Federal

Allowance for the Survivor

Easy application

Tax filing required

Note:

You should apply for the allowance 6 to 11 months before you turn 60.

Prerequisite(s) required

To get this benefit you need to first apply for the following benefit(s) if you're eligible:

The Allowance for the Survivor  is a non-taxable monthly benefit paid to the spouse or common-law partner of someone of a GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) recipient who has died.

If you qualify to receive this benefit, you should apply after the death of your spouse or common-law partner and if you are between the age of 60 and 64. Do not apply earlier than 11 months before you turn 60.

The Allowance for the Survivor payments will begin during one of the following months, whichever is latest:

  • the month after the death of your spouse or common-law partner
  • up to 11 months before the date we received or waived your application (if you applied after you turn 60)
  • the month after you meet the eligibility requirements
  • the month you turn 60.

Note: If you are employed or self-employed and receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor, you can earn up to $5,000 and still receive the full benefit amount. For earnings between $5,000 and $15,000, your Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar of income you receive.

You may be able to get the Allowance for the Survivor benefit if:

  • Your spouse or common-law partner has died and since their death you have not remarried or entered into a common-law relationship.
  • You are 60 to 64 years of age.
  • You are a Canadian Citizen or a legal resident.
  • You have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18.
  • Your annual income is less than $25,272.

If you are a sponsored immigrant and have lived in Canada for less than 10 years after age 18, you can apply and have your benefit approved however, you will not receive a payment for the Allowance for the Survivor while you are sponsored unless your sponsor:

  • suffers personal bankruptcy
  • is sentenced to a term of incarceration for more than 6 months
  • is convicted of an offence against you under the Criminal Code
  • dies.

If you have lived in Canada for fewer than 10 years since you turned 18, but you have lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada, you may be eligible for a partial benefit.

If you become entitled to the Allowance for the Survivor, it will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence.

Other Immigrants

If you are an immigrant who is not sponsored, you may be eligible to receive the Allowance for the Survivor based on the number of years you have resided in Canada after age 18.

If you have lived in Canada for fewer than 10 years since you turned 18, but you have lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada, you may be eligible for a partial benefit.

Your Allowance for the Survivor entitlement will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence.

If you are in jail

If you are in jail in a federal institution, you can apply for the Allowance for the Survivor however, you cannot receive a payment until you are released.

Social Insurance Number

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

You can apply online or submit a paper application.

To apply online, you must:

  • Be age of 60 to 65
  • Not have a legal representative on your account

If you are applying online, you will need a My Service Canada Account (MSCA). If you do not have an MSCA account, you can register for one. You will receive a personal access code to complete your registration.

To apply or register through My Service Canada Account

To apply using a paper application:

Before you apply, ensure you have:

  • Information about your spouse or common-law partner such as:
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Foreign income information
  • Information about the countries you have lived since Age 18
  • Your banking information to sign up for direct deposit  
  • If your employment or pension income stopped or reduced, you will need the date it reduced and stopped and the new monthly rate.
  • Your foreign income information
  • You must file your taxes by April 30 every year to avoid any disruption of payments.
  • If you have general questions about Allowance or specific questions about your application, contact Old Age Security.

Last updated: August 25, 2021