Notify the federal government of a death

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

It is important to report the death of a beneficiary to the federal government as quickly as possible to avoid benefit overpayments.

You may have to inform several federal programs and departments, depending on the deceased person’s situation and place of residence.

On this page

Information you need before contacting us

Obtain proof of death

Statement of death

The statement of death issued by the funeral home is sufficient in most situations instead of a death certificate.

If the person died abroad, you may be able to register the death and receive an official death certificate through the funeral home in the country where the death occurred.

Death certificate

Once registered, the vital statistics office of the province or territory issues a death certificate.

You may need to request multiple copies of the death certificate in order to:

  • cancel benefits
  • claim benefits
  • make a life insurance claim
  • sell the house of the deceased person, etc.

Obtain the social insurance number

You may need the social insurance number (SIN) of the deceased person in order to report the death to the federal government. If you do not know the SIN, the executor may request it.

Inform the federal government

If the death happened outside Canada, you must also follow the steps for a death abroad. It may take a few months for the foreign country to report the death to Service Canada.

Service Canada

Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan

Visit Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits, if the deceased person was receiving or was eligible for benefits.

Employment Insurance

Contact the Employment Insurance (EI) program if the deceased person was receiving or was eligible to receive EI benefits.

If you are receiving EI maternity, parental, or caregiving benefits and your child or the person you are providing care or support to has died, contact us so we can update your file and make any necessary adjustments.

National Student Loans Service centre

If a borrower dies, all federal student loans will be forgiven. In order to have Canada Student Loans forgiven, contact the National Student Loan Service Centre.

For the provincial or territorial part of the loan, contact the province or territory of the borrower, or the financial institutions responsible for the student loans.

Canada Revenue Agency

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency with the social insurance number of the deceased person to:

National Defence (Canadian Armed Forces) and Veterans Affairs Canada

If the deceased person was a serving or a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, follow these guidelines:

Serving Canadian Armed Force member

Inform the chain of command of the member’s unit, squadron or ship. A member of the unit will assist you during this difficult period.

Former Canadian Armed Force member / Veteran

Inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre if the deceased person was a Canadian Armed Forces Pension Plan member or a pension recipient.

Inform Veterans Affairs Canada if the Veteran was receiving services or benefits.

Consult Veterans Affairs Canada information on Death and bereavement.

Indigenous Services Canada

If the deceased was a First Nations person, you must contact Indigenous Services Canada to:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to:

  • cancel the passport
  • cancel the permanent resident card
  • cancel or withdraw the application (through the web form) for:
    • Canadian citizenship
    • citizenship certificate
    • search of citizenship records
    • resuming or renouncing Canadian citizenship
    • Canadian citizenship for an adopted child

You can also request personal information about a deceased person.

Canada Post

Contact Canada Post to forward the mail of the deceased person to a new address.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Visit the inherited firearms webpage to learn what to do in the event of a death.

Check whether you are eligible for benefits

The family of the deceased person may be eligible for benefits from the Government of Canada.

Contact Service Canada to find out whether you are eligible to benefits from the following programs:

Serving and Former Canadian Armed Force member / Veteran

Legal spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for a survivor pension. Find out if you qualify for benefits:

Benefits Finder

Use the Benefits Finder tool to learn more about additional federal, provincial and territorial programs, benefits, and services for which you may be eligible.

Memorial Grant Program for First Responders

A Memorial Grant Program for First Responder is offered to the families of first responders who have died as a result of their duties.

Lived or living outside Canada

As a surviving spouse of a person who lived or worked abroad, you may be eligible for benefits from Canada or from a foreign country.

Other considerations

Settling an estate

Estate law, including wills, powers of attorney and probate fees, falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction.

Obtain information about your role as the executor of the estate and a list of estate law resources:

Conjugal rights

If you were married or living common-law with the deceased person, you may be entitled to certain assets. Find out about conjugal rights in your province or territory.

Making a life insurance claim

To make a life insurance claim, you will probably need the following:

  • insurance policy number
  • a claims form from the insurance company
  • a copy of the death certificate

If you are unable to find the insurance policy, contact OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance. Once submitted, there may be a delay before the beneficiaries receive their payment.

Notify credit reporting agencies

Contact the 2 credit reporting agencies in Canada to notify them of the death:

This will help to avoid any fraudulent credit checks in the name of the deceased person.

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