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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I get a copy of A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario?

Order the guide for free through the:

The guide is available:

  • in print and online in English, French, Arabic, Chinese - Simplified, Farsi, Gujarati, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese

Q2: Is there a program to help Ontario seniors with the cost of prescription eye glasses?

The Government of Ontario does not provide funding for prescription eye glasses. However, you may be eligible for financial assistance from Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program to help you with the cost of specialized glasses if you have long-term low vision or blindness. For more information on what kinds of visual aids are covered under the Assistive Devices Program visit the Visual Aids page external link on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website or call:

  • 416-327-8804 or 1-800-268-6021
  • 1-800-387-5559 for teletypewriter

Q3: Are there programs available to assist with the cost of dental care?

Some municipalities provide financial assistance for low income seniors for dental care. Contact your municipal, regional or district government office listed in your telephone directory for more information on community and seniors services. You may also call 211 (TTY: 1-888-340-1001) or visit www.211ontario.ca external link to get help finding information about services in your community.

Although the availability of services vary depending on the clinic, several universities and colleges offer dental care at a fee generally less than what private practitioners charge.

Q4: Are there any programs in Ontario that provide financial support for assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and scooters?

Yes. Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program will cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of assistive devices for Ontario residents with long-term physical disabilities. For more information on the program and how to apply, please visit the Assistive Devices Program page external link on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website or call:

  • 416-327-8804 or 1-800-268-6021
  • 1-800-387-5559 for teletypewriter

The Ontario March of Dimes also offers an Assistive Devices Program to help you buy, repair and maintain a wide variety of mobility or assistive equipment (including wheelchairs). To learn more:

Q5: Who can I contact if I have questions regarding elder abuse or suspect someone is a victim?

If you suspect that a senior is being abused in any way or if you require information, referrals, or personal support please call the Seniors Safety Line at 1-866-299-1011. This service is operated by the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, in over 150 languages.

If you think that you or someone you know has been a victim of a theft, fraud or physical assault, you can also contact your local police department listed in the blue pages of your telephone directory. Some police services operate specific units with expertise in addressing elder abuse.

If you suspect that a senior is being abused or suffering from neglect, you can also contact your local Community Care Access Centre external link .

Q6: How do I get a senior's card?

Neither the Government of Ontario nor the Government of Canada produces a senior’s ID card. You may use a driver’s licence, birth certificate or passport to prove your age in order to receive discounts offered to seniors.

Here are three other options:

  1. Ontario Photo Card for Ontario residents 16 years of age and over who do not hold a driver's licence. The cost of the card, which is valid for a five year period, is $35.  Individuals may apply for the photo card at ServiceOntario centres external link . For more information, visit Ontario.ca/photocard external link or contact ServiceOntario:
    • 1-800-267-8097
    • 1-800-268-7095 for teletypewriter
  2. Old Age Security (OAS) Identification Card was issued to seniors prior to October 1st, 2013 who receive an OAS pension. The OAS pension provides a monthly payment at age 65 for seniors who have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. Existing cards in circulation remain valid.

  3. Canadian Citizenship Certificate for Canadian citizens. The citizenship certificate proves you are a Canadian citizen and contains the following information:
    • Your family and given names
    • Your date of birth
    • Your gender
    • Your effective date of citizenship

    Any Canadian citizen is entitled to apply for a citizenship certificate. The cost of a Canadian citizenship certificate is a one-time fee of $75. For more information about the Canadian Citizenship Certificate, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website external link or call:

    • 1-888-242-2100
    • 1-888-576-8502 for teletypewriter (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. your local time)

Q7: I am a low income senior - are there other financial support programs available to me in addition to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Ontario's Old Age Security (OAS) pension? If I am eligible, how do I apply?

Both federal and provincial financial assistance programs require income information in order to determine eligibility. Therefore, it is extremely important that you file your personal income tax return each year.

The federal government administers the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low income seniors who already receive OAS.  The GIS is a monthly benefit that provides financial support on top of your OAS payments.  GIS payments are based on your annual income or combined income if you are married or have a common-law partner.

To be eligible for GIS, you must be 65 or older, already receiving OAS and meet the income requirements explained on the Service Canada website.

To apply for GIS, contact Service Canada and they will mail you an application. You must re-apply each year, and you can do this by filing your tax return.

For more information, please visit the GIS page external link on the Service Canada website or call Service Canada for more information:

  • 1-800-277-9914 for service in English
  • 1-800-277-9915 for service in French
  • 1-800-255-4786 for teletypewriter
  • The provincial government also offers the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) which ensures a guaranteed minimum income for Ontario seniors. There is no application necessary to receive GAINS, as it is determined by your income tax return. If you meet the eligibility requirements, your benefits will be determined automatically based on the information provided on your annual income tax return.

    For more information about GAINS visit Ontario.ca/gains external link or call the Ministry of Finance:

    • 1-866-ONT-TAXS (668-8297)
    • 1-800-263-7776 for teletypewriter

    Q8: Are there grants available to help seniors repair or renovate their home?

    The Ontario Government offers a Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit to help seniors and family members who live with them make their homes safer and more accessible. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. The amount of money you get back for these expenses is calculated as 15 per cent of the eligible expenses you claim. For more information about the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit visit Ontario.ca/healthyhomes external link or call:

    • 1-866-ONT-TAXS (668-8297)
    • 1-800-263-7776 for teletypewriter

    The Ontario Renovates Program offers financial assistance to help low income homeowners and landlords:

    • Make necessary repairs to bring a home to acceptable standards;
    • Increase accessibility; and
    • Create affordable rental housing.

    Funding for accessibility repairs is available up to a maximum of $3,500. The Ontario Renovates program is made possible through the Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario program, which is funded by the federal and provincial governments. For more information about how Ontario Renovates is delivered in your area, whether you are eligible and how to apply, contact your local Service Manager external link .

    The Ontario March of Dimes offers a Home and Vehicle Modification Program which provides funding for modifications to help Ontario residents remain in their homes or have accessible transportation. For more information: