Fax machines and snail mail are the preferred method for seniors submitting forms, receipts and banking information, but the Alberta government is hoping seniors will use a new online tool to access financial assistance.

Currently seniors send more than 600,000 documents in person, by mail or fax to the provincial government each year, the government says.

Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon says giving seniors another option will make the process easier.

"Accepting documents for seniors' financial assistance programs online is long overdue. I’m pleased to be making these programs more accessible," said Pon.

Some of the tax benefits that can be applied for online include the Alberta Seniors Benefit, Supplementary Accomodation Benefit for low-income seniors in supportive living or long-term care and Dental and Optical Assistance.

The announcement was made on the International Day of Older Persons which is celebrated on Oct. 1 each year.

Government officials and seniors raised a flag outside to commemorate the day outside on the Federal Building Plaza in Edmonton.

Seniors and service providers can access the new online tool at the province's website.