When an eligible worker dies, federal and provincial governments programs have income protection for families through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the Québec Pension Plan (QPP) and Worker's Compensation. These are referred to as survivor benefits. Details of these programs are discussed in the sections that follow.
To receive death and survivor benefits, the executor or spouse/partner must complete an application form and send it to the nearest CPP/QPP office. Ensure applications contain all necessary supporting documents such as:
Benefits will be payable to the estate or to an eligible spouse and children. All benefits will be taxable to the recipient.
When the deceased has been a regular contributor to CPP/QPP, one or more types of payout may be available. These are:
The amount a surviving spouse or common-law partner will receive depends on whether they are younger or older than 65, and on how much, and for how long, the deceased contributor has paid into the plan. The earliest the benefit can begin for the survivor is the month after the deceased contributors' death. Once a recipient commences their personal CPP/QPP, the two will be combined and limited up to the recipient’s personal maximum retirement pension.
If an on-the-job death results from an industrial accident, Workers’ Compensation will pay a death benefit to the employee’s estate. Depending on family circumstances, dependants may also receive a pension for a period of time.