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FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for funeral financial assistance, you just have to know to ask!

Funeral homes will often have team members who are able to help you determine whether the estate is eligible for any form of financial assistance to help cover funeral costs, as well as work with you through the application process. Many funeral homes offer this service for free. In case they don't, we have provided a summary of some of the more common forms of financial assistance below:

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides for a death benefit which is a one-time, lump sum payment to the estate of a deceased CPP contributor. The amount of the lump sum payment will depend upon how much and for how long the deceased contributed to the CPP. Note that the maximum payment amount is $2,500. A link to the Government of Canada Death Benefit site is provided here. The application form can be found below:

https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=ISP1200

Other government assistance

In Canada, no one is ever denied the dignity of a funeral. If a family is not eligible for CPP benefits and is unable to cover the cost of a funeral, provincial or municipal governments can help fund basic funeral services – including a casket and cemetery, or cremation fees.

In most cases, this type of government assistance is offered to persons already receiving financial assistance from the province they reside in. Your funeral home should be able to help walk you through the requirements in your province. Links to the applicable policies for each provincial government are provided below:

British Columbia

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/policies-for-government/bcea-policy-and-procedure-manual/general-supplements-and-programs/funeral-costs

Alberta

http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/AWonline/IS/4862.html

Saskatchewan

https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/family-and-social-support/financial-help

Manitoba

https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/eia_manual/23.html

Ontario

Unlike most other provinces, in Ontario, you must apply to your local municipality for assistance to fund a funeral. A link to the applicable website for the City of Toronto is provided below:

https://www.toronto.ca/?page_id=7452?accordion=funeral-expense

New Brunswick

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.201319.Funeral_Benefit.html

Nova Scotia

https://novascotia.ca/coms/employment/documents/esia_manual/esia_program_policy_manual.pdf

Refer to section 6.2.11.

Prince Edward Island

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/services-a-famille-et-a-personne/social-assistance-program

Newfoundland and Labrador

http://www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/policymanual/pdf/is/spneeds_burials_funerals.pdf

Life Insurance

Another common way to help cover the cost of a funeral is the deceased’s life insurance policy. The estate should promptly contact the life insurance company once the death has occurred. If you do not have a copy of the original policy handy, the insurance company should be able to provide it to you. The company may request a copy of the Funeral Director’s Statement of Death.

Note: Families should initiate this process as soon as possible as it can often take a few weeks or even longer for the insurance company to pay out under the policy.

Veterans

The Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral and Burial Program ensures that eligible Veterans receive dignified funeral and burial services. The Last Post Fund (LPF), a non-profit organization, delivers the program on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada. To be eligible for the program, Veterans must meet both military and financial criteria. Additional information can be found at the following two websites:

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/financial/funeral-burial

http://www.lastpostfund.ca/

Employers / workplace organizations

Separately, certain employers or workplace organizations will also have death related benefits. Please check with the appropriate benefits coordinator at the deceased’s workplace.

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