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Assistance for Workers Aged 55 to 59

Older workers who were dismissed or laid off and have found themselves without employment because of the economic situation may qualify for monthly financial assistance under the Income Support Program for Older Workers.

Created in 2009, the Income Support Program for Older Workers ended on March 31, 2013, for the asbestos mining sector and on December 31, 2012, for all other sectors of activity. 

Eligible persons who lost their job before the end of the program may nevertheless continue to receive assistance under the program until they reach age 60.

Who is this program designed for?

To be eligible for this program, you must meet a number of conditions, including the following:

  • have worked for an employer who operates a business in Québec
  • be between the ages of 55 and 59 at the time of the dismissal or layoff
  • have contributed for 20 years to the Québec Pension Plan or Canada Pension Plan during the last 30 years
  • have been dismissed or laid off between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2013 (in the case of workers in the asbestos extraction sector), or were dismissed or laid off between April 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012 (for workers in the other sectors).

How much is the financial assistance?

The financial assistance provided may be as high as $1,065 a month. It is adjusted every year on January 1.

Your personal income is taken into account, but the assistance is not reduced unless you earn over $200 a month.

The sum paid does not take into account:

  • the value of your assets (house, cottage, automobile, property, etc.)
  • your liquid assets (amounts in hand or in a bank account, term deposits, savings bonds, etc.)
  • your spouse's income or that of your dependent children, if applicable

You are not entitled to claim slips or supplemental benefits for health-related or other special needs.

When to apply

  • If you are eligible for employment insurance benefits: not later than the 3rd month following the termination date of your employment insurance benefits.
  • If you are not eligible for employment insurance benefits:
    • Not later than the 4th month following a dismissal
    • Not later than the 7th month following a layoff


Contact your local employment centre (CLE)Opens external link in new window..

Questions & Answers

Is this financial assistance taxable?

Yes. The sums paid under this program are taxable. In addition, no income tax is withheld at source.



A permanent severing of the employment relationship by the employer for:

  • economic reasons (financial difficulties, a decline in revenues, etc.)
  • organizational reasons (for example, a reorganization resulting in the abolition or merging of positions)
  • technical reasons (such as technological innovations)

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A temporary suspension of the contract of employment between the employer and the employee. The laid-off employee may be called back to work. The employee retains his or her employment relationship for the duration of the layoff, and the contractual relationship is maintained. To be eligible for the program, the duration of the layoff must be at least 6 months.

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