Are you taking advantage of these benefits programs?

Here are some key benefits programs that you may not be aware of, but which can save you a substantial amount in 2010.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

  • Types of benefits: retirement, survivor, disability, death, child benefits.
  • You can elect to share CPP with spouse for tax savings
  • Early CPP benefits?  New rules starting 2012 affect birth years 1946-1951
  • Ladies – child rearing provision

Old Age Security (OAS)

  • Basic OAS pension for those 65+ with at least 10 years as legal resident
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) -those with little or no other income
  • $658.00/mth if no other income than the OAS
  • Pro-rated for incomes up to $29,232 (excluding OAS)
  • Allowance – for spouses 60-64) of those receiving GIS
  • Survivor – for those 60-64 with low income and whose partner has died
  • Clawback – higher earners may have their OAS benefits clawed back

BC Housing SAFER Grant (Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters)

This is a provincial program to assist seniors with low to moderate incomes.  A monthly non-taxable subsidy to reimburse part of the difference between 30% of your income and your rent.

MSP Premium Assistance

Reduction in monthly BC Medical premiums is available to seniors with low to moderate incomes.

BC Fuel Tax Refund

Persons with certain disabilities are eligible for a refund of the provincial tax they pay on fuel for their vehicles (maximum $500.00 annually)

DVA Benefits

Veterans Affairs provides financial assistance to qualified vets and spouses.  You can apply to have the housekeeping portion of your monthly fees paid for.

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