Government Benefits

What government benefits are available?

There are a number of benefits available to survivors of the deceased, whether they be spouses or children. However, it is important to apply for all of the applicable government benefits that you are eligible to receive and to do so as soon as possible, because retroactive payments are time limited. The attached PDF file from Service Canada, “During Your Time Of Loss: Information for Survivors” outlines the Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits and how to find out if you are eligible. The various benefits are outlined here as well and grouped by type.

Canada Pension Plan Benefits

Old Age Security Benefits

Veterans Affairs Canada

What benefits are available to surviving spouses and families of Canadian Forces Members?

When a death occurs, VAC’s Casualty Support Protocol is invoked. An Area counselor is assigned to the survivor/family. Working closely with the DND Assisting Officer, the Area Counselor will work with the client/family to identify the needs and help access, on a priority basis, the services and programs that are required. The Area Counselor will plan, organize, coordinate and monitor the VAC services and resources required to respond to the needs.

Death Benefit
The Death Benefit will recognize and compensate a surviving spouse/common-law partner and/or surviving dependent child(ren) of a member for the non-economic impacts of a sudden service-related death, which includes the member’s loss of life, the resulting loss of guidance, care, companionship and the impact of the member’s death on the functioning of the household.
The Death Benefit and Disability awards payable under the CFMVRCA, which are administered exclusively by Veterans Affairs Canada, is separate from CFSA. No contributions are made and the benefits are not dependent on average pay or years of service, but rather on the extent of the member’s disability.

Vocational Assistance
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, Vocational Assistance, including rehabilitation services, is available based on need to the surviving spouse/common-law partner.

Financial Benefits
When the death of a CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner and orphans are eligible for the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Canadian Forces Income Support. Survivors/common-law partners are also eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit.

Health Benefits Program
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner, if not otherwise eligible for the Public Service Health Care Plan, can enroll in the Public Service Health Care Plan through the Health Benefits Program and obtain coverage for themselves and their family.

Education Assistance
Education Assistance may be available to help children carry on their education past high school if they have a CF parent who dies as a result of military service. Under the program, full-time students can qualify for grants to help pay for their education costs and living expenses.

Answers via Veterans Affairs Canada. For more information www.veterans.gc.ca. or contact one of VAC’s toll-free numbers at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French).

How do I apply for the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit?

If your spouse passed away and was a contributor to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) you may be eligible to receive a lump sum death benefit. The death benefit is based on the amount of CPP pension your spouse was receiving and the maximum amount is $2,500. The amount received is taxable to the deceased’s estate. You have to apply for the death benefit in order to receive it.. Your financial advisor can help you or you can directly request an application kit from Service Canada or download it in PDF form from at this link.
Note that in order to apply you will be required to provide:

  • a Death Certificate
  • the Social Insurance Number (SIN) of the deceased

Am I eligible for the Children’s Benefits?

The Children’s Benefits are available to children who have lost a parent. It is a monthly benefit available to dependent children who are younger than 18 or who are between 18 and 25 and in school full-time. For more information, detailed questions and answers, or to download an application please visit Service Canada.

What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement?

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides additional money, on top of the Old Age Security pension, to low-income seniors living in Canada. To be eligible for the GIS benefit you must be receiving the Old Age Security pension and meet income requirements.

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