your spouse or partner
  • Whether you’re collecting OAS payments
  • Your accommodation type
  • Your marital status

Below is an overview of the maximum benefit you’re entitled to receive as a single senior and a couple.

Max annual benefit (single person)*Phase out rate (single person)Max annual benefit (couple)*Phase out rate (couple)
Homeowner, renter, lodge resident$3,4310.1590 per dollar$5,1460.1594 per dollar
Long-term care or designated supportive living facility$11,771N/A$15,202N/A
Other residence categories$2,3900.1108 per dollar$4,7790.1481 per dollar
*The phase-out rate refers to the reduction in the benefit amount as an individual nears the income threshold. For every dollar of income, approximately $0.16 is subtracted from the maximum benefit amount.

Supplementary Accommodation Benefit

The Supplementary Accommodation Benefit provides financial support for seniors who live in a designated living or long-term care facility that charges monthly rental charges.

The amount you’re eligible to receive is calculated using the following variables:

  • Your income from all sources and that of your spouse or partner
  • The max monthly accommodation charge, as set by Alberta Health
  • The monthly disposable income amount, currently set at $322 

The Supplementary Accommodation Benefit and Alberta Seniors Benefit are combined into a single payment and issued monthly.

Check out these tax tips for low income earners.

Applying For The Alberta Seniors Benefit

Residents of Alberta looking to apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit, should follow these three steps:

Step One

Complete the Seniors Financial Assistance application form. You may need several other forms to help complete your application:

  • Income estimate form – submit this form if your income decreased from the amount stated in your most recent tax return and you’re applying for the program for the first time.
  • Income information form – submit this form if you still haven’t filed your tax return for the prior year.
  • Direct deposit form – attach a direct deposit form if you wish to receive payments via bank transfer.
  • Undertaking to Administer Benefits and Certificate of Incapability – This document is for the senior’s trustee and doctor to complete. 
  • Authorization of Representative – This form is required if you want to permit an individual to represent you and look after your Alberta Seniors Benefit. 

Step Two

In addition to all relevant forms, you must provide at least one photocopied document that confirms your identity, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport.

Step Three

Submit your application online on the Senior Financial Assistance portal, fax it to 780-422-5954, or send it via mail to:

Alberta Seniors and Housing, Seniors Financial Assistance

PO Box 3100

Edmonton, Alberta

T5J 4W3.

Get a senior chequing account to save money and take advantage of extra banking perks. 

Other Financial Assistance Programs For Seniors In Alberta

There are a variety of other financial aid programs available for seniors, each designed to meet a specific need.

Special Needs Assistance For Seniors

This program offers a lump-sum payment to help cover the cost of health and personal supports, as well as appliances and furniture. The maximum amount you’re entitled to receive is $5,105 per benefit period (July 1 – June 30).

Need extra cash? Learn how you can get a loan using your RRSP.

Dental And Optical Assistance For Seniors

The Dental Assistance for Seniors program provides coverage for examinations, scaling, fillings, extractions, root canals and dentures. The maximum amount you can receive is $5,000 over five years.

The Optical Assistance for Seniors program offers coverage for prescription eyeglasses. The maximum amount payable is $230 over three years. Alberta Health pays for any necessary eye exams.

Learn how to apply for the CPP death benefit.

Coverage For Seniors

This program provides coverage for a wide variety of premium-free health-related products and services not covered under the Alberta Health care Insurance Plan (AHCIP):

  • Ambulance
  • Home nursing care (maximum of $200 per family per year)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Clinical Psychologist (maximum of $300 per year)
  • Chiropractor (maximum of $25 per visit and $200 per year)
  • Diabetic supplies (maximum of $600 per year)

Are you living with a disability in Alberta? Then you may qualify for the Assured Income For The Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.

Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program

The Seniors Property Tax Deferral program enables seniors to defer all or a portion of their property taxes by taking on a low-interest home equity loan. The Government of Alberta covers the cost of the property taxes, issuing payment directly to the municipality.

You don’t have to repay the loan until you sell your home, though you have the option to settle it sooner. No monthly payments are required. 

Seniors Home Adaptation And Repair Program

This program helps seniors finance home repairs and renovations for their personal property through a low-interest home equity loan. The maximum loan amount is $40,000. 

You must repay the loan once you sell your home, or sooner if you wish. There are no monthly payment obligations. 

Alberta Seniors Benefit FAQs

When does the Alberta Seniors Benefit end?

Your benefit payments will cease after you leave Alberta to live permanently in another province or country.

Can I receive retroactive payments? 

You’re eligible for retroactive payments for up to 11 months before the date the Alberta Seniors Benefit program received your application. However, you’re not entitled to any retroactive payments that fall before your 65th birthday or three months before your permanent residency status in the province.

What if I disagree with the decision regarding my Alberta Seniors Benefit?

You can appeal the decision by writing a letter to the Seniors Financial Assistance Program. Should your concerns not be addressed, you can initiate a further review by writing to the Assistant Deputy Minister – Seniors Services Division. The review process requires you to complete and file a Notice of Appeal form.

Final Thoughts

If the federal government retirement programs don’t provide nearly enough to supplement your savings, you should check out the Alberta Seniors Benefit and the many other financial aid programs offered by the Alberta government. Depending on your eligibility, you may gain access to enough funds to pay for essentials like rent, food, utility bills, and medical bills. The program may give you enough of an income boost that you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement years rather than dread them.

Rating of 3/5 based on 2 votes.

Mark is a writer who specializes in writing content for companies in the financial services industry. He has written articles about personal finance, mortgages, and real estate and is passionate about educating people on how to make smart financial decisions. Mark graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a degree in finance and has more than ten years' experience as an accountant. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing poker, going to the gym, composing music, and learning about digital marketing.

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