(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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Aged Persons


No special provision made concerning eligibility; see "Special Age-Related Assistance" (section 5.3.1).

Prince Edward Island

"Person in need" includes a person who, by reason of age, is found to be unable to provide adequately for himself on the basis of a budget deficit test in accordance with the regulations.   Act 1(g)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

The province may provide assistance under the Family Benefits Act to persons in need who are 65 years of age and over and who are not eligible for Old Age Security benefits.   Act 5(1)(a)

- See section 8.1 concerning spousal support

Since December 1991, needs-tested benefits under the Senior Citizens Financial Aid Act are available to persons 65 years of age and over throughout Nova Scotia from the Special Social Assistance (SSA) program.  In practice, SSA is administered in tandem with the Family Benefits program, and it respects the same benefit levels and other characteristics, with the following exceptions:

i) SSA has a minimum entitlement provision (where the entitlement of a client is under $15/month, the SSA benefit is rounded up to that amount);

ii) SSA considers work income as 100% chargeable (i.e., no earnings exemption is allowed);

iii) in the calculation of the budget deficit, special needs related to the age of the client over 65 are imputed at $175 per month.    Special Social Assistance Regulations; Provincial contact

Nova Scotia - Municipal

In Halifax, a person receiving Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits and/or OAS/GIS whose total chargeable income is less than his budgetary requirements may be eligible for a Municipal Assistance supplement.    Policy 1.2.7

New Brunswick

A person in need who is 55 years of age or over may be granted assistance under the "Long-Term Established Needs Program" or the "Upgrading, Training and Placement Program", depending on the person's duration on assistance and employment potential.   (see section 5.2.4) Regulation 2


The scale based on Unavailability (see section 5.2.5) applies to an independent adult or an adult member of a family who is 55 years of age or over and who applies therefor.    Act 16

Ontario - Provincial

Family Benefits may be granted to a person in need and resident in Ontario

a) who is 65 years of age but is not eligible for an Old Age Security pension;

b) who has attained the age of 60 years, but has not attained the age of 65 years;

c) who is a spouse of a recipient of an Old Age Security Pension:

- who is not eligible for a pension under the Old Age Security Act;

- who has attained 60 years;

- who is living with the recipient, or apart from the recipient where the recipient has been in a specified institution for at least 6 months, or in a penal institution with at least 6 months remaining to be served;

d) who is a spouse of a recipient or a former recipient of a FBA allowance, who is single and has attained the age of 60 years.    Act 7(1); Regulation 2(1,2,11)

As of August 1991, couples aged 60 to 64 years of age are eligible for assistance under the Family Benefits Act on the same basis as single persons.  Prior to this date, single persons in this age group were eligible for GAINS-D (see section 6.3), but married couples with both spouses in this same age group could only apply for GWA General (municipal) assistance, which pays a lower monthly allowance.  Under the revised policy, such a couple is entitled to a GAINS-D rate for the first adult and the regular FBA rate (see section 5.2.6) for the spouse; the "double disabled" rate under GAINS-D is payable only when both spouses are disabled or permanently unemployable.    Provincial contact .

Ontario - Municipal

The definition of "person in need" specifically includes a person who, by reason of old age, has budgetary requirements as determined in accordance with the regulations that exceed his income as determined by the regulations.    Regulation 1(4)

As noted under "Ontario-Provincial" (above), anyone 60 years of age or older who is a person in need is to be referred to the Family Benefits program (under GAINS-D provisions).  Persons in need 55-60 years of age may apply for GWA General Assistance on the basis of old age; in such cases, job search requirements (see section 2.6) will be reviewed on the basis of individual circumstances.  Persons under age 55 are not to be considered in the category of old age regardless of the situation.   Policy 0303-06

Manitoba - Provincial

A person who, because of age, is unable to earn an income sufficient to support himself or his dependents, or who is unable to care for himself and must be cared for by another person or in a home for the aged or infirm is eligible to apply for assistance.    Act 5(1)(a)

Manitoba - Municipal

No special provisions concerning eligibility of aged persons.


In the determination of eligibility and job search requirements, persons over 50 years of age are considered "not fully employable" (see Section 2.6) unless they have employment income or are seeking full-time employment and consider themselves fully employable.   Policy 3-1-3


Social allowance may be granted to unemployable persons, which includes a person who, by reason of age (60 years or older), is incapable of earning an income sufficient to pay for the basic necessities for himself and his dependants, if any.    Act 1(j); Act 8; Policy 01-03-02

A person who is 60 years of age or over is required to apply for early retirement benefits available under the Canada Pension Plan as a condition of eligibility for assistance, but only if doing so will increase current income (if a person receiving CPP disability benefits transfers to CPP early retirement benefits, their income may decrease).   Policy 05-01-03 p.4

British Columbia

Assistance may be granted to an "unemployable person", including an individual who, in the opinion of the administering authority, is unable to work to support himself or herself and any dependents by reason of age (65 years and over).    Regulation 2

Persons age 60 and over not in receipt of OAS/GIS/SPA are required to submit a "Request for Continued Assistance" on a monthly basis.    Policy 4.16.1


Any person who has not reached the age of eligibility for OAS but who has been certified in writing by a duly qualified medical practitioner to be permanently and totally unemployable by reason of age, and any person in receipt of OAS shall be deemed to be a permanent exclusion from the labour force and eligible to apply for an allowance, provided need has been established in accordance with the provisions of the Social Assistance Regulations.    Regs. Sched. "A", I(1)

Northwest Territories

The definition of a person in need includes a person who, by reason of age, is found to be unable to provide adequately for himself and his dependents or any of them.    Regulation 1

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