Apply for Benefits

On the passing of a loved one, there are a number of benefits for which survivors may be eligible. These could include benefits related to an employer plan, pension and life insurance.

The Applying for Benefits checklist includes a list of some of these benefits. Use the checklists to keep track of the things you need to do when applying for benefits to wind up an estate. To see which government benefits are available to survivors, see Survivor Income.

Apply for Life Insurance Benefits

Personally Owned Life Insurance

Contact either the insurance company, whose name and address are on the policy or the agent who sold the policy or call the local office of the insurance company.

Employer Sponsored Life Insurance

Contact the employer’s human resources department, if they haven’t already contacted the beneficiary of the policy.

Life Insurance Proceeds

When applying for life insurance proceeds:

  • The policy beneficiary or executor of the estate must contact the company to request the application forms.
  • Applications must be in writing.
  • A statement of claim must be completed.
  • The insurance company will require:
    • A copy of the death certificate.
    • Policy number.
    • Policy amount (sometimes called the death benefit or face value).
    • Deceased’s birth certificate (or other birth documentation).
    • Personal information of the beneficiary including name and address, age and Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • The insurance company may ask for additional specific information about the cause of death such as an attending physician’s statement or a police report.

Life insurance proceeds are not usually taxable to the beneficiary.