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Financial Assistance & Benefits


The following resources are designed to help you file for financial assistance and benefits correctly.

Canada Pension Plan Survivor & Other Death Benefits

Human Resources Development Canada provides for survivor benefits through the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits are paid to a deceased contributor’s estate, surviving spouse or common-law partner and dependant children. There are three types of benefits:

  • Death Benefit – one-time payment to, or on behalf of, the estate of a deceased Canada Pension Plan contributor to a maximum of $2,500.00
  • Survivor’s Benefit – a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor
  • Children’s Benefit – monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased contributor

Cherished Memories will provide these forms for you, or you may download applications at

Updated April 2007 – A supplement may be provided to pay necessary funeral services costs of any person who dies in BC if the family unit or the estate of the deceased person has no immediate resources to meet these costs. There is no requirement that the deceased person, or the person’s family, must be BC Employment & Assistance recipients to qualify for the supplement. Costs are to be recovered whenever possible.

The Public Guardian & Trustee of British Columbia is a division of the Ministry of Attorney General for the Province of BC. The Public Trustee has a legal responsibility to protect the rights of mentally incapable persons, minors and the estates of missing persons and deceased persons where there is no named executor, or where there is no one willing or able to act as executor. The Public Trustee’s Estate Administration Division secures assets, settles debts and claims against the estate, and then identifies and locates the estates heirs and beneficiaries.

Funeral and other Death Expenses

Where compensation is payable as the result of the death of a worker or as the result of injury resulting in a death, an amount payable for funeral and related expenses is paid, in addition to any other compensation payable. The maximum amount payable for funeral and related expenses as of January 1, 2007 is $7,718.04

The Crime Victim Assistance Program in a new program, administered by the Victim Services Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The program, which came into force June 30, 2002, replaces the Criminal Injury Compensation Board. The program is governed by the Crime Victim Assistance Act and the Regulations. Under the Act, victims injured as a result of certain crimes, immediate family members of an injured or deceased victim and some witnesses may be eligible for financial assistance or benefits.

The Criminal Injury Compensation Act of BC provides compensation, within certain limitations, for personal injury or death resulting from a crime within the province. If you are an immediate family member of a person who was killed due to a crime, you may be entitled to compensation which will include funeral and burial or cremation expenses. You may also be entitled if you were injured while helping a law enforcement officer or while trying to prevent a crime from occurring. In order to apply for compensation there is no need for the offender to have been caught but there must be a report to the police.

You must apply for compensation within one year of injury or death. These services include a toll-free, province-wide telephone service 1-800-563-0308.

ICBC will provide no-fault accident benefits. These benefits include payment for funeral expenses up to the cost of the funeral or $2500.00, whichever is less.

Effective March 16, 1998, the BC Branch of the Last Post Fund has assumed responsibilities from Veterans Affairs Canada to action all funerals and burials for qualified war veterans, Merchant Mariners and certain other qualified persons. All notifications of veteran deaths are now being passed to this office by the Various VAC District offices as well as the Pacific Region office. The grant is means tested and estate and spousal assets must be declared on the grant form. In some cases, depending on the assets declared, a partial grant may be awarded. The surviving spouse or other responsible person should obtain the deceased’s regimental number then contact the Last Post Fund, BC Branch at (604) 572-3242 or call toll-free 1-800-268-0248.

Canadian Forces Benefits

The government has recently approved amendments related to funeral and burial benefits for deceased Canadian Forces Members. The new policy provides up to $12,700.00 for actual funeral and burial related expenses.

Direct link to Section 2 – Chapter 210 – Funeral and Burial Expenses

Compassionate Travel Policy

Some North American airlines may have a Compassionate Travel Policy. Should one be traveling due to the death of an immediate family member, you may be eligible for a partial refund on your fare providing certain conditions are met. Your travel must originate in North America and be round-trip or as defined by the airline. When making your travel arrangements, advise the airlines that you are departing due to the death of a family member and request costs and procedures for compassionate fares. Some hotels also provide discounted room rates for those traveling a distance.


Check to see if there is any documentation or records indicating that the deceased held a life insurance policy.


Many such groups provide death benefits to the families of their members. Many of these benefits go unclaimed because families do not know of their existence.

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