What Happens If You Can’t Afford a Funeral in Canada

A funeral can be a considerable expense, especially if it’s unexpected. Over the years, funeral and burial costs have increased exponentially. The average funeral cost for a traditional funeral service and modest sendoff is $10,000 or more.

To get a realistic cost estimate, add up everything from getting a death certificate and transporting the body to buying a crematorium urn or casket and making all the arrangements to cover the necessary funeral costs.

If you cannot afford a funeral or give your loved one a decent burial or cremation, we’ve put together some information on options available for financial assistance. Outlined below are social services, government bodies, and other fundraising alternatives that offer such assistance.

Ontario Works for Funeral Arrangements

Ontario Works helps offset basic funeral expenses for those who cannot afford it. The deceased doesn’t have to be a recipient of Ontario Works during life to benefit from the service provider after death. Ontario works covers:

  • Transfer of the body from the place of death to the funeral home
  • Purchase of a burial plot
  • Cremation costs, including scattering or burial of cremated remains

Apply through your local Ontario Works office but inform the funeral home or funeral director before signing any contracts or making any plans. Wait for Ontario Works to approve your application, then ask the funeral home to “waive the contract” for a social assistance funeral.

For individuals who were not recipients of Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), our Brampton Cremation & Visitation Centre can guide you through the application process.

Worker’s Compensation Survivors’ Benefits               

Each province in Canada has a worker’s compensation board, and many offer survivor death benefits. For example, you may be eligible for the following WSIB benefits under the Ontario government if you are a spouse or dependent of a deceased person who died due to a work-related injury or illness:

  • Survivor payments
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Funeral and transport expenses
  • Support for spouses wanting to rejoin the workforce
  • Lump-sum payment
  • Burial awards

CPP Death Benefit to Offset Funeral Costs

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides contributors and their families with partial replacement of earnings in the case of retirement, disability, or death. Any CPP contributor who dies and meets minimum contribution requirements receives a one-time Death Benefit payment of $2500 to (or on behalf of) their estate. This helps employment and assistance recipients give their loved one a dignified funeral.

Last Post Fund for Veterans’ Funeral Services

This service pays for veterans’ funeral and burial expenses. The Fund ensures that no Veteran is denied a decent funeral, burial, and military gravestone, due to lack of financial resources. To be eligible for the program, Veterans must meet financial and military service criteria.

Funeral Expenses for Canadian Military

Serving military members get a paid official or civilian funeral, depending on the deceased person’s wishes.

Brampton Crematorium & Visitation Centre is ready to help with the grieving process and path to healing after losing a loved one. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (905) 458-2222 in your time of need. We offer funeral services, cremation services, burial services, and more. Our friendly staff is here for you, 24 hours a day.