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Canadian OAS and GIS Eligibility


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I was reading the other thread about the intention of Canadian Border Services to provide tracking data to various government departments to "flag" potential fraud with some of Canada's social programs. The other thread headed off into a different direction with a discussion on health care.

What I am interested in and frankly confused about is why living here in Mexico on a permanent basis would have any impact on OAS and GIS eligibility. If you are a Canadian citizen and lived in Canada all your life (until at least age 60) and then moved out of the country to spend your retirement years in a country that offers a lower cost of living and great weather, why should this be an issue for the Canadian government? I can't see how maintaining residency or declaring non-resident status should have any bearing on this other than how a person's income from Canadian sources is taxed.

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It doesn’t. The article is confusing. They are trying to red flag the individuals who, for instance live in Mexico on as a permanent resident, but retain their provincial health insurance and may also receive the guaranteed income supplement. It’s possible they return to Canada every six months but do not stay for the required time to maintain these extras.

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Dave, yes, I know that GIS is not available to non residents. However, there are some Canadians who live in Mexico full time, are still residents of Canada but take advantage of the offered government programs, i.e., medical, GIS, subsidized housing, etc.. Aren’t you tired of paying for them? I know I am.

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Dave, yes, I know that GIS is not available to non residents. However, there are some Canadians who live in Mexico full time, are still residents of Canada but take advantage of the offered government programs, i.e., medical, GIS, subsidized housing, etc.. Aren’t you tired of paying for them? I know I am.

I think it all balances out. I live in Mexico full time but own a house in Canada and pay a lot of income tax there. When I file my return, there is even a section that is telling me how much I owe for my contribution to the health care system. I don't use any of the benefits that you are talking about but I do get my Canada Pension, which is not a handout but a pension I paid into all my life. So, I am paying for people who are using the system, just as there might be people who are using the system and not paying. I feel lucky to be in this position at this time of my life. Canada has been good to me and no, I'm not "tired of paying for them".

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I don't know where everyone is getting the idea that provincial health care plans are somehow being used in Mexico - they are not. All plans that I know explicitly warn you that the amount of coverage is limited to what they would pay in that Province. For example, the maximum amount for a hospital stay is $75 per night/day. This is not enough in Mexico and way, way off for the U.S.A. They recommend that you get travel insurance from a private insurer, which works about the same as private Mexican medical insurance - about $2,000 per year, per person. The problem is that if you are outside of the Province for more than six months (or two years every five years) then you are no longer a resident of the Province and would have to wait, and pay for, a 3 month period to get back on.

The only potential abuse is that one of the pensions allows a minimum 10 year residence to receive that pension - as long as you collect that pension in Canada. If you want it outside of Canada, then it has to be the 20 years.

The new Prime Minister Trudeau will be very cautious about having the Federal government snooping around people's medical records and travel habits. Afterall, it was his father who said "the State has no business in the bedrooms of it's people" in 1967 when they decriminalized homosexuality. The Federal government will not do anything about this because it is only the United States they are sharing information with, and any Canadian overstaying their six month limit there will be having a much bigger problem with I.C.E. than anything the Canadians can dish up.

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Do not forget that more than half of the GDP of the county is consumption and if one live abroad he/she is not participating in the economic growth of the country. There is a big tax on consumption in Canada which probably supplements for the OAS and GIS , medical and other benefits.

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Chillin I do not think you are understanding the thread. It is not that people are using the Canadian plan while here in Mexico but that they are living here in Mexico full time and running back to Canada to use the plan. I know one couple that go back every 6 months and on one of their trips gets an annual checkup as well as flue shots etc.

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I know one couple that go back every 6 months and on one of their trips gets an annual checkup as well as flue shots etc.

They should be tested as positive for "mathematically challenged". The flu shots, lab work, doctor visit all under $100 here. To return to B.C., where I am from, it would cost many times more in travel and accomodation. They would then have to lie to a doctor (if they could find one) - "annual checkups" are not allowed in B.C., not officially anyways. Low income Canadians would be better off allowing the Federal goverment pay them a generous Gauranteed Income Supplement, on an annual basis, and they can still visit Mexico, and collect that income while in Mexico. Almost free medical and a nice annual government income for the "torture" of living in Canada for 6 months and a day. SWEET!

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It should be noted that the Province of Ontario and 3 or 4 other provinces including BC allow you to be out of the PROVINCE (not country) for 7 months, specifically 212 days, and still maintain your position in the health care system. In other words if one spent 6 months in Mexico and a month+ in another province other than their own in the past 12 months you would no longer qualify for Provincial Healthcare. You would have to wait the 3 months (or provincial requirement) to be re-instated.

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I was reading the other thread about the intention of Canadian Border Services to provide tracking data to various government departments to "flag" potential fraud with some of Canada's social programs. The other thread headed off into a different direction with a discussion on health care.

What I am interested in and frankly confused about is why living here in Mexico on a permanent basis would have any impact on OAS and GIS eligibility. If you are a Canadian citizen and lived in Canada all your life (until at least age 60) and then moved out of the country to spend your retirement years in a country that offers a lower cost of living and great weather, why should this be an issue for the Canadian government? I can't see how maintaining residency or declaring non-resident status should have any bearing on this other than how a person's income from Canadian sources is taxed.

Kudo. The only reason for all this dancing around is for tax purposes—nothing else. The government of Canada wouldn’t give a hoot where you chose to live if they were not concerned about taxes. I believe that they make it quite fair.

If you are (officially)* a resident of Canada (no matter if you are physically living in Canada, or not), you are filing your income tax as a regular resident (with or without benefits, etc.—depending). For those who don’t live in Canada but continue to give a Canadian address---which is acceptable--according to the Department of Revenue, they are still considered a resident.

If you are (officially) a resident of Canada (but don’t live in Canada more than 183 days), you are still filing your income tax as a regular resident (but it should be WITHOUT benefits, etc.). At least according to the regulations: Benefits meaning Health plan, and any other tax rebates that residents are allowed to claim when they are living in Canada full time.* That’s where the lies come into effect: when people are hiding the fact that they live in Canada (certain provinces anyway) less than 183 days a year. They return for health care that they are not allowed to receive. (It's irrelevant that we agree or disagree with those regulations).

If you chose not to reside in Canada full time, (and be considered as such) you have to declare to the Department of Revenue the date that you are leaving. It’s not done automatically. Then, you are considered a non-resident of Canada (for tax purposes) and will be paying taxes differently. It could be to your advantage or not. Take note that your pensions, which are taxed at 15% because you live in Mexico, could be refunded if you chose to. But there are also conditions attached to that. It means that you could be paying taxes as a regular resident who is under the proverty line--zero. :blink:

Now, even if you chose that last option, you are ALWAYS entitled to receive you Canadian pension or OAS. The OAS will be fully or partially paid depending on how many years you have lived in Canada after your 18th birthday—full pension is 40 years.

* meaning that you did not declare your non-residency for tax purposes.

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Chillin I do not think you are understanding the thread. It is not that people are using the Canadian plan while here in Mexico but that they are living here in Mexico full time and running back to Canada to use the plan. I know one couple that go back every 6 months and on one of their trips gets an annual checkup as well as flue shots etc.

Thanks Sue, you got it. Many Canadians who live in Mexico do exactly that - return to Canada for their check ups, plus medical procedures even though they are year round residents..

Seren perhaps Sue's explanation clarifies it for you..

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OAS is determined whether you live in Canada or not when you become eligible by a rather complicated formula that they apply to each and every person receiving.

It's based on a lot of different things --- even if you were BORN there. There is something to do with persons born before or after 1975 (can't remember now). Then there is the question of any years you were not in Canada during your life and why -- some years away "qualify", otheres do not. If, as we did, you elect non-resident status, then your final exit date if determined by the last passport stamp prior to declaring non-residency.

In my case, not being aware of this, when I applied (because we left when I was 10 years younger than eligible age), it turned out they assessed me as eligbile to receive 39/40ths of full OAS: (Canada Pension is not affected.)

I could have, as did one person I know, moved back to Canada for enough months (in their case 7) in order to receive that last 1/40th. This was not an option so I accepted their offer.

This was all several years ago, so there might be some new snags, but basically I think nothing has changed.

As for GIS, it has been a rule for years and years -- you can ONLY collect (if you qualify) when you live full time in Canada. I know another person who left, did not inform Services Canada (no idea if by error or design), and when SC found out they clawed back several thousand dollars.

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I think you miss my point Natasha, living in Canada full time is considered to be, if I remember correctly, 183 days. You are then eligible for GIS benefits on an annual basis, and provincial health plan on an annual basis. They do not care where you go for the remaining 182 days. This is entirely legal. If people are prepared to commit insurance fraud and theft of services, that is a whole different matter. They are lucky to stay out jail, or they must spend the rest of their lives in Mexico, or wherever will have them ( I doubt that Canada would ask for extradition for something like this).

The scary trend now is that private pension plans are quickly disappearing. Even most Universities, with their much vaunted tenure system, are rapidly doing away with pension

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Don't want to argue, Chillin, but I recenlty had a LOT of dealings with Service Canada on behalf of the person who had not informed them of her departure and was receiving GIS -- with an employee quite high up the "food chain" -- and I certainly got the impression from her that for GIS you need to reside full time.

However, that was MY take on it..... I could be wrong.

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  • 11 months later...
On ‎2015‎-‎10‎-‎30 at 2:27 PM, CHILLIN said:

I don't know where everyone is getting the idea that provincial health care plans are somehow being used in Mexico - they are not. All plans that I know explicitly warn you that the amount of coverage is limited to what they would pay in that Province. For example, the maximum amount for a hospital stay is $75 per night/day. This is not enough in Mexico and way, way off for the U.S.A. They recommend that you get travel insurance from a private insurer, which works about the same as private Mexican medical insurance - about $2,000 per year, per person. The problem is that if you are outside of the Province for more than six months (or two years every five years) then you are no longer a resident of the Province and would have to wait, and pay for, a 3 month period to get back on.

The only potential abuse is that one of the pensions allows a minimum 10 year residence to receive that pension - as long as you collect that pension in Canada. If you want it outside of Canada, then it has to be the 20 years.

The new Prime Minister Trudeau will be very cautious about having the Federal government snooping around people's medical records and travel habits. Afterall, it was his father who said "the State has no business in the bedrooms of it's people" in 1967 when they decriminalized homosexuality. The Federal government will not do anything about this because it is only the United States they are sharing information with, and any Canadian overstaying their six month limit there will be having a much bigger problem with I.C.E. than anything the Canadians can dish up.

jUST SO YOU KNOW --ohip  will not pay anything unless you have private insurance while in mexico.I just got a quote from MANULIFE  for travel medical insurance CATASTROFIC  INSURANCE FOR 52.00.A MONTH  I m 71  soon to be 72  .I would to hear from anyone that has used this company and this type of insurance.

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On October 31, 2015 at 11:30 AM, CHILLIN said:

I think you miss my point Natasha, living in Canada full time is considered to be, if I remember correctly, 183 days. You are then eligible for GIS benefits on an annual basis, and provincial health plan on an annual basis. They do not care where you go for the remaining 182 days. This is entirely legal. If people are prepared to commit insurance fraud and theft of services, that is a whole different matter. They are lucky to stay out jail, or they must spend the rest of their lives in Mexico, or wherever will have them ( I doubt that Canada would ask for extradition for something like this).

The scary trend now is that private pension plans are quickly disappearing. Even most Universities, with their much vaunted tenure system, are rapidly doing away with pension

As usual incorrect information..  You can be out of province  (Ontario) 212 days before you are disqualified from OHIP. You must reside in Ontario for 153 days to maintain Your OHIP.  As for GIS and OAS you are supposed to notify Rev Canada if  you leave the country for an extended time. It is my understanding that you are not entitled to GIS and OAS if you are not residing in the province. As I am not entitled to either I haven't asked Service Ontario for a ruling on them.

A couple of years ago the Canadian government along with the US government collaborated on a computer program to notify each other when passport holders left the country, I believe it went live earlier this year. The aim is to crack down on people collecting benefits to which they are not entitled to when out of the country.

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Too many "I believe" and "in my experience" answers here, many of which are conflicting.  The best thing for anyone wanting the 'correct' information is to contact the provincial and federal government departments themselves.  As Natasha posted, you certainly don't want be receiving benefits incorrectly, then have to pay them back later!

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59 minutes ago, suegarn said:

Too many "I believe" and "in my experience" answers here, many of which are conflicting.  The best thing for anyone wanting the 'correct' information is to contact the provincial and federal government departments themselves.  As Natasha posted, you certainly don't want be receiving benefits incorrectly, then have to pay them back later!

Great answer.. All the answers are on the government website, you can also call Service Ontario and they will answer your questions.  

I'm amazed that people ask for answers on such important questions when it's so easy to get the correct answers from the Gov websites.

if you read this board you can see there are about 10 posters who post answers to everything.. Some of them don't even live here.. 

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On ‎27‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 3:57 PM, TelsZ4 said:

As usual incorrect information..  You can be out of province  (Ontario) 212 days before you are disqualified from OHIP. You must reside in Ontario for 153 days to maintain Your OHIP.  As for GIS and OAS you are supposed to notify Rev Canada if  you leave the country for an extended time. It is my understanding that you are not entitled to GIS and OAS if you are not residing in the province. As I am not entitled to either I haven't asked Service Ontario for a ruling on them.

A couple of years ago the Canadian government along with the US government collaborated on a computer program to notify each other when passport holders left the country, I believe it went live earlier this year. The aim is to crack down on people collecting benefits to which they are not entitled to when out of the country.

The sharing of info. when entering the US from Canada has been in effect for at least 2 years. They also track Canadians in the US so US Immigration can fine them if they spend over 182 days in a 12 month period in the US and deny them entrance if they try to re-enter before the 12 month period is up.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm delighted to find all these experiences on line. I've lived in Mexico four & one half years now and have just this winter been notified by CRA in Sudbury that I owe over $2600 because I failed to tell them i was leaving Canada. ( I mistakenly thought that 's why we had our passports stamped.!)

As I am now in my 80 th year, I had been collecting OAS & CPP several years before leaving in 2016, for Ecuador. Am I to now believe, that they will 'claw-bask' or demand payment up front of the $2600 plus $ ??

I sponsored a new Mexican wife to Canada in 2007, so had no problem obtaining my 'Permante' here. She now works  in Alberta and winters in Mexico.(Separete from me!) 

Bill

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On 4/17/2021 at 2:35 PM, 1Charro said:

I'm delighted to find all these experiences on line. I've lived in Mexico four & one half years now and have just this winter been notified by CRA in Sudbury that I owe over $2600 because I failed to tell them i was leaving Canada. ( I mistakenly thought that 's why we had our passports stamped.!)

What the passport stamp CAN do is be your proof of sufficient years (or not) of Canadian residence  when you apply for OAS.  It's complicated and not going into detail here, but even tho' I was born there I had to settle for 39/40th of OAS... OR go back and live one more year in Canada. NOT!!   I'm guessing perhaps you failed to meet that same criteria that would have kicked in on the date you left Canada for Ecuador?  (Remaining in Canada and the criteria would not have applied.) The year 1972 sticks in my mind.... maybe the year they changed the formula?

It also catches people (I know 2)   getting Canadian Medical even though they don't meet the days in the country requirements of home province. You get snagged for those costs as well.......

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