Feds move up timeline to repay benefit clawbacks for low-income seniors

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Published February 14, 2022 at 4:01 pm

OTTAWA — The federal government says it plans to hand out millions in benefits in April to low-income seniors who saw their income top-ups reduced because they received emergency pandemic aid.

The government has set aside $742.4 million to help some 200,000 low-income seniors recoup drops in the value of their guaranteed income supplement payments.

About 83,000 seniors lost the key income support because the emergency pandemic aid bumped their earnings above the threshold to qualify for the guaranteed income supplement.

The payments were not expected to go out until May, but Seniors Minister Kamal Khera says the government expects payments to go out in mid-April.

Payments may flow sooner to seniors in dire financial need.

Khera says the government will work with MPs to identify serious cases and flow money to those seniors as early as March.

Khera announced the news in the House of Commons Monday afternoon.

The issue dogged the government for months as stories of seniors in need continued to emerge.

NDP seniors critic Rachel Blaney said she was happy to see the government act sooner than planned, noting that seniors can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Her colleague Daniel Blaikie, the party’s finance critic, added he hoped the government would act faster in the future to a problem arising from one of its policies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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