Wednesday November 17, 2021 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
- On November 9, 2021, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that the NDP will prioritize dealing with the GIS clawback when parliament resumes November 22, 2021.
- On November 8, 2021 the Seniors Minister’s office said that people can ask through Service Canada for an assessment of what their 2021 income is likely to be (as a way to perhaps have the GIS calculation revised).
- On November 3, 2021 the NDP has taken a next-step to pushing the federal government to reinstate the GIS payments that have been clawed back from seniors who took CERB and CRB.
- GIS is the Guaranteed Income Supplement paid to seniors who are income-challenged.
- CERB is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit as available in 2020.
- CRB is the Canada Recovery Benefit for self-employed and non-EI recipients. | Locally, Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) told Island Social Trends just before the election that he is “surprised that no one in the government could see this was going to be an issue”. On October 21, CRB was cancelled by the Liberal Government effective October 23, 2021.
- The clawback can be reversed by an Order in Cabinet, or by legislation.
- The new federal Cabinet was announced October 26, 2021 and the House of Commons will resume November 22, 2021.
LETTER SUBMITTED TO ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS
My wife and I are both seniors living in Coquitlam, BC. I filed our taxes for 2020 and noticed that CRA made the pandemic income NON TAXABLE [Editor’s Note: the CERB was always called *taxable*; tax was not deducted at source but was to be collected later. However it was never clearly articulated that the Guaranteed Income Supplement would be directly impacted].
This meant that my wife and I did not have to pay taxes on the CERB income we received during the pandemic in 2020. In July 2021 I received a letter from Service Canada that they have stripped our GIS because they made pandemic income taxable for calculating the GIS in 2020.
This amounted to close to $600 per month. To most people $600 is not a lot of money but for seniors it means not paying your utilities or rent for the month. Now my wife and I are forced to receive help from friends and relatives just to pay for those necessities of life.
Service Canada and CRA are together in the same umbrella so it makes me angry that government officers decide to do this to seniors. We are the people that help make our country so great.
So, it is time that the Government will do what is necessary to correct this wrongdoing. They need to fix this problem now so that more than 83,000 seniors receive some benefit they richly deserve.
Rhonda and Brad Jackson, Coquitlam, BC
Editor’s Note: Canada Revenue Agency says that only people who have paid into the Employment Insurance (EI) program could have applied for the CERB/CRB through Service Canada (gig workers and self-employed were not able to apply through Service Canada). Temporary workers who receive a pay stub showing EI contributions may be able to appeal or reapply through Service Canada (a form can be requested from CRA). Meanwhile, the CRB program ended October 23, 2021. On November 8, 2021 the Seniors Minister’s office said that people can ask through Service Canada for an assessment of what their 2021 income is likely to be (as a way to perhaps have the GIS calculation revised).
Letters to the editor may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
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)
Seniors who took CERB now losing GIS supplement & other benefits (August 4, 2021)