Guide

Alberta Seniors Benefit

Learn more about financial support available for low-income seniors in Alberta.
This Page Was Last Updated: July 3, 2024

The Alberta Seniors Benefit is a financial assistance program designed to support Alberta seniors with limited income. The program aims to enhance the quality of life for seniors by providing them with monthly financial benefits to help cover basic living expenses. This page will provide an in-depth look at the Alberta Seniors Benefit program, including its purpose, eligibility criteria, how much it pays out, and how it can benefit eligible seniors.

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What You Should Know
  • The Alberta Seniors Benefit is a monthly income supplement for eligible seniors aged 65 and above living in the province of Alberta.
  • In 2024, the maximum benefit amount for single seniors with no annual income is $3,792, and for couples, it is $5,687.
  • The benefit amount varies depending on marital status, living arrangement, and income. The higher your income, the lower your Alberta Seniors Benefit payment.
  • To qualify for the benefit, your annual income must be less than $24,339 for single seniors or less than a combined $36,432 for senior couples, excluding exempt income such as Old Age Security (OAS) Pension, Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) income, Social Assistance, and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
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Maximum Benefit Amount for 2024

The Alberta Seniors Benefit provides monthly payments that vary based on the applicant's income, marital status, and type of residence.

The maximum annual benefit of the Alberta Seniors Benefit for single seniors who are homeowners, renters, or lodge residents in 2024 is $3,792. Your income will reduce your benefit payment at a rate of a $0.1558 deduction for every $1.00 in income.

Senior couples who are homeowners, renters, or lodge residents can receive up to $5,687 in 2024, reduced at a $0.1561 deduction for every $1.00 in income.

The table below shows the maximum annual benefit for a senior with an income of $0.

Alberta Seniors Benefit Maximum Annual Benefit

ResidenceMaximum Annual Benefit
(Single Senior)
Maximum Annual Benefit
(Senior Couple)
Homeowner, Renter, or Lodge Resident$3,792$5,687
Other Residences$2,642$5,282

Purpose and Eligibility Criteria

The primary purpose of the Alberta Seniors Benefit program is to ensure that seniors with low income have access to additional financial resources that can help them live more comfortably. To be eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Age: Must be 65 years of age or older.
  • Residency: Must be residents of Alberta for at least three months immediately before applying.
  • Legal Status: Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Income: Must have an income below a certain threshold, which is determined annually by the government.
  • Other Benefits: You must receive the federal Old Age Security (OAS) pension. If you or your spouse/common-law partner have deferred OAS, you will not be eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit.
What If I Am New to Alberta? 💡

If you are new to Alberta, you must have lived in the province for at least three months before applying for the Alberta Seniors Benefit. Once you have lived in Alberta for three months, you will be eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit.

For example, if you moved to Alberta in January, you can apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit after March.

Income Limits for 2024

The Alberta Seniors Benefit has specific income limits. These limits are adjusted annually to account for inflation and changes in the cost of living. In 2024, the maximum annual qualifying income for a single senior residing as a homeowner, renter or lodger is $24,339. This means that as long as their yearly qualifying income falls below this threshold, they may be eligible for the benefit.

The combined maximum annual qualifying income limit for senior couples residing in these residences is $36,432. Again, they may qualify for the Alberta Seniors Benefit if their combined income does not exceed this amount.

However, the income limits are higher for seniors residing in continuing care homes, which provide round-the-clock care and support. The maximum qualifying annual income for a single senior in this type of residence is higher because this considers the additional expenses associated with residing in a continuing care home. These seniors will be eligible for the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit.

For seniors living in other types of residences not mentioned above, such as shared housing arrangements, the income limits remain roughly the same as those for homeowners, renters, or lodgers. This means that their maximum annual income must not exceed $24,305 for single seniors and $36,402 for senior couples.

Qualifying income is calculated by subtracting your exempt income from your total income. Exempt income includes Old Age Security pension, Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) income, Social Assistance payments, Net federal supplements (Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance), Registered Pension Plan deduction, Registered Retirement Savings Plan deduction, Deduction for elected split – pension amount, Deduction for elected split – pension amount, Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit, and lump-sum payment under the Heroes’ Compensation Act.

Alberta Seniors Benefit Qualifying Income Limits for 2024

ResidenceMaximum Annual Income
(Single Senior)
Maximum Combined Annual Income
(Senior Couple)
Homeowner, Renter, or Lodge Resident$24,339$36,432
Other Residences$24,305$36,402

Supplementary Accommodation Benefit

In addition to the Alberta Seniors Benefit, seniors living in continuing care homes may also be eligible for the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit. This benefit is intended to help offset the high cost of living in a continuing care home and can provide up to $710 per month towards accommodation fees.

To calculate the amount of the Supplementary Accommodation Benefit, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the Monthly Private Room Accommodation Charge: Identify the monthly cost for a private room in the continuing care home.
  2. Add the Minimum Monthly Disposable Income: Sum this accommodation charge with the minimum monthly disposable income amount set by the government. This income is meant to cover things like telephone or cable bills and personal hygiene expenses.
  3. Subtract the Senior's Prior Year’s Monthly Total Income: From the total of the accommodation charge and disposable income, subtract the senior's total income from the previous year, excluding any Supplementary Accommodation Benefit they received during that period.
  4. Calculate the Difference: The resulting difference between the sums calculated in steps 1 and 2 and the subtraction made in step 3 is the senior's monthly Supplementary Accommodation Benefit.
  5. Apply the Maximum Cap: Ensure that the calculated month-to-month benefit does not exceed the maximum allowable amount of $710.

For 2024, the monthly disposable income set by the government is $357.

For example, let’s say that a single senior lives in a continuing care home with a monthly private room rate of $2,000. Their monthly income last year was $1,800. Their Supplementary Accommodation Benefit would be $557 per month since the calculation would be:

= (Private Room Charge + Minimum Disposable Income) - Monthly Income

= ($2,000 + $357) - $1,800

= $557

Supplementary Accommodation Benefit payments are combined with the Alberta Seniors Benefit monthly payments.

Application Process

Applying for the Alberta Seniors Benefit involves several steps, including gathering required documentation and submitting an application. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the application process:

How to Apply by Mail

  1. Obtain an Application Form: The Seniors Financial Assistance application form can be downloaded from the Alberta government website.
  2. Complete the Application: Print out and complete the application form with accurate personal and financial information.
  3. Gather Required Documentation: Include photocopies of necessary documents such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport. Do not send originals with your application. If you are already receiving the Old Age Security pension and are over the age of 65, you may not need to provide this documentation.
  4. Submit the Application: Submit the completed application and supporting documents by mail or fax.

How to Apply Online

Online applications can be submitted using your MyAlberta Seniors account. Applicants must create an account and provide all necessary information and documents. Applying online lets you see your Alberta Seniors Benefit application status and payment history, and allows you to change things like your banking information, mailing address, and residence type online.

You can also apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit without an online account. The Seniors Financial Assistance online fillable form lets you upload your printed and signed application without signing up for an Alberta.ca account.

When Will I Get My Alberta Seniors Benefit Payment?

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Alberta Seniors Benefit Payment Dates for 2024

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024
  • Friday, February 23, 2024
  • Friday, March 22, 2024
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2024
  • Monday, May 27, 2024
  • Monday, June 24, 2024
  • Thursday, July 25, 2024
  • Monday, August 26, 2024
  • Monday, September 23, 2024
  • Friday, October 25, 2024
  • Monday, November 25, 2024
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2024

Comparing the Alberta Seniors Benefit with Similar Programs

To provide a broader context, it’s helpful to compare the Alberta Seniors Benefit with similar programs in other provinces. Here’s a brief comparison:

British Columbia

  • BC Seniors’ Supplement: This program provides a monthly payment to low-income seniors who receive the federal OAS and GIS, up to $99.30 per month for single seniors and up to $110.25 per month for couples.
  • BC Home Owner Grant for Seniors: This program assists senior residents in alleviating their property tax burden by offering an annual payment of up to $1,045.

Ontario

  • Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) : This program offers additional income to low-income seniors who qualify for the federal GIS, up to $87 per month for single seniors and $174 per month for couples.
  • Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG): Provides up to $500 annually to assist with property tax expenses.

Quebec

  • Quebec Senior Assistance Tax Credit: Provides financial assistance to low-income seniors receiving the federal GIS in the form of a tax credit of $2,000 for single seniors or $4,000 for couples over the age of 70.

Manitoba

  • Manitoba 55 PLUS Program: Provides quarterly benefits of up to $161.80 for single seniors and $173.90 for couples, based on income level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit?
How do I know if I meet the income requirements?
Can I apply for the Alberta Seniors Benefit online?
What documents do I need to submit with my application?
How long does it take to process an application?
What happens if my application is denied?
How is the Alberta Seniors Benefit paid?
How often do I need to reapply?               
Can I receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit alongside other federal programs?
What should I do if I have additional questions or need help with the application?