Funerals and related final expenses can be expensive, and some families may need to seek assistance to cover the costs when a loved one dies. Fortunately, families can apply for financial assistance programs to help relieve some of the financial burden. Below we have outlined provincial and federal assistance programs available to Manitobans.
Note that this article is specific to Manitoba, however, you can see programs across Canada in our national funeral financial assistance article.
Outlined here are provincial funeral funding programs available to Manitobans. Federal programs are discussed later in the article.
The Employment and Income Assistance program aids Manitobans who are unable to support themselves or their families financially. The program provides benefits to help cover the cost of living, food, clothing, dental, health expenses, etc. Funeral assistance is also offered under the program.
Funeral assistance under EIA will cover funeral fees for a deceased person who was:
EIA staff must receive a request from someone acting on behalf of the deceased person (e.g., a relative), and the request will be assessed with that individual.
Services will be approved per an agreement with the Manitoba Funeral Services Association. Staff will consider all financial resources, including other death benefits (e.g., CPP), estate, assets, etc. If it is determined that financial resources cannot cover the funeral cost, EIA will pay the fees to the funeral home.
To apply for the program, applicants can call EIA or complete the EIA Intake Application Request form online. Staff will answer questions and guide people through the application process. Information on applying for funeral benefits can be found in the EIA Administrative Manual.
The Compensation for Victims of Crime program provides compensation to victims, families, and witnesses that have been injured physically or emotionally due to certain crimes (outlined in the Victims' Bill of Rights).
There are numerous benefits offered through the program, including funeral coverage. The benefit is available to immediate family members paying for the victim's funeral. It will cover funeral fees to a maximum of $5,400.
Applicants may be eligible for CVCP if:
Applicants are NOT eligible for compensation if:
To apply for CVCP, applicants must fill out the correct CVCP form and submit it following the instructions outlined in the form. To ask questions about the program or the application process, call 204-945-0899 in Winnipeg, toll-free in Manitoba at 1-800-262-9344 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is a non-profit Crown company that offers public auto insurance, vehicle registration, and driver licensing to Manitobans. The Personal Injury Protection Plan provides benefits or compensation to people involved in a car accident. Families of people killed in an accident are eligible for coverage of funeral expenses.
The plan provides up to a maximum of $9,293 for funeral expenses and a maximum of $3,886 per person for grief counselling. Payments may also be given to immediate family members, such as spouses, partners, and dependents. The amounts are adjusted each year on April first based on the Consumer Price Index. An MPI case manager will help families throughout the claim process. Learn more about support for fatality claims in the Services and Support Guide.
For claims or inquiries, families can call or visit the person. Contact information can be found on the MPI Contact Us page.
The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) provides benefits to the family and dependents of fatally injured workers.
A spouse may be entitled to the following:
The spouse or the worker's estate may also be entitled to immediate payment of $14,110 to help with expenses.
Dependent children may receive a monthly payment of $500 under 18. This payment may continue for children over 18 if they continue their education.
Claims must be filed with WCB within a year after death. Learn more about the claim process and benefits for dependents in the Benefits for Dependents of Fatally Injured Workers PDF.
Pension plans provide families with retirement income. Individuals make contributions while working that are set aside for their retirement. Pension plans are typically offered through the government or employers.
Most pension plans have survivor benefits for dependents of the plan holder. These benefits are often received as a lump sum or monthly payment and can be used to cover funeral costs.
Below are examples of survivor benefits for Manitobans:
Body donation is an available final arrangement option for people that want to contribute to the scientific community in death. Donating one's body provides current and future medical professionals with an opportunity to gain better knowledge and understanding of human anatomy through hands-on experience. It can also minimize funeral expenses.
Manitobans can donate their bodies through the University of Manitoba's Body Donation Program.
Interested applicants must complete one original copy of the Body Donation Program Registration Form and return the completed form to:
Body Donation Program
Department of Human Anatomy & Cell Science
Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba
130-745 Bannatyne Avenue
A copy of the forms should also be given to the individual legally entitled to claim the body after death.
The department will not decide on acceptance until the time of death. Next-of-kin should inform healthcare staff about the desire to donate when an applicant dies, as the body must not be autopsied or embalmed. The body must also be adequately refrigerated within eight hours of death.
The family must contact the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science at 204-789-3652. Acceptance will be determined after completing a medical history checklist and discussing it with attending nurses, caregivers, or next of kin. If the body is accepted, the university will arrange transport. The body may be kept in the program for up to four years after death.
The body will be cremated, and the ashes will be placed in an urn when studies are completed. The next-of-kin has the option to inter the ashes in Brookside Cemetery in the Medical Section or have the ashes returned to them.
Learn more about the body donation program on the University of Manitoba website or in the body donation PDF.
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Some Canadian airlines offer discounted fares for family members that need to fly last minute to the death of an immediate family member. Learn more about participating airline bereavement fares below:
Discussed below are the federal assistance programs available to all Canadians.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Death Benefit provides financial support to survivors after the death of a family member.
There are three types of CPP financial support payments:
To qualify for the CPP death benefit, a deceased person must have made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for at least ten years or one-third of the calendar years in their contributory period for the base CPP and no less than three calendar years.
A worker can apply for the CPP benefit online or in person at a Service Canada location. For more information about the application process, check out this article: How the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit Can Help Fund a Funeral or visit the Government of Canada website.
The Income Assistance program provides funds to individuals living on a reserve in Canada.
The funds support the basic needs and can cover funeral and burial costs. Clients may receive up to $3,500 and no more than $6,000 to repatriate the remains by rail, air, or vehicle transport.
To be eligible for the program, a client must demonstrate:
The application process varies from province to province. Learn more by contacting the local community's band office.
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The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) funeral and burial program provides a benefit to ensure Veterans have dignified funeral or burial services. It is administered by the Last Post Fund.
Service eligibility for the Funeral and Burial Program extends to:
If the individual meets the criteria, eligibility will be established through financial means-testing to determine the financial need or as a "matter of right." Matter-of-right is when the Veterans Association Canada determines that the cause of death is due to service.
Assistance will be provided in one of two ways:
Apply for the Last Post Fund benefit online or by phone at 1-800-465-7113. An LPF counsellor will respond to applications.
Memorial Grant Program for First Responders provides a benefit to the families of first responders who have died due to their duties. First responders include firefighters, paramedics, police officers, correctional officers, probation officers, and parole officers anywhere in Canada.
The program provides a one-time, tax-free direct maximum payment of $300,000 to the beneficiaries of first responders.
The Memorial Grant does not compensate beneficiaries of first responders for monetary loss (income replacement) or serve as life insurance.
Learn more about the Memorial Grant on the program website.
This benefit is offered to parents or guardians who have lost a child to crime-related circumstances. It provides parents with weekly income support.
Eligible parents receive $450 per week, paid every two weeks, for a maximum of 35 weeks over a period of two years. Recipients can choose to stop receiving the benefit or restart at any time within the two years.
Apply using the online application or by mail using the following forms:
Payment begins immediately after submission for those eligible.
The Allowance for the Survivor is a monthly payment for Canadians who have lost their spouse. This program is available to people who:
The monthly amount is adjusted occasionally. Check this website for thresholds and current amounts.
To apply for this benefit, complete the steps outlined in the "Your application" section on the Allowance for the Survivor web page.
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If a worker lived or worked both in Canada and in another country or is a survivor of someone who has, they or their survivors may be eligible for pensions and benefits from Canada and the secondary country because of a social security agreement.
A social security agreement is an international agreement between Canada and another country designed to coordinate the pension programs of the two countries.
Canada has signed social security agreements with several countries that offer comparable pension programs. Learn more about the agreements, eligibility, and the application process on this website.
For help and answers to questions about a specific program, be sure to contact the program's administrators using the information provided above in each section.
Eirene can help you arrange a funeral and will work with the applicable funding program once you have qualified.
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