Information and Referral program
411 Seniors operates an Information & Referral (I&R) program that helps connect older adults with the programs, services and resources they require. Our volunteers are retirees who have knowledge and experience with system navigation.
Program Hours / Contact Us
411 Seniors’ new centre is now open from Monday to Thursday between 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at 604-684-8171.
Our volunteers can:
- Provide information about various federal, provincial, municipal and community programs and services available to older adults.
- Assist with filling out forms, and accessing online resources.
- Support problem solving and self-advocacy.
We can assist you with the following and more:
Old Age Security (OAS)
Are you over 65? Have you lived in Canada for at least ten years since turning 18? Are you a Canadian citizen or legal resident, or will you be by the time your Old Age Security (OAS) application is approved? You may be eligible for OAS monthly payments. Did you live in another country? If you lived in specific countries, you may be entitled to benefits. If you are eligible for OAS and you are not receiving it – we can help you apply! Please note that you should apply for OAS six months in advance of requiring it.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Are you receiving Old Age Security (OAS) payments? Is your OAS payment $635.26* or less per month ? Is your total income less than $19,248* (single) or $25,440* (couple both receiving maximum OAS) per year? Please note this income amount does not include your OAS payments. You may be eligible for the GIS to increase the amount of money you receive monthly. If you are eligible for GIS and you are not receiving it – we can help you apply!
*These amounts are for October to December 2021 and they may change following December 2021. Please talk to someone to see what the new amounts after December.
Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)
Did you or a former spouse work in Canada and pay into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)? You may be entitled to CPP monthly payments. These payments can begin as early as the age of 60 and as late as the age of 70. If you are eligible for CPP payments and you are not receiving them – we can help you apply! Please note that you should apply for CPP six months in advance of requiring it.
Medical Services Plan (MSP) Coverage
Do you pay for your BC Medical Service Plan Premiums? Is your income (including both you and your spouse) between $20,000 and $42,000 per year?
You may be eligible for regular premium assistance. If you suffered a significant
drop of income you may be entitled to temporary assistance. This is based on your income. It does not matter if you are working, unemployed,
retired, or if you have never worked. You must be a BC resident and have lived
in Canada as citizen or landed immigrant for the past 12 months. This regular premium assistance could reduce or entirely eliminate your BC Medical Service Plan Premiums. We can help you apply for premium assistance to reduce or possibly eliminate your BC Medical Service Plan Premiums!
BC Bus Pass Program
Are you 60-64 in age and someone in your family unit is a person with disabilities receiving assistance from the Province of BC? Are you 60-64 and receiving BC income assistance or living on a First Nations reserve and getting assistance? Do you receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Federal Spousal Allowance or Survivor Allowance? Or are you a low income senior who has not lived in Canada for at least ten years since turning 18? We can help you apply for the $45.00 per year transit pass! This pass is good in areas served by BC Transit and Translink. It does not apply for services such as HandyDART.
Fair Pharmacare Plan
Do you want or need assistance in paying for your prescription medication and other eligible medical supplies? You may be eligible for Fair Pharmacare. This plan provides individuals and families with assistance to pay for their eligible prescription drugs and medical supplies, based on their income. Depending on income, Fair Pharmacare may provide payment assistance from the begining of the year, or you may have to spend a certain amount of money on prescriptions to be entitled to this coverage. Registration is free. There are no premiums to pay. If you are eligible for Fair Pharmacare – we can help you apply!
We are not a housing provider, nor do we have access to housing units. 411 Seniors Information and Referral volunteers can assist with filling out BC Housing and non-profit housing applications.
Monthly Rent Supplement – SAFER
Have you lived in BC for the full 12 months immediately preceding your application? Are you and your spouse (if applicable) a Canadian citizen, have permanent residence status or a Convention refugee? Do you pay more than 30% of your gross (before tax) monthly household income towards the rent for your home or for the cost of pad rental for a manufactured home (trailer) that you own and occupy?Does your gross monthly household income not exceed $2,550 or $2,750? Maximum allowable income varies based on household size and location in the province. You may be eligible for a monthly rent supplement through SAFER which provides additional money to help you pay your rent. SAFER does not apply to those who live in subsidized housing or housing co-ops. We can help you apply for a SAFER rent supplement!
411 Seniors has developed a number of infographics below that provide information and tips on a range of benefits and programs that older adults in BC may have access to.
Information on SAFER (Shelter Aid For Elderly Residents), a financial rental subsidy program for low to moderate income older adults. View infographic HERE.
BC Housing Infographic
Tips for what to do after applying to BC Housing, specifically older adult subsidized housing. View infographic HERE.
Transitioning from PWD to CPP, OAS and GIS Infographic
Tips for people transitioning from the Provincial Disability Program to the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. View infographic HERE.
Navigation Peer Support Program Pamphlet
Information on a wide variety of benefits that older adults in BC have access to, for example Canadian Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Fair Pharmacare, and more. View pamphlet HERE.
Navigation Peer Support Program Infographic
Created for I&R and peer volunteers and staff: Questions to ask older adults to find out what benefits they already have and which ones they need. View infographic HERE.
Reports – 411 Research Working Group Projects
The 411 Seniors Research Working Group is made up of board members and members of the 411 community with the goal of building capacity for research on issues and concerns important to the older adults accessing the 411 Seniors Centre. Learn more on our Projects page.
See below for reports that have come out of 411 partnerships with Simon Fraser University’s STAR Institute, United Way Health Aging and more.
In Community – Information and Referral Services for Seniors in British Columbia Report
This report was produced by 411 Seniors Research Working Group in partnership with Simon Fraser University’s STAR Institute and was developed in direct response to the growing need for a comprehensive review of existing information and referral services for seniors in British Columbia (BC) in an attempt to capture the state of senior-focused service provision in BC. View report HERE (press + sign at the top to zoom in to read the text).
Asset Mapping – Inventory of I&R Services for Seniors Across British Columbia Report
This report and inventory was produced by 411 Seniors Research Working Group in partnership with United Way Healthy Aging’s Navigation Peer Support Program and identifies organizations that offer information and referral services and activities to help older adults navigate the digital realm. The report serves as a reference as decisions and resources are made to enhance information and referral resources across the province. View report HERE (press + sign at the top to zoom in to read the text).