SUDBURY -- Older Canadians across the country – including 18,500 in Greater Sudbury – will finally receive the money promised by the federal government back in May to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre announced the payments in a news release Monday.

“The payment will be automatic beginning now — seniors do not need to apply,” said Lefebvre. “Seniors who reside in Canada can expect to receive the payment by direct deposit or cheque this week.”

A one-time payment of $300 is for those who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and a further $200 for those who are eligible for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) — worth $500 for seniors who receive both — will start going out this week.

In April, the federal government provided a one-time GST credit top-up worth an average of $375 for single seniors and $510 for senior couples.

Altogether, a low-income senior couple on GIS will receive more than $1,500 in added support.

“In Sudbury, we have more than 18,500 senior residents receiving these benefits,” said Lefebvre. “All told, more than $15 million in top-ups will be paid to seniors in Sudbury alone.

The July payment will benefit 6.7 million seniors across Canada. Of those, 2.2 million who receive GIS will also receive extra support. More than 4 million low- and middle-income seniors benefited from the April GST credit payment.

To help seniors and others get essential services and supplies, such as the delivery of groceries, the Government of Canada has so far invested half a billion dollars:

  • $350 million in charities and non-profits;
  • $9 million in United Way Canada;
  • $100 million in food banks and local food organizations;
  • $20 million for additional New Horizons for Seniors local projects to reduce isolation; and
  • $50 million of previously funded New Horizons for Seniors projects can be modified to meet seniors’ needs due to COVID-19