Death benefit

Death benefit

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) death benefit is a one-time payment, payable to the estate or other eligible individuals, on behalf of a deceased CPP contributor.

Step 1 Do you qualify

To qualify for the death benefit, the deceased must have made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for at least:

  • one-third of the calendar years in their contributory period for the base CPP, but no less than 3 calendar years, or
  • 10 calendar years

If the deceased contributor lived outside Canada

The international social security agreements that Canada has with other countries may be used to satisfy these requirements.

Consult lived or living outside Canada.

If the deceased contributor worked or lived in Quebec

A person may contribute to both the CPP and the Quebec Pension Plan.

The contributions made under both plans are combined when a death benefit is calculated.

Contact Retraite Québec if at the time of death, one of these conditions also applies:

  • the deceased contributor only contributed to the Quebec Pension Plan
  • the deceased contributor lived outside Canada and the last province of residence was Quebec, or
  • the deceased contributor lived in Quebec at the time of death.

You may also qualify for other CPP benefits

In addition to the CPP death benefit, you may be eligible to receive:

Step 2 How much could you receive

The amount of the death benefit is a single payment of $2,500.00.

Step 3 When to apply

You should apply as soon as possible after the contributor’s death.

Step 4 Who should complete the application

If an estate exists, the executor named in the will or the administrator named by the Court to administer the estate applies for the death benefit.

The executor should apply for the benefit within 60 days of the date of death.

If no estate exists or if the executor has not applied for the death benefit, payment may be made to other persons who apply for the benefit in the following order of priority:

  • the person or institution that has paid for or that is responsible for paying for the funeral expenses of the deceased
  • the surviving spouse or common-law partner of the deceased, or
  • the next-of-kin of the deceased

A registered trustee, guardian, or other legal representative, may act on a client’s behalf in person, by mail or by phone, but not online.

For more information, you can contact the Canada Pension Plan.

Step 5 Apply

Apply online

To apply for your benefit online:

  • sign in to your MSCA and complete the online CPP Death Benefit form
  • mail certified true copies of the required documentation or drop them off at a Service Canada office, and
  • indicate both the deceased contributor’s Social Insurance Number and your own on all documents before sending them to Service Canada

Apply using a paper application

To apply for your benefit using a paper application:

Step 6 After you apply

It takes approximately 6 to 12 weeks to receive your payment from the date Service Canada receives your completed application.

Review your application status

If more than 12 weeks have passed and you would like to find out the status of your application, you can contact Canada Pension Plan.

If you disagree with a decision

You may request a reconsideration of any decision that affects your eligibility or the amount of your Canada Pension Plan benefit.

How to report the benefit on a tax return

To find out how to report the death benefit on the tax return of the individual who receives it, refer to Death benefits - Prepare tax returns for someone who died.

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