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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Saskatchewan

18,000 SASKATCHEWAN SENIORS TO RECEIVE ENHANCED BENEFITS

Letters will be sent this week to more than 18,000 Saskatchewan seniors who qualify for benefits under the recently-enhanced Seniors Income Plan (SIP).

"We've more than doubled these important benefits for Saskatchewan seniors - the first increase since 1992," Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said. "As a result of this annual $19.5 million investment from the province, nearly twice as many seniors will now qualify for SIP benefits."

Approximately 9,000 seniors who did not previously qualify for SIP due to their income level are now eligible to receive both financial and health benefits.

The enhancements more than double SIP benefits, paying up to a maximum of $190 per month for single seniors, and up to a maximum of $155 per month per person, for senior couples.

"In addition to the income support, those receiving SIP also receive additional health benefits," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "These additional benefits help improve the quality of life for this important group of seniors."

Seniors who qualify for SIP also receive the following health care benefits and services:
• one free eye exam per year;
• free chiropractic services;
• reduced deductible on prescription drugs;
• home care subsidy;
• supplementary health benefits for those living in special care homes; and
• loan of some low-cost devices through the Saskatchewan Abilities Council.

Seniors do not have to apply for SIP. Eligibility for SIP and the amount of benefit is determined based on the annual income declared by each senior on their previous year's income tax return or federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) application form. The provincial benefits are included with each senior's monthly federal Old Age Security and GIS, in one combined payment.

Seniors who have questions about their eligibility or benefits are encouraged to contact the Seniors Income Plan, toll free, at 1-800-667-7161. In Regina, please call 306-787-2681. Information about SIP is also available at www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Brian Miller
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0531
Email: brian.miller@gov.sk.ca

Karen Hill
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: karin.hill@gov.sk.ca

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