Our team is here for you 24/7 (888) 712-5337

Saskatchewan Funeral Financial Assistance

Daniela Fortino
Daniela Fortino
October 7th 2022 - 14 minute read
Facebook Twitter Linkedin
Learn what Saskatchewan funeral financial assistance programs are available to residents of the province. Includes provincial and federal programs.

Funerals can be expensive, and some families struggle to pay for their loved one's final arrangements. Fortunately, financial assistance programs can help cover a portion or all the costs for Saskatchewan residents. Learn more about federal and provincial programs available to families in the province. They are outlined below and include contact information or links to reach each program administrator.

Saskatchewan's provincial funeral assistance programs

Saskatchewan Income Support

Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) is a program that provides financial assistance to individuals and families who cannot meet their living costs due to low income or unemployment. The program offers a variety of benefits, including a benefit to help support the costs of a funeral.

The amount available to residents is not listed on the Saskatchewan provincial website. Still, according to an SIS policy manual from January 2020,$2,100 is given for basic funeral expenses (e.g., body preparation, casket, urn, etc.). Funds are also provided for additional funeral expenses such as embalming, transportation, cremation, etc. Some services have limits to what will be covered. More information can be found in the manual.

An individual may be eligible to apply for SIS if:

  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have refugee status or are in Canada under the Canada Ukraine authorization for emergency travel.
  • You live in Saskatchewan.
  • You are 18 years or older.
  • You have no income or low income; and
  • You have explored every other reasonable way to support yourself, including employment, seeking child support, etc.

Eligible applicants can apply online by creating a Saskatchewan account. Residents can also apply by calling Social Services at 1-866-221-5200 or TTY: 1-866-995-0099 or visit the nearest Social Services office from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Worker's Compensation Board benefits

If an employee dies due to a work-related incident, legal spouses and dependents may be eligible for benefits offered by the Saskatchewan Worker's Compensation Board (WCB). These include spousal and dependent children benefits described in Sections 80 to 94 of The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013.

The WCB may also assist with burial expenses and counselling support for families.

If the death is determined to be the result of a work-related injury, WCB will:

  • Issue a lump sum cheque to help pay for expenses related to the worker's death, including burial.
  • Pay for the cost of transporting the body inside Canada if applicable.

Depending on the situation, WCB may offer counselling support by:

  • Paying for counselling and any costs for related travel outside of a family's home community if a family member needs help coping with the worker's injury.
  • Paying for travel expenses, for hospital, treatment or rehabilitation centre visits.
  • Covering treatments, consultations and travel costs or travelling with your injured family member if it is medically required.
  • Paying temporary child care expenses, in certain circumstances, to allow a parent to visit an injured husband, wife or partner.
  • Paying for additional support such as family member earnings loss, laundry and parking.
  • Covering spousal benefits for a spouse of a worker who died from a work injury.

Assistance for these benefits must be approved in advance by the customer care facilitator working on the claim. Case managers will let families know which benefits are available. Learn more by contacting a customer care facilitator or calling 1-800-667-7590.

Straightforward pricing — no hidden fees

We’re committed to honest pricing. We don’t charge extra for mileage, device removals or crematorium fees.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) Death Benefits

Saskatchewan Government Insurance offers benefits to surviving spouses and dependent children of a customer who is fatally injured because of a vehicle accident.

Benefits offered include:

  • Spousal benefit
  • Dependent benefit
  • Lump-sum death benefits for parents, non-dependent children, and the estate
  • Funeral benefit
  • Spousal education benefit
  • Vocational counselling benefit
  • Grief counselling
  • Financial counselling

To apply for death benefits, families must complete the Application for Death Benefits form with relevant source documents outlined on the Death Benefit Checklist section in the SGI Injury Manual. A Personal Injury Representative will also help guide families through the process.  

Compensation for victims of crime

The Compensation for Victims of Crime program offers compensation for reasonable expenses resulting from criminal actions of violence, such as physical or sexual assault, murder, robbery, and kidnapping. Victims can also apply for Restitutions for Victims of Crime for additional coverage.

Compensation may be awarded for funeral expenses to a maximum of $5,000 (if not covered by other programs). Different types of compensation include certain medical costs, counselling, loss of income, or damage to or loss of clothing because of the crime.

Individuals may be eligible if:

  • The crime occurred in Saskatchewan
  • The crime is reported to the police
  • The harm is the result of a Criminal Code offence listed in The Victims of Crime Regulations, 1997
  • Application for compensation is made within two years from the date of injury or the date the offence was reported to the police

Eligible applicants can apply by filling out the appropriate Victims Compensation form(s) and mailing them to the Victims Service Branch.

Saskatchewan Pension Plans

A pension plan is a benefit that provides a source of income to workers after retirement. Survivor benefits may be included in pension plans. These benefits are given to the worker's spouse and/or dependents after the worker dies. A portion of the funds can be used to help cover the cost of funeral arrangements.

Below are some Pension Plans available to eligible Saskatchewan residents. Survivor options are outlined in each plan:

Body Donation in Saskatchewan

Body donation is an alternative option for those that cannot afford funeral services. In Saskatchewan, this is available through the Body Bequeathal Program administered by the Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine.

To sign up for the program, applicants must do the following:

  • Go to the signup page and fill out the form. All fields must be completed to submit the application and enroll in the program. Applicants will be contacted to request the missing information if the form is incomplete. If there is no response within two weeks, the forms will be deleted from the program's records.
  • Download the form and print off all four copies, or print one and make three copies of the completed form. Follow the directions of dispersal on Page 2 of the document.
  • Request forms will be sent to applicants after a home address has been provided. Addresses can be sent using the contact information below.

Contact information:

Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
GA20-107 Wiggins Rd Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5

Phone: 1-306-966-4075
Email: appadmin@usask.ca

Federal Benefits

Have a question? We're here to help

The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Death Benefit is a federal program that provides survivors with financial support after a family member has died.

CPP has three types of financial support payments available to families:

  • A one-time payment to the estate of a deceased person of $2,500, which can be used to help pay for a funeral.
  • A monthly pension payable to the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor.
  • A pension payable to a dependent child under 18 or a child under 25 attending a recognized school or university.

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. This article discusses the application process: How the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit Can Help Fund a Funeral or the Government of Canada website.

Income Assistance Program (Indigenous Services Canada)

The Income Assistance program provides funds to individuals living on reserve in Canada.

The program provides funds for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter; and special needs, including goods and services essential to physical and social well-being.

Eligible applicants can also include funeral and burial costs. They may receive up to $3,500 and no more than $6,000 to repatriate (when applicable) the remains by rail, air, or vehicle transport.

To be eligible for the program, a client must demonstrate:

  • They are ordinarily resident on a reserve. This means they live on the reserve or do not maintain a primary resident away from the reserve, or they are off-reserve to obtain required medical care or social service support because there is no reasonably comparable service available on reserve and lived on-reserve immediately before receiving the medical care or social service support.
  • They are eligible for basic or special financial assistance.
  • They have no other source of funding to meet basic needs.

The application process varies depending on location. Learn more by contacting the local community's band office.

Last Post Fund for Veterans

The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) funeral and burial program is a benefit that helps ensure Veterans have dignified funeral or burial services. It is administered by the Last Post Fund.

Service eligibility for the program extends to:

  • Canadian Armed Forces Veterans or any predecessor Naval, Army or Air Forces of Canada or Newfoundland
  • Canadian Merchant Navy Veterans of the Second World War or the Korean War
  • Allied Veterans who served with the Allied Forces during the Second World War or the Korean War

If the individual meets the criteria, eligibility will be established through financial means testing. This determines 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:

  • LPF makes the arrangements: Standard funeral services may be covered when the Last Post Fund is contacted, and eligibility is determined before making firm arrangements with a funeral home. The Last Post Fund will contract directly with the funeral home within the maximum amounts set out in the Veterans Burial Regulations.
  • Family / Estate makes the arrangements: When arrangements for funeral and burial are made by a Veteran's estate, family, or another person/organization, an application for reimbursement (partial or full) may be made within one year. This reimbursement is subject to the amounts set out in the Veterans Burial Regulations.

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

A Memorial Grant Program for First Responders is a benefit offered to the families of first responders who have died due to their duties. This includes firefighters, paramedics, police officers, probation officers, correctional workers, and parole and probation officers in Saskatchewan and other parts of 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.

Information about the Memorial Grant Program can be found on this website.

Have a question? We're here to help

The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Allowance for the Survivor

The Allowance for the Survivor is a monthly payment for eligible Canadians who have lost their spouse. This program is available to people who:

To apply for this benefit, complete the steps outlined in the "Your application" section on the Allowance for the Survivor web page.

Lived or Living Outside Canada

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 other country because of a social security agreement.

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.

Canadian Benefit for Parents of Young Victims of Crime

This benefit is offered to parents or guardians who have lost a child to crime-related circumstances. The death or disappearance of a child often causes parents to miss work or lose income when coping with the loss. The benefit provides grieving parents with weekly income support.

Eligible parents receive payments of $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 a later date 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.

Need more help?

Eirene can help you arrange a funeral and will work with the applicable funding program. To make arrangements click here. For information about our service areas please visit our locations page.

See also: Canadian funeral funding and financial assistance programs. You can reach us via email at support@eirene.ca.

Here for you — whenever you need us