Seniors in ‘complete shock’ when income supplement is cut after receiving emergency benefits

DM

Chris Sherlock is facing possible eviction because of unanticipated clawbacks to the guaranteed income supplement for seniors. The 65-year-old resident of British Columbia’s Cowichan Valley drew on emergency benefits last year after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out his part-time work as a musician. Now the $2,000 a month in Canada Emergency Response Benefit he received through much of 2020 has rendered him ineligible for the income supplement typically available to low-income seniors. “This comes as a complete shock to me,” said Sherlock, who worked on contract as a tree planter for two decades and has no company pension. “No one … warned me that I would be losing my guaranteed income supplement because of this. There was nothing about having your pension cut in half for the next two years.” In a letter sent to three Liberal cabinet ministers, NDP MP Daniel Blaikie said many seniors who received the CERB and Canada Recovery Benefit either do not qualify for the guaranteed income supplement or face drastic deductions to it. “It’s not right of us to do this to Canada’s poorest seniors.”

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