January 19th, 2018

NDP statement on automatic GIS

NDP Seniors Critic, Rachel Blaney, and NDP Families, Children and Social Development Critic, Brigitte Sansoucy, made the following statement on the Liberal government not retroactively enrolling eligible seniors for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS):

"Canadian seniors should not have to struggle to make ends meet, it’s imperative that our seniors get all the benefits they are entitled to from this government.

While the Liberal government has finally announced that they will start the process to automatically enroll seniors for the GIS when they turn 65, this automatic enrollment will only apply to new registrations. This means seniors who are already eligible for the benefit won’t be automatically enrolled.

Too many low-income seniors are still not aware of their eligibility to the GIS program, which is why the NDP has long called for the automatic enrollment of GIS for all eligible seniors.

The government has all the information needed to automatically enroll all eligible seniors for the GIS, since they are already enrolled in Old Age Security (OAS). There is no reason not to do this automation retroactively, and this lack of vision by the Liberal government leaves eligible seniors out in the cold.

According to the Fédération de l’âge d’or du Québec (FADOQ), more than 444,000 low-income seniors are currently eligible for the GIS, but are not enrolled.

The Liberal government must change course and automatically enroll all eligible seniors for the GIS. The NDP will continue to work with seniors and stakeholders to ensure our seniors get the support they need to retire with dignity."