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Federal budget items related to older adults

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

The following are parts of the budget released on April 19th, 2021.

Increasing Old Age Security for Canadians 75 and Over

During the pandemic, many seniors have faced economic challenges as they took on extra costs to stay safe. Additionally, many seniors are living longer and relying on monthly benefits to afford retirement. After a lifetime of hard work, they deserve a secure and dignified retirement. That is why the government is committed to increasing Old Age Security (OAS) benefits for seniors age 75 and older.

The government plans to implement this commitment in two steps.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to meet the immediate needs of this group of seniors by providing a one-time payment of $500 in August 2021 to OAS pensioners who will be 75 or over as of June 2022.

  • Budget 2021 then proposes to introduce legislation to increase regular OAS payments for pensioners 75 and over by 10 per cent on an ongoing basis as of July 2022. This would increase the benefits for approximately 3.3 million seniors, providing additional benefits of $766 to full pensioners in the first year, and indexed to inflation going forward. This would give seniors more financial security later in life, particularly at the time when they face increased care expenses and greater risk of running out of savings.

In total, these two measures represent $12 billion over five years in additional financial support, beginning in 2021-22, and at least $3 billion per year ongoing, to be delivered by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Strengthening Long Term Care and Supportive Care

· $1 billion Safe Long-term Care Fund announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, to ensure seniors, and those who help them, are well protected and well supported through the pandemic and for years to come

· Budget 2021 proposes to provide $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. To keep seniors safe and improve their quality of life, the federal government will work collaboratively with provinces and territories, while respecting their jurisdiction over health care, including long-term care. This work would ensure seniors and those in care live in safe and dignified conditions.

· Budget 2021 proposes to provide $41.3 million over six years, and $7.7 million ongoing, starting in 2021-22, for Statistics Canada to improve data infrastructure and data collection on supportive care, primary care, and pharmaceuticals.

· Budget 2021 proposes to provide $90 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada to launch the Age Well at Home initiative. Age Well at Home would assist community-based organizations in providing practical support that helps low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors age in place, such as matching seniors with volunteers who can help with meal preparations, home maintenance, daily errands, yard work, and transportation. This initiative would also support regional and national projects that help expand services that have already demonstrated results in helping seniors stay in their homes. For example, knowledge hubs can help seniors access the local services available to them or provide information, resources, and training to community-based organizations delivering practical supports to seniors.

Territorial Health Investment Fund

· Budget 2021 proposes to provide $54 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to renew the Territorial Health Investment Fund. Of this amount, $27 million would be allocated to Nunavut, $12.8 million would be allocated to Yukon, and $14.2 million would be allocated to the Northwest Territories.

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