Affordability measures for seniors coming in 2024

Kathy Bockus. (YouTube)

FREDERICTON — The provincial government has promised new measures to make life more affordable for seniors.

In January, a policy change for spousal contributions to facility-based care will ensure that at least 60 per cent of household incomes remain with the spouse at home, according to a recent press release from the Department of Social Development. It said the current policy has up to 60 per cent of the combined family income going toward care for the spouse in the nursing home.

This change takes place automatically, with no need for applications, the department noted.

Last month, the government also announced a $200 Low-Income Seniors’ Affordability Supplement to people who get the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit for the 2023 benefit year. This supplement is in addition to the current $400 Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit, the department said.

The department said that the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit will permanently increase to $600 in April

Kathy Bockus, Saint Croix MLA and the minister responsible for seniors, said the measures provide assistance for those who need it most.

“We want to continue to support our seniors and allow them to age with dignity, on their own terms,” she said in the press release. “New Brunswick seniors who are in their own homes and have a loved one in long-term care, or who need a little extra help with their household bills, will not have to wait for the assistance they need.”

Details are available by calling the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit toll-free line at 1-833-796-0944.

“We know the financial hardships many seniors on fixed incomes and low-income seniors face, and these initiatives ensure they can access assistance right away,” added Bockus. “I am pleased to share the good news with New Brunswickers so they can still apply for the 2023 Low-Income Seniors’ Affordability Supplement before the end of the year and receive the full $600 amount. They can then reapply for the increased Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit in April 2024.”

Learn more on the government’s website.

Jake Boudrot

A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and a resident of Arichat, Jake Boudrot is an award-winning journalist with decades of experience as a freelancer, reporter and editor representing media outlets across the Maritimes.