Tax Credits and Benefits for Seniors: Part 2
Ontario Drug Benefit Programs: Each year, millions of Ontario residents receive drug benefits from Ontario’s drug programs. The province has five different programs seniors can apply for depending on needs: Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB), if eligible, may pay for the majority of cost of your prescription drugs, New Drugs Funding Program for Cancer Care (NDFP) may cover the costs of newer intravenous cancer drugs. Third, the Special Drugs Program (SDP) may provide funding for specific drugs used for certain diseases and conditions. Fourth, inherited metabolic diseases program (IMD) may pay for certain drugs, appropriate supplements and specialized food to treat metabolic disorders. Finally, the government offers the Visudyne Program, this program may pay for the specific drug that slows the eye disease called age related macular degeneration. It is important to find out if you are eligible and apply to these programs because the cost of your prescription drugs may be covered by the province of Ontario.
Trillium Drug Program: This program helps people who have high prescription drug costs relative to their household income. You will however have to pay a small amount 4 times per year and this is called a deductible. The amount of your deductible is based on your household income. For most people, the deductible equals about 4% of your household’s combined net income. In addition, if you have high prescription drug costs and a low household income you may be eligible to pay $2 or less for every prescription. The pharmacist will charge you this fee and the fee is called a co-payment. You need to download: Application for Ontario Drug Benefits and the information package: A Guide to your Application: Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB).
Reduced Co-Payment for Lower Income Seniors: It is important to research all possibilities for tax credits and benefits—particularly when you are a senior. Depending on your annual income, you may be able to have the ODB $100 annual deductible waived and have your co-payment reduced per prescription.
Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS): If you are 65 years old or older and receive the federal Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, you could get up to a maximum of $83 per month to ensure your income stays above a certain amount. GAINS ensures a guaranteed minimum income for Ontario seniors by providing monthly payments to individuals who qualify. The monthly GAINS payments are on top of the federal Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments you may receive.
Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program: Low to moderate income households, including those requiring support services, can apply for a rent-geared-to-income subsidy to help make housing affordable.
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