Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
COVID-19 – Enhancements to existing federal programs

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


COVID‑19 – Enhancements to existing federal programs refers to the sum of various benefit enhancements to existing federal government transfer programs during 2020 in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Government transfer programs with enhancement include Old Age Security pension (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), Canada Child Benefit, goods and services tax (GST) credit and harmonized sales tax (HST) credit and certain benefit programs geared towards persons with disabilities.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 (100% data).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Positive dollar value or nil


See 'Remarks' under total income.

This variable is a component of the COVID‑19 – Government income support and benefits.

See also:

For additional information about COVID‑19 benefits, data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

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