Following are some of the highlights from the session with MSDSI:
What is PWD?
Disability assistance benefit provided by the BC government to a person with a disability (PWD) aged 18 - 65. Most people supported at DCLS are eligible for this benefit. The current benefit is up to $1183.42* per month.
What is OAS?
The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment provided by the Federal government available to most Canadians 65 years of age who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. The current rate for OAS is $601.45* per month.
What are CPP and GIS?
In addition to OAS, many people will be eligible for Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) or a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Individuals with income of less than $17,375.99 per year will qualify for GIS, and those who have higher earnings may have paid into CPP over the years. The current maximum rates are $898.32 per month for GIS, and $1,154.58 per month for CPP.
Why the gap between PWD and OAS?
Though most Canadians qualify for OAS, each person must apply. PWD is a provincial program, so the PWD benefit does not automatically convert to OAS at age 65. Do you know someone approaching age 65 who receives PWD? People should apply for OAS when they are 64 ½. Processing times for applications currently takes about six months. However, it is worthwhile to review the application process about a year in advance, as the paperwork will take some time to collect and/or obtain.
- Certificate of Incapability: This form when completed by a medical professional helps determine if a person is incapable of managing his/her own affairs. The person or agency applying may receive and administer benefits on behalf of a client.
- Agreement to administer benefits under the Old Age Security Act and/or the Canada Pension Plan by an Agency or Institution: Complete this form if you are an Agency or Institution who agrees to receive benefits under the Old Age Security Act and/or the Canada Pension Plan payable to a beneficiary who is incapable of managing his/her own affairs.
- Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person: This form allows clients to name an authorized person under the Canada Pension Plan or the Old Age Security Act. It authorizes that person to both give and receive information to Service Canada on behalf of the client.
What happens if I get cut off from PWD before I receive OAS?
The great news is, that IF you have submitted your OAS application before the applicant turns 65, then individuals can appeal to MSDSI to continue to receive the PWD benefit until OAS benefits kick-in. OAS will be paid retroactively, and the “bridge” benefit from PWD does not need to be paid back. To apply for this benefit, the person must provide proof that an OAS application has been submitted, and ask MSDSI for the “Administrative Benefit” for each month that the OAS has not yet been paid.
*Numbers used are those for an unmarried applicant with no dependents