Seniors to receive COVID-19 emergency aid of up to $500 in July

Seniors facing higher costs for groceries, transportation and prescriptions due to COVID-19 can expect emergency aid payments of up to $500 in early July.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his daily news conference in Ottawa Thursday that the payments would be distributed starting the week of July 6.

Trudeau initially announced the one-time top-up on May 12

The payments are to offset increases in the cost of living due to COVID-19. Seniors who qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will be eligible for a one-time tax-free payment of $300, and those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will get $200.

Those eligible for both will receive $500.

The direct supports will amount to $2.5 billion, and are expected to help 6.7 million older Canadians.

Trudeau said many seniors are facing increased costs such as additional dispensing fees for prescriptions, added costs for grocery delivery services and taxi fees when they might normally take the bus.