10.5.5.10 Totalising to qualify for an Australian benefit - Agreement with Canada

Totalising for an Australian benefit

Article 6 of the Agreement with Canada covers totalising in order to qualify for an Australian benefit.

For the purposes of qualifying for Age, periods of contributions to the Canada Pension Plan and periods of residence for the purposes of the Canadian Old Age Security Program can count as periods as an Australian resident to meet minimum residence requirements for that benefit under the SSAct.

For the purposes of qualifying for disability support pension and parenting payment (single), only periods of contributions to the Canada Pension Plan can count as periods as an Australian resident to meet minimum residence requirements for those benefits under the SSAct. This previously also applied to BVA. BVA ceased from 20 March 2020.

People residing in Canada, or a third country with which Australia has an agreement, must have a minimum of 12 months Australian working life residence (6 months of which is continuous) before they can totalise to qualify for an Australian benefit. No minimum period of AWLR is required for people residing in Australia.

The policy regarding overlapping periods discussed in 10.1.5.60 applies to the Agreement with Canada.

The policy regarding totalisation for widows discussed in 10.1.5.70 applies to widows claiming PPS under the Agreement with Canada (prior to 20 March 2020, it also applied to those claiming BVA). This means that widows claiming this benefit under the Agreement are deemed to have accumulated a Canadian creditable period for any period which their partner accumulated creditable periods. This only applies to periods accumulated under the Canada Pension Plan. Any period with both creditable periods accumulated will only be counted once.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 4 Canada

Policy reference: SS Guide 10.1.5.60 Overlapping Periods, 10.1.5.70 Totalisation for Widows

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020