Home Sections Seniors LETTER: GIS clawback could lead to homelessness & worse

LETTER: GIS clawback could lead to homelessness & worse

Thursday December 2, 2021 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

LETTER submitted to Island Social Trends


The loss of guaranteed income supplement for seniors will result in a massive increase in homelessness, hunger, death. The PM should be criminally charged for each and every death of a senior because of his insane policy.

To understand his complete incompetence one only has to look at who he has appointed as the minister for seniors. PM runs government like a kids playground.

The NDP can bring this Government down. Today’s seniors are part of a massive baby boomers population which can and will fight to remove the Liberals. NDP has a leadership roll here. Please do not let us down now.”

~ from Steven Kirsh, Toronto, Ontario

===== Background:

Many low-income seniors across Canada have been doing whatever they’ve had to do in response to losing their federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) this year.

For having taken CERB/CRB income supports during the pandemic in 2020, as many as 90,000 low-income seniors saw that taxable income used by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in a calculation that shows their income above the GIS-allowance threshold for the 2020 tax year.

But the pandemic supports in 2020 were one-time emergency-related income, and in likely almost every case what appears in CRA computer calculations to be ‘higher income’ does not represent a true or actual go-forward income increase for these seniors going forward in 2021.

Seniors age 60+ are eligible for the non-taxable GIS if their income is below $19,248 (if single, widowed, or divorced) or below $25,440 (if their combined income with a spouse or common-law partner where the full Old Age Security/OAS pension is received, or below $46,128 if the partner does not receive OAS).

If the clawback is not addressed, these seniors will have to go a full 12 months (August 2021 through July 2022) without the GIS support that they would otherwise likely qualify for in most cases.

To deal with this in real-time, the GIS-dependent seniors have been cutting back on the purchase of groceries, medications, transportation and other regular life necessities in order to have enough each month to pay for rent and other bills (see letters at the bottom of this article). This harsh marginalization of almost 90,000 seniors across Canada has pushed many to the financial edge, through no fault of their own.

In a sense, these seniors are paying for the pandemic supports that the federal government so quickly and liberally distributed to a majority of Canadians. It’s a shift in financial responsibility to the shoulders of low-income seniors, where it most certainly does not belong (the pandemic has had society-wide impacts, and the burdens of paying for it should not be loaded upon low-income Canadians, including the families that are now not receiving the Canada Child Benefit through the same process of erroneous tax calculation).

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===== ARCHIVE of GIS LETTERS & ARTICLES:

Liberals again acknowledge GIS clawback issue as NDP keeps pushing (November 30, 2021)

NDP calls for emergency debate around low-income family & seniors clawbacks (November 24, 2021)

NDP rolls into 44th Parliament with priorities to help people (November 22, 2021)

Restoring GIS & Canada Child Benefit important for low-income islanders (November 18, 2021)

LETTER: Losing GIS means needing help to pay the rent (November 17, 2021)

44th parliament: NDP to take on housing, GIS & CERB amnesty within affordability, also climate crisis (November 9, 2021)

Seniors Minister weighs in on what NDP calls GIS clawback (November 8, 2021)

NDP requests immediate government action to reverse GIS clawback (November 3, 2021)

LETTER: senior faces potential eviction due to GIS clawback (Oct 27, 2021)

LETTER: GIS clawback continues after election (October 19, 2021)

LETTER: GIS clawback means food vs rent (September 19, 2021)

NDP candidate mojo: we fight for you (September 19, 2021)

LETTER: GIS clawback means no bus pass (September 13, 2021)

LETTER: Hurting seniors with GIS clawback (September 5, 2021)

LETTER: Retired & depending on GIS (August 19, 2021)

LETTER: Suddenly losing Guaranteed Income Supplement by receiving CERB (August 10, 2021)

LETTER: Seniors suddenly losing Guaranteed Income Supplement if they took CERB (August 7, 2021)

Seniors who took CERB now losing GIS supplement & other benefits (August 4, 2021)

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===== Submitting a letter:

To submit a letter to Island Social Trends, send to letters@islandsocialtrends.com