— Most subsidies are available only to individuals whose income is below $30,000 annually; however, there are a few subsidies for higher earning seniors which are listed below…
***Please note*** It’s a good idea to have your previous years tax return, birth certificate (residency documents) and SIN number available when filling out the subsidy application forms — most will require some information from either one or all three of these documents.
*** Choose carefully if you are asking someone to help you fill out these forms. Information that you need to keep very private — you social insurance number for instance, may be required and you want to make sure that this information is only shared with a trusted family member or friend.
1) Property tax deferment program — This is a low interest loan program for seniors that own their own home…basically, the government charges you around 1% interest on the amount of your property tax – the amount you are deferring but if you invest this deferment in something that earns you 3% well, you are up by 2%. This is sort of how the program works…Mats and Pats is simply providing a tips and tricks guide…that’s all. Please do speak with your financial advisor in order to understand any potential benefits / consequences of this benefit.
2) Pharmacare Plan and the Fair Pharmacare Plan — These plans offer assistance based on your net income. Their offer – free or discounted medications.
Lower mainland call – (604) 683 – 7151 / The rest of BC call – 1(800) 663 – 7100
3) BC Housing – SAFER program – SAFER Housing Income Assistance offers low income seniors a supplement of sorts. Depending upon your income you can receive an extra $375 (there abouts) per month. Bonus: it’s an easy form to fill out but you do need to have your last years tax return handy when filling this out.
Call – (604) 433 – 1711
4) Seniors Health and Information Line — If you have any questions regarding your entitlements, give these people a call. They are there to help.
Call – 1 (800) 465 – 4911
5) Assisted Living Registrar — These people provide information about assisted living communities…you can register any concerns you may have regarding an assisted living community….
Toll-free – Call – 1(800) 714 – 3378
6) Survivor Allowance — If both you and your spouse / common law partner collect OAP and Guaranteed Income Supplement and one of you dies, the surviving spouse may be able to get an extra survivor benefit — up until the age of 65. One requirement – you must file your income tax annually in order to apply.
7) Care aide Support (known as Central Intake) — You need to call this number when you start to notice that your health is declining, regardless of your income. This is how you get assigned a case worker who can help manage your care. This is a very important step, do not hesitate to call and get the ball rolling, so to speak. Children / friends – if you start to notice a decline….call this number, they are there to help.
Call – 1 (855) 412 – 2121
8) CPP (Canadian Pension Plan) — You need to apply at least 6 months before either your 60 or 65 birthday. They also offer a survivor benefit and your kids might even qualify for this benefit as well.
Call – 1 (800) 277-9914
9) Estate and Personal Trust — If an executor is unwilling / unable to act for the deceased, these are the people that can help. This group also provides support with health care and financial decisions. They can also monitor services, spending, etc. Fees will apply – this is NOT a free service.
Call – 1 (800) 663 – 7867
10) GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) — Low income seniors need to file an annual tax return in order to apply and in order to maintain eligibility.
11) HAFI ( Home Adaptations for Independence) This benefit is only applicable for low income seniors.
Call – 1 (800) 257 – 7756
12) MSP Premiums (Medical Services Plan) — Some seniors may have been overpaying their MSP premiums and are consequently, due a refund. If you earn up to $45,000 (single) or up to $51,000 (couple) you might be eligible for a refund.
Call – 1 (800) 663 – 7100
13) BC Housing – Housing available for low income seniors – long waits apply – You must be over 55 to apply for the senior housing options. If you are a senior earning less than $57,000 annually you might want to check this out.
*** Please note*** If you are a senior who is fleeing abuse make sure you also fill out the supplementary form..this form will enable you to jump to the front of the line, so to speak.
Call – (604) 433 – 2218
14) OAP (Old Age Pension) — Apply a minimum of 6 months before the age of 65.
Call – 1 (800) 277 – 9914
15) NO CPR (free) — If you do NOT want to be resuscitated, you can order this bracelet free of charge.
Call – 1 (800) 668 – 1507
16) Taxpayer Information Line — If you have any questions regarding what you can and cannot claim on your tax return please call these people. It is a free service.
Call – 1 (800) 387 – 3332
17) United Way Home Support — This group offers driving/home support/yard work/and a few other services as well. Some fees may apply.
18) Veterans Affair Canada — Veterans may be entitled to claim for these services: care aide assistance, respite care, palliative care, special equipment, support for home adaptions, housekeeping services, meal delivery services and more?
Call – 1 (800) 522 – 2122
19) BC Ferries – The ferries offer free – walk on – trips for seniors Monday through Thursday (not available on statutory holidays)
***Update*** Sorry folks, Elaine Harris pointed out that the ferries only offer 1/2 off fares now. Thanks Elaine!
I’m keeping this up though – it might remind “someone” that our seniors really do deserve the previous offer of free travel:)
Call – 1 (888) 223 – 3779
20) Drivers — You may be able to receive up to 25% off of your car insurance fees, check with your insurance provider. Also, if you give up your drivers licence you will receive a FREE BC Identification card in lieu.
Call – 1 (800) 663 – 3051
21) Handicapped Parking Pass — If you have mobility limitations you can apply for this pass. You are entitled to a permit even if you do not own a vehicle, as long as the parking permit holder is either driving or being transported in the vehicle.
Call – (604) 718 – 7744
Email — firstname.lastname@example.org
22) CNIB (Canadian Institute for the Blind) — Low vision individuals are included in the services that this group offers. Call to find out more.
call – 1 (800) 563 – 2642
23) HandyDART — a door-to-door, share ride service for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance.
call – (604) 953 – 3680
***Please Note*** You will find many more available free services and some very affordable programs on offer under the “Not-for-profits/Associations/Societies” tab in the Mats and Pats directory.