Chapter 3: Financial considerations

Survivor benefits

A number of additional financial benefits may be available to assist with the cost of a funeral or celebration of life. It’s important to find out what might be available through federal and provincial/territorial programs.

Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits

Working Canadians contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) through payroll deductions. When a contributor dies, CPP survivor benefits are paid to the person’s estate, surviving spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children.

In order to receive CPP benefits, you must apply for them. Click below to read about the three types of benefits.

This a monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased contributor. Dependent children are those under 18, or between the ages of 18 and 25 and attending school or university full-time.

Québec Pension Plan survivor benefits

The Québec Pension Plan offers its own survivor benefits, which are similar to those offered by the CPP.

Employer life insurance or pensions

If the person’s employer offered life insurance through a group insurance plan, money may be available to survivors as a one-time payment. If the employer offered a pension plan, some of the employee’s pension benefits may be paid to survivors if the employee dies. Employees contribute to these plans while they are employed.


If the person was a war Veteran, you may want to find out about the Last Post Fund. This is a non-profit corporation financially supported by Veterans Affairs Canada. It ensures that war Veterans are not denied a dignified funeral and burial for lack of sufficient funds.