Navigating the Virtual World with the New Horizons for Seniors Program
Updated: May 4, 2022
Congratulations to Roma, who was the first recipient of a brand-new 8th Generation iPad through the New Horizons for Seniors program. This program matches low-income seniors with internal volunteers, who either provide aid using their current technology, or provide them with new technology, in order to assist in navigating tax filing and communication online. Residents must have completed their taxes via Sunrise in order to be eligible for this program. Roma, who previously completed all her work through her cell phone, has received an easier means of filing taxes and communicating with her loved ones through this two-fold program.
In recent years, seniors have fallen behind on filing their taxes, due to being less able to navigate virtual spaces. Through the New Horizons for Seniors program, seniors can receive assistance using online features such as setting up a My CRA or Services Canada account; accessing the Auto Deposit feature within My CRA; applying for Disability Tax Credits and filling out applications for benefits such as CPP and the Fair Entry Program. All these services may be accessed over the phone, or in-person should the resident require one-on-one assistance. For information regarding these services, head to https://www.sunriselink.org/taxation-benefits or call the office at (403) 204-8280.
Completion of yearly taxes can grant access to a range of benefits and entitlements such as GST Refunds and the Climate Action Initiative, many of which can only be accessed by filing taxes in order to claim the benefits directly, or to establish eligibility. Even for individuals with no income, yearly filing of personal taxes is beneficial.
On top of this, the use of communication technology, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has been proven to lead to increased feelings of connection and decreased feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression in individuals. In just under an hour with an advocate, Roma was able to fully set up her iPad with the apps she wanted to use, gracing Sunrise with the first email sent from her new device.
Interested residents must have completed their taxes via Sunrise. For more information regarding the filing of one’s taxes with Sunrise, or to register to have yours done, please visit https://www.sunriselink.org/taxation-benefits.