Government Benefits

Canada Pension Plan

If your spouse passed away and was a recipient of Canada Pension Plan benefits 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. The maximum amount is $2,500. The amount received is taxable to the deceased’s estate. You have to apply for the death benefit. Your advisor can help you or you can directly request an application kit from Service Canada or download it from the following website:

Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit Application Kit

What you will need:

  • Death Certificate
  • SIN for the deceased

If your spouse passed away and was receiving CPP benefits there will also be a survivor’s pension payable. The amount of the pension will depend on whether:

  • you are currently receiving a CPP retirement or disability pension
  • how much and for how long your spouse contributed to the plan
  • your age when applying for the survivor pension

If you are 65 or older and not receiving CPP benefits yourself, the pension will be 60% of your spouse’s pension at age 65. Special rules apply if you are younger. Please contact your advisor or Service Canada for the details.

If you are receiving CPP benefits yourself, the most the combined pension can be is the current maximum individual CPP pension.

You will need to fill out an application to apply for these benefits. These are available at any Service Canada centre, from most funeral homes or you can access it on-line at:

Canada Pension Plan Retirement Application

What you will need:

  • Death Certificate of the deceased
  • Marriage certificate if you were married to the deceased
  • A statutory declaration if you were living common-law with the deceased
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Allowance for the Survivor Benefits

There are benefits available for survivors under the Allowance for the Survivor Program but the conditions are rather restrictive. The taxable payments are about $560 per month and to be eligible the following conditions need to be in place:

  • you are 60 to 64 years old
  • your income was less than approximately $23,000
  • you have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after reaching age 18

You should contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and they will send you an application kit.

Application for the Old Age Security Pension

What you will need:

  • Your birth or baptismal certificate
  • Marriage license (statutory declaration if common-law)
  • Death certificate of the deceased

Obtain more information on Survivor Benefits

For more details on the various government plans and benefits contact your advisor.