Canadians: help me convince my mother to get a SIN

The situation: my mother left Canada as a young adult, just before the SIN came in, so she doesn’t have one, and getting one would be inconvenient. She lives in the USA where she holds US citizenship and has an SSN. She works full time and has no intention of ever leaving the US. On the other hand, she is already at retirement age and has no family at all in the US.

I think she should get an SIN. My logic: it costs nothing, it doesn’t hurt, and then you’d have it, just in case you ever want it. And what if I need to move her up here should her health decline? Her logic: why bother? I’ve never needed it before, why should I get one now?

What are some arguments on either side? It seems to me that our respective positions are based on our personalities (panic! just in case! vs. nuclear-powered optimism), not on logic.

ETA: I’ve added a poll, just because I’ve never done one and I think they’re fun.

Yes, probably. She may actually be eligible for a small amount of Canadian Social Security income, depending on the specifics of her situation. That’s what happened to my dad.

Let me explain: My dad lived in Canada for 5 years, in his 40s. During that time, he worked and paid into Canadian Social Security. Since then he has lived in the US. (He was always a US citizen throughout this time.)

When my dad retired at 65, he of course was eligible for US Social Security. He had spent most of his working life in the US. But he discovered that because of provisions in the US-Canada tax treaty, he was also eligible for a small monthly payment from Canadian Social Security.

The way it worked was that you totalled your working years from BOTH Canada and the US to see if you worked long enough for the pension, then that was pro-rated by the time spent in each country.

Now, I don’t know if this will exactly apply to your mother. But very likely anybody who has lived in Canada has a chance of being eligible for SSI.

Good luck. Mom’s are stubborn, I’m still trying to get mine to see a doctor on a regular basis.

Just tell her about this apple that will make her as smart as God–oh, Social Insurance Number. Nevermind.

Silly Canadians.

Yeah, at first glance at of the thread title, I thought it was - Canadians: help me convince my mother to live in SIN.

I see no reason she should. She can always get one if she needs it.

From what I can find, SINs were created in 1964 (cite), and the Canada Pension Plan was created in 1966 (cite). So, if your mother left before SINs were introduced in 1964, she never would have had a chance to contribute into CPP Thus, she likely would not receive any CPP at all.

Right now, there doesn’t appear to be any need to hurry. But it’s probably not a bad idea for her to get one. If she did move up here, she could get a job immediately; and of course, if she decided to open a bank account after moving here, she would need a SIN for interest income reporting purposes.

Has she ever worked in Canada and contributed income tax dollars?

Thanks for the replies so far. Spoons is correct: she left in 1963, and she figures (probably correctly) that any extra income from a couple of years working entry-level jobs before the system was instituted are probably more trouble to collect that they’re worth. suranyi’s point is a great comfort to me for my situation, though!