Funeral and Burial Assistance
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. To be eligible for the program, Veterans must meet both military and financial criteria. For more information, please visit the Last Post Fund website.
When a Veteran’s death is related to military service due to a condition for which Veterans Affairs Canada provided a disability benefit, assistance may be granted as a matter-of-right (no means testing). This must be determined by a medical authority from Veterans Affairs Canada.
Under the program, the LPF may provide funeral and burial assistance to:
- a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces or any predecessor naval, army or air forces of Canada or Newfoundland; or
- a Canadian Merchant Navy Veteran of the Second World War or the Korean War; or
- an Allied Veteran who served with the Allied Forces during the Second World War or the Korean War and has also lived in Canada for at least 10 years, or lived in Canada prior to enlisting and was living in Canada at time of death.
If the estate of the deceased and the financial resources of any surviving spouse are not sufficient to pay the expenses of the funeral and burial (as determined by the means test described below) then assistance may be provided to cover all or part of the cost.
The Means Test
In determining eligibility for means-tested assistance, the following assets in the deceased's estate will not be included in the calculation of financial status:
- Assets to a value of $37,000 where the deceased left a surviving spouse
- Assets to a value of $700 for each dependent child (as defined under the legislation)
- The family home (including normal household furnishings) and the family automobile
- Regular income cheques (payments under: Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, War Veterans Allowance, or disability pension payments) issued to the deceased for the month of death.
Where the deceased is not survived by a spouse or dependent children, all estate assets are examined to determine financial need.
Funeral and burial expenses of the deceased, as well as other debts, are considered when determining the value of the estate. If it is determined that the estate and, if applicable, the financial resources of any surviving spouse are sufficient to provide for the funeral and burial, assistance will not be approved. If there are sufficient assets to cover a portion of the expenses, a grant in the amount of the difference, up to the maximum amounts stipulated by legislation, may be approved.
Financial assistance is payable for the following costs:
- any medical costs of the deceased person's last sickness that were not otherwise paid by the Minister and that are not insured under a private or provincial health care plan;
- the costs of the following funeral services:
- preparation of the remains,
- provision of a casket that meets the standards specified by the Minister or provision of an urn,
- provision of ceremonial services,
- provision of death notices,
- transportation of the remains from the place where the death occurred to a funeral home and to a place of burial or cremation, and
- transportation of the remains that requires the services of two funeral homes because the funeral home or place of burial or cremation are not in the same locality as the place where the death occurred;
- if necessary, the cost of any special preparation of the remains for viewing;
- if required, the cost of providing a single grave and reasonable costs of opening and closing the grave and its perpetual care;
- if a grave liner is required by the authorities of the cemetery, municipality or province, the cost of a decomposable or non-decomposable grave liner;
- the cost of cremating the remains; and
- a military style grave marker (upright or flat granite, or in certain cases, flat bronze) conforming to the standards of Veterans Affairs Canada.
Application for Assistance
An application for funeral and burial assistance can be made by calling the Last Post Fund toll-free at 1-800-465-7113 within one year following the death of the Veteran. Applications that are received after the one-year time limit will not be considered.
For more detailed information about the regulations, please visit the web site Veterans Burial Regulations.
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