Death Benefits and Taxes
- Canada Pension Plan
- CPP Death Benefit
- CPP Survivors Pension
- CPP Children’s Benefit
- OAS Guaranteed Income Supplement – GIS
- CPP Contact Information
- Quebec Pension Plan – QPP
- QPP Contact Information
- Veterans Affairs Canada
- The Last Post Fund
- Provincial Benefits
- Severely Disabled and Poor
- Seniors (Alberta)
- Canada Revenue Agency
- Final Tax Return
- CRA Contact information
- Additional Resources
Canada Pension Plan
The CPP Death Benefit is a one-time, lump-sum payment to the estate on behalf of a deceased CPP contributor. If there is a will, it is advisable that the executor applies for the benefit within 60 days of the death.
If there is no will, payment may be made to other persons who apply for the benefit in the following order of priority:
- the person named by the courts as administrator to the estate
- the person or institution that has paid for or that is responsible for paying for the funeral expenses of the deceased;
- the surviving spouse or common-law partner of the deceased; or
- the next-of-kin of the deceased.
Allow 6-8 weeks for funds to be processed. When there is no legal will, allow process to take longer. Ensure there is still an account open in deceased’s name to receive these funds. Cheques are made out: To The Estate of …name…
The amount of the CPP Death Benefit depends on how much and for how long the deceased contributed to CPP. The maximum amount paid is $2,500.
See Canada Pension Plan website www.canada.ca ‘How Much Could You Receive?’
If there is a will, benefits are paid to the estate of deceased; without a will, application may be made by appointed administrator, or by person who paid funeral expenses. Allow 4-6 weeks to process.
If deceased has outstanding balance with CRA, benefit may be withheld.
CPP Survivor’s Pension is paid to the person who, at the time of death, is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor.
If you are a separated legal spouse and the deceased had no cohabiting common-law partner, you may qualify for this benefit.
Note: If you are widowed more than once, only one survivor’s pension – the larger – will be paid.
CPP Children’s Benefit provides monthly payments to the dependent children of disabled or deceased CPP contributors. The child must be either: under age 18; or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university.
Old Age Security (OAS) Guaranteed Income Supplement
If a surviving spouse is 65 or older, and their income is lower after death of spouse, they may apply for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.
CPP (Service Canada) Contact Information
To request applications, apply online, or for further information regarding all benefits and supplements, contact:
1-800-277- 9914 (hours 8:30 am – 4:30 pm nationwide)
Visit any Service Canada office
Quebec Pension Plan – QPP
The Canada Pension Plan operates throughout Canada except in Quebec, where Retraite Québec provides similar benefits under the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). A person may contribute to both the CPP and the QPP, which work together to ensure that all contributors are protected no matter where they live.
The same benefits (Death Benefit, Survivors Pension, and Children’s Benefits) are available through QPP.
1 800 463-5185 toll free
Added resource – ‘What if the Deceased Lived or Worked in Quebec?’
www.canada.ca CPP 1 800 277-9914
Veteran Affairs Canada – Last Post Fund
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. This federal program offers financial assistance for funeral, burial, and grave marking for veterans who meet the financial and service criteria. All veterans who served in the Canadian military (WW2, Korea, Regular and Reserve Forces) are now service eligible.
For more information, please visit the Last Post Fund website www.lastpostfund.ca. (Funeral directors can also advise)
PROVINCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES – ASSISTANCE FOR SEVERELY DISABLED AND THE POOR
Assistance with funeral expenses, or provision of basic services, is available in most provinces and territories for the severely disabled, and for those who do not have sufficient funds in their estate to fully cover the cost of a basic funeral, burial and/or cremation.
As a rule, these funeral expenses are pre-authorized by a community services or Social Services representative, or by estate services for First Nations people.
Some provinces are now covering only the basic costs of burial or cremation for people on social assistance. Families who desire additional services, such as viewing, memorial service, or funeral service, are now responsible for these costs.
FUNERAL ASSISTANCE FOR SENIORS
Alberta Seniors Benefits provides some assistance with funeral costs for seniors, but is limited to the funeral of a spouse. The surviving spouse must be 65 years of age at the time of the spouse’s death, and must be enrolled in the Alberta Seniors Benefit program. Amount granted is based on assets and income. Request for a benefit must be received within 12 months of the date of death.
Information: www.albertasupports.ca 1-877-644-9992
IMPORTANT NOTE: All benefits must be applied for
Do not assume the funeral home has filed applications on your behalf.
Canada Revenue Agency – Final Returns and Death
Personal tax returns must be filed for the deceased. Deadline for filing this return is determined by date of death. Once final tax assessment is completed, it is recommended that a Clearance Certificate be obtained from CRA before estate funds are dispersed.
CRA Website: canada.ca
Winnipeg Tax Centre, 66 Stapon Rd., Winnipeg, MB R3C 3M2
1 800 959-1953 re GST rebate
TIPS (Tax Information Phone Service). This automated phone service provides information to individuals and businesses. Find services offered by TIPS on website.
1 800 267-6999 (Canada and US)
Additional Resources re: Final Tax Return
- ‘T4011 Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons’ – canada.ca
- ‘Due Date for the Final Return’ – canada.ca
Individual and family enquiries
For security purposes, CRA is unable to discuss specific information with executors about a deceased person’s tax return until they receive certified true copies of both the will and death certificate.
Before calling to get or change personal tax information, it is recommended that you read Getting or changing personal tax information on CRA website.