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It is created to provide general pension information only.

Sometimes senior married or common-law couple has to live apart from eachother due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. one transferred to nursing home). Under this circumstances, their marital or common-law status under the pension program may remain as is however their GIS/ALW amount calculation may be calculated using individual category.

A pensioner’s GIS is calculated based on their combined marital income. If a pension has a spouse who still has higher earning, it will affect the pensioner’s GIS qualification amount. For example, if John’s retired annual income in $6,000 and his spouse, Lucy, has $50,000 annual income because she is still working, then John will not be qualified for GIS because of Lucy’s income. They have a combined income of $50,000 + $6,000 which surpasses GIS upper threshold.

However, if John suddenly has to be sent to a nursing home due to poor health issue and has to live apart from Lucy (who still lives at home), John’s GIS will then be calculated based on his own income of $6,000 which is under the GIS individual category income threshold. Both John and Lucy are still considered a married couple under pension program, however, their GIS calculation will now be based on individual income rather than combined family income. 

Same principle applies to spouse who are receiving the Allowance amount.

To qualify for involuntary separation status, pension or their POA must complete the ISP-3040 form (click here to download