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One-time payments to help seniors face coronavirus challenges, says minister

Liberal MP Deb Schulte arrives for the swearing-in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.
Liberal MP Deb Schulte arrives for the swearing-in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal funds are on the way for seniors struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada’s Seniors Minister Deb Schulte announced Monday that the government is providing tax-free, one-time payments to help all older Canadians on either old age security or the guaranteed income supplement.
“It’s a great week for seniors, who have been facing significant health, economic and social challenges,” Schulte told 680 CJOB.
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The special automatic payment gives $300 to the more than six million seniors on old-age security, plus an additional $200 to the 2.2 million low-income seniors on the guaranteed income supplement.
Schulte said while — unlike CERB benefits — these payments are being given to seniors across the board, the majority of people receiving the benefit are people who will need it.
“All seniors face additional costs,” she said, “so everyone on OAS will be receiving this cheque, and obviously our most vulnerable seniors will be receiving more.
“We could have done as we did with CERB, but then seniors would have had to have applied. That opens them up to vulnerabilities.

“It also means not all seniors that would be eligible may get it, because not everybody would apply.”

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