Government Benefits

Government assistance for funerals exists to ease the financial burden that comes with someone’s passing. Work done in Canada, military service, cultural background, and the nature of someone’s passing may qualify the next of kin to receive assistance. Listed below are programs that offer such assistance.

CPP Death Benefit: 

What is the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit? The CPP Death Benefit is a lump sum payment offered to individuals if the deceased has worked in Canada.

How much money will I receive? The amount of money received depends on how much the deceased has contributed to the Canada Pension Plan. The maximum amount is $2,500.

Who can receive this benefit?

  1. An administer appointed by the court
  2. The person responsible for funeral expenses
  3. The spouse or common-law partner of the deceased
  4. The next-of-kin

More information can be found here:

What if the deceased worked or lived in Quebec?

The Canada Pension Plan does not operate in Quebec. Retraite Quebec provides similar benefits under the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

More information can be found here:

CPP Survivor’s Pension: 

What is the Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Pension? The CPP Survivor’s Pension is a portion of the contributor’s retirement pension offered to the surviving partner.

­How much will I receive? If the survivor is age 65 or more, they are entitled to receive 60 per cent of the contributor’s retirement pension, if the surviving spouse is not receiving other CPP benefits. More information for individuals under age 65 is provided in the link below.

Who can receive this benefit?

  1. Legal spouse
  2. Common-law partner
  3. Separated legal spouse (if the deceased had no cohabiting common-law partner)

More information can be found here:

WSIB Survivors’ Benefits:

What are WSIB Survivors’ Benefits? WSIB offers five types of benefits:

  1. Burial Expenses: Payment of burial or cremation costs and potentially transport of a worker’s body back to their community, if they were working out of town.
  2. Crisis Intervention Counseling: A counselor is sent to see how they can help family members
  3. Bereavement Counseling: The surviving spouse and children are entitled to bereavement counseling.
  4. Labour Market Re-Entry: Assistance for the surviving spouse to re-enter the workforce, if necessary.
  5. Payment to Survivors: WSIB pays survivors and/or dependant children a lump sum payment and a continual monthly payment.

More information can be found here:

Last Post Fund:

What is the Last Post Fund? This service pays for the funeral and burial expenses of Veterans with insufficient means.

Who is Eligible? To be eligible for the program, Veterans must meet military service and financial criteria.

To meet the military service criteria, the Veteran must be:

  1.  A former member of the Canadian Forces or any predecessor Naval, Army or Air Forces of Canada or Newfoundland; or
  2.  A Canadian Merchant Navy Veteran of the Second World War or the Korean War; or
  3.  An Allied Veteran who served with the Allied Forces during the Second World War or the Korean War and has also lived in Canada for at least 10 years, or lived in Canada prior to enlisting and was living in Canada at time of death.

To meet the financial criteria, if service related criteria has been met, eligibility can be established in one of two ways:

1. Matter-of-Right

When a Veteran’s death is related to military service due to a condition for which Veterans Affairs Canada provided a disability benefit, assistance may be granted as a matter-of-right (no means testing). This must be determined by a medical authority from Veterans Affairs Canada.

2. Means Testing

Eligibility is based on net assets at the time of death.  If the assets of the deceased and the financial resources of the estate are insufficient to cover funeral and burial costs (according to the financial evaluation below), a total or partial coverage of the cost is possible. 

More information can be found here:

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC):

How Can INAC Help? INAC can provide a benefit to Indigenous peoples to cover funeral and transport expenses.

What Does INAC Provide? Funeral and burial costs (not exceeding $3,500) and, when necessary, costs to repatriate the body (not exceeding $6,000) by rail, air, or vehicle transport.

Who is Eligible to Receive Assistance? For purposes of confirming the eligibility for IA benefits, the client must demonstrate that he/she is:

  1. ordinarily resident on-reserve;
  2. eligible for basic or special financial assistance (as defined by the province or territory of residence, and confirmed by an assessment covering employability, family composition and age, and financial resources available to the household; and;
  3. able to demonstrate a requirement for IA programs and services support and demonstrate they have no other source of funding to meet basic needs.

More information can be found here:

Social Services (Toronto):           

What does Social Services provide? Coverage for basic funeral expenses may be provided on behalf of deceased Toronto residents who do not have enough money in their estate to cover these costs.

What will I receive? Help with funeral expenses can include:

     1. Funeral services: Toronto Employment and Social Services will pay for the transfer of the body for cremation, burial, or for a traditional funeral service.

     2. Burial services: Toronto Employment and Social Services will purchase a burial plot. If the deceased person owned a plot, Toronto Employment and Social Services will pay to open and close the plot.

     3. Cremation services: Toronto Employment and Social Services will pay for cremation as well as the cost of scattering the remains in cemetery or a burial in a pre-owned plot.

How do I apply to social services?

 If the deceased person was on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, you can go directly to the funeral home of your choice. However, before making the funeral arrangements the Funeral Director must be told that the deceased was receiving social assistance. The Funeral Director will contact Toronto Employment and Social Services, Funeral Services Unit to obtain authorization.

If the deceased person was not receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can apply at any Employment and Social Services location. Contact an office to book an appointment and find out what information is needed to complete a funeral application. To determine eligibility, a caseworker will consider the financial situation of the deceased person and his/her spouse at the time of death. This includes, for example, assets, income, RRSPs and life insurance.

It is important you know that Toronto Employment and Social Services:

  • must authorize services before you sign a contract with a funeral home or cemetery
  • prefers that the executor/executrix start the funeral arrangements (If there is no executor/executrix, the person applying for this help should be the person making the arrangements at the funeral home.)
  • is entitled to recover the funeral costs from all sources available to the deceased person
  • is open between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Tuesday. If the death occurs after hours or on a weekend/holiday, you must advise the Funeral Director that you plan to apply for financial help from Employment and Social Services
  • the funeral director’s ‘Proof of Death Certificate’ is kept by Employment and Social Services. If you require a copy of this certificate in order to administer the estate, or require further information, please contact Funeral Services at 416-338-8888.

More information can be found here: