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December 6, 2013

Seniors Offered Government Incentives and Assistance

Government services are provided to Saskatchewan residents of all ages, but special allowances and incentives are offered to seniors to honour their contributions and in order to better ensure their needs are met.

Through tax savings, both the provincial and federal governments strive to reduce the financial burden that seniors experience. Credits like the Saskatchewan Seniors Supplement and the Age Credit reduce taxes paid to both levels of government, plus income splitting allows senior couples to reduce their combined taxes.

For those 65 years or older that have minimal incomes other than the Old Age Security Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Seniors Income Plan may provide some financial assistance.

Several medical services are available free of charge to seniors to ensure they have adequate access to healthcare. Seniors can receive free flu and pneumonia shots to reduce illness, particularly during the winter months.

Seniors receiving support through the Seniors Income Plan can receive coverage for one eye exam and twelve chiropractic treatments per year.

Government often caps other medical costs. Road ambulance fees are capped at $275 for seniors. Under the senior’s Drug Plan, seniors over 65 years only pay $20 per prescription for drugs approved under Exception Drug Status or listed on the Saskatchewan formulary but program eligibility is also determined by income and whether applicants already receive coverage through other programs like Veterans Affairs.

Government is also interested to help seniors’ find affordable housing. Social housing is available to seniors with lower incomes in about 280 communities across Saskatchewan. Priority is based on need with rents based on a graduated scale based on gross monthly household income and tenant’s ability to pay.

Through Saskatchewan Assisted Living Services, seniors may be able to access services including one meal per day, laundry, and housekeeping.

All these programs have been put in place to support seniors in need in Saskatchewan so that people can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Individuals are advised to check with these programs for eligibility, as most are income related and open to those in real need.