Losing a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience, and understanding the support available can make all the difference during such difficult times. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor’s pension, also known as CPP survivor benefits, is a vital financial lifeline for those left behind. It provides a monthly payment to the legal spouse or common-law partner of a deceased CPP contributor, offering much-needed relief during this trying period.
In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll navigate through the eligibility criteria, application process, and the various benefits available under the CPP survivor benefit program. Whether you are a surviving spouse, child, or dependent parent, our guide aims to shed light on the essential aspects of CPP survivor benefits, helping you access the assistance you deserve to maintain financial stability after losing a loved one.
Together, we’ll understand the CPP survivor benefit program and find ways to cope with the emotional and financial burdens of losing a loved one. You don’t have to face this alone; our blog post aims to guide your path to financial recovery.
What is CPP Survivor Benefit?
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor’s pension is a monthly payment provided to the eligible legal spouse, common-law partner, and children of a deceased CPP contributor. This benefit may also extend to the deceased contributor’s dependent children. The same benefit is known as the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) survivor’s pension in Quebec.
To be eligible for the CPP survivor’s pension, the deceased contributor must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP during their lifetime. If this requirement is met, their surviving family members, including the legal spouse or common-law partner and dependent children, may qualify for these benefits.
Furthermore, the CPP survivor’s pension may also be payable to the deceased contributor’s estate if they have contributed enough to the CPP. This means that even if the deceased does not have eligible surviving family members, their estate could still receive the benefit.
Overall, CPP survivor benefits are crucial financial support provided to eligible surviving family members or the deceased contributor’s estate after their passing, helping them cope with the loss and meet their financial needs.
When a CPP contributor dies, their eligible surviving dependents, like a spouse or common-law and children, may be qualified to collect the following CPP Survivor Benefits:
- CPP Death Benefit: The CPP Death benefit is a lump-sum, one-time payment payable to eligible individuals or the estate of a deceased CPP contributor on behalf of a deceased CPP contributor. If there is an estate, the will executor or administrator can apply for the death benefit. However, in the absence of an estate, CPP can make death benefit payments directly to the next-of-kin of the deceased, the surviving spouse or common-law partner, or the person responsible for the deceased’s funeral expenses.
- Survivor’s Pension or Widow’s Pension: The CPP widow’s pension is a monthly benefit paid to the deceased CPP contributor’s legal spouse or common-law partner. As a spouse or common-law partner of a deceased CPP contributor, you must apply for the survivor’s pension. You will only receive the benefits if you apply.
- CPP Children’s Benefits: The CPP Children’s Benefit is a monthly benefit paid to the dependent children of a deceased CPP contributor. If you are a dependent child of a deceased CPP contributor, either a natural child or legally adopted, you can receive CPP children’s benefits if you apply.
Who is Entitled to CPP Survivor Benefits?
To be eligible for the CPP survivor benefits, you must be legally married to the deceased CPP contributor or be a common-law partner. Additionally, you must have at least two years of pensionable service for your eligible survivor and children to receive a survivor benefit and child allowance.
Who is Eligible for Death Benefit?
The CPP Death benefit is a lump-sum payment made to the estate of the deceased CPP contributor. Without an estate, the person financially responsible for the funeral, the surviving spouse or common-law partner, or their next of kin might be eligible to receive the CPP death benefit.
Who is Eligible for Widow’s Pension?
The deceased CPP contributor’s legal spouse or common-law partner at the time of death is eligible for the CPP survivor’s pension.
If you are separated from your spouse, your spouse may be eligible for the widow’s pension if there is no cohabitating common-law partner at the time of the death.
Who is Eligible for Child Benefit?
The natural or adopted children of a deceased CPP contributor under 25 or any child in their care and control at the time of death may be eligible to receive the CPP children’s benefit.
To be eligible, the child must be either under 18 or between 18 and 25. The child must also be in full-time attendance at a recognised institution.
However, if the child is under 18, the benefit is paid to the person responsible for their day-to-day care. But an eligible child receives the benefits directly on the application.
How Much is Canada Pension Survivor Benefit?
As a survivor, how much you could receive depends on your age and how much the deceased contributed to the CPP.
The CPP calculates the amount the deceased contributor would have received as a retirement pension and then does some further calculations based on the survivor’s age at the contributor’s death.
How Much is a Widow’s Pension in Canada?
The amount you can receive as your widow’s pension under the CPP survivor benefits depends on the survivor’s age and the deceased contributor’s CPP contributions.
The calculation process involves two main steps. Initially, the CPP calculated the hypothetical CPP retirement pension of the deceased if they had reached the age of 65 at the time of death. Subsequently, a further calculation is performed based on the age of the surviving spouse or common-law partner at the time of the contributor’s death.
If you are 65 or older, you will get 60% of the contributor’s calculated retirement pension, provided you are not receiving any other CPP benefits.
On the other hand, if you are under 65, you will receive a flat rate portion in addition to 37.5% of the contributor’s calculated retirement pension, provided you are not receiving any other CPP benefits.
How Much is the Death Benefit in Canada?
The death benefit under CPP is a one-time payment amounting to $2,500.00. This lump sum payment is provided to eligible individuals upon the death of a CPP contributor.
How Much is the Child Benefit in Canada?
The CPP children’s benefit is a monthly payment provided to eligible recipients, and its flat rate is subject to annual adjustments. As of 2023, the rate stands at $281.72 per month.
How To Apply for CPP Survivor Benefits
To Apply for the CPP Survivor Benefit Online:
- Log into your MSCA and complete the CPP Survivor’s Pension form online.
- Mail or drop off true certified copies of the relevant papers at a Service Canada office.
- Before sending any documentation to Service Canada, include the deceased contributors and your Social Insurance Number on all the documents.
To Submit a Paper Application for The CPP Survivor Benefits,
- Fill out the survivor’s pension and children’s benefits application under the Canada Pension Plan (ISP1300).
- Include certified true copies of all relevant documents.
- Drop the form off at a Service Canada office or mail it.
- Before sending any documentation to Service Canada, include the deceased contributors and your Social Insurance Number on all the documents.
Applying for CPP survivor benefits promptly after the death of the CPP contributor is crucial because delaying the application may result in a loss of benefits. CPP only offers back payments for a maximum of 12 months, so initiating the application process as soon as possible is important to avoid missing out on entitled benefits.
As a survivor, you must apply for your monthly pension, but if you cannot apply, a representative or a trustee can apply on your behalf. A registered trustee, legal representative, or guardian may act on your behalf in person, by phone, or by mail.
As a survivor, you are responsible for applying for your monthly pension. However, if you cannot do so, you can designate a representative or trustee to apply on your behalf.
Your representative can be a registered trustee, a legal representative, or a guardian, and they have the authority to act on your behalf during the application process. They can also apply in person, by phone, or through the mail, ensuring that those who cannot apply personally can still access the CPP survivor benefits they are entitled to without unnecessary obstacles.
What Happens After You Apply for the CPP Survivor Benefits?
The survivor’s pension begins the month following the contributor’s death. From the date Service Canada receives your application, it takes around 6 to 12 weeks to receive your first payment.
However, if your application has been pending for over 12 weeks, you can contact the Canada Pension Plan to inquire about its progress and find out the status of your application.
Suppose you disagree with any decision from the CPP that affects you, maybe your eligibility or the amount of the CPP benefit. In that case, you have the right to request consideration.
You can ask the CPP for explanations if you need help understanding any CPP decision. If the answers do not satisfy you, you can ask the CPP for reconsideration.
You can appeal to a review tribunal if you are unsatisfied with the reconsiderations. You must apply within 90 days of receiving the decision.
Can You Combine CPP and Survivor Benefits?
Yes, if you already receive a CPP retirement or disability pension, the CPP may combine the survivor pension into a single monthly payment. However, it’s important to note that you may not receive the full amount of the survivor’s pension if you already receive a full retirement or disability pension. The combined benefit is not simply the sum of the two separate benefits.
For individuals eligible for both disability and survivor’s pension, the maximum amount payable will be the maximum disability pension, which is higher than the maximum survivor’s pension.
Similarly, for individuals eligible for both retirement and survivor’s pension, the maximum amount payable will be the maximum retirement pension, which is also higher than the maximum survivor’s pension.
When combining benefits, the CPP adjusts the total amount paid based on the survivor’s age and any other benefits they may receive.
How is CPP Survivor Benefit Calculated?
The CPP survivor benefit is calculated based on several factors, including the deceased contributor’s pension entitlement and the age and circumstances of the surviving spouse or common-law partner. Here’s a general overview of how the CPP survivor benefit is calculated:
Personal Profile CPP Survivor Benefit Calculation Maximum Benefit Age 65 and above 60% of contributor’s calculated retirement pension at age 65 $752.15 Age 45 to 64 or Under 45 (has a disability or raising a dependent child) A flat-rate portion plus 37.5% of your retirement pension $674.79 Under 45 (does not have a disability and not raising a dependent child) As above (45 to 64) minus 1/120 for each month your spouse is under 45 at the time of your death $674.79 Under 35 (does not have a disability and not raising a dependent child) Not paid until spouse reaches 65 or becomes disabled $0
CPP Survivor Benefit Calculation
Age 65 and above
60% of contributor’s calculated retirement pension at age 65
Age 45 to 64 or Under 45 (has a disability or raising a dependent child)
A flat-rate portion plus 37.5% of your retirement pension
Under 45 (does not have a disability and not raising a dependent child)
As above (45 to 64) minus 1/120 for each month your spouse is under 45 at the time of your death
Under 35 (does not have a disability and not raising a dependent child)
Not paid until spouse reaches 65 or becomes disabled
Is CPP Survivor Benefit Taxable?
Yes, CPP benefits are considered taxable income. If you prefer, CPP can deduct taxes directly from your monthly benefits upon your request. However, if you choose not to have taxes deducted, you may be required to pay income tax in quarterly instalments.
When the CPP death benefit is paid to the deceased’s estate, it should be declared on line 19 of the trust’s T3 income tax and information return as part of the estate’s taxable income in the year it is received.
Survivors who receive CPP payments must report the received amount on line 130 of their tax and benefit return as part of their taxable income.
Final Thoughts on CPP Survivor Benefits
Although we only associate the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) with income in retirement, the CPP Survivor Benefit is also available for the family of a deceased contributor.
Sadly, it’s never worth as much as the deceased received; if you are a spouse or dependent child of a CPP contributor, take advantage of this benefit and apply for it.
It can go a long way in assisting your family with some financial burdens.
FAQS on CPP Survivor Benefits
Are CPP Survivor benefits always paid?
No. Only sometimes. If the deceased did not contribute sufficiently to the CPP in the required years, CPP might not pay the benefits.
When do monthly payments begin?
The month after the CPP contributor’s death, the CPP survivor’s pension and children’s benefits begin. THE APPLICATION WILL BE PROCESSED when CPP has all the information and documentation.
When should I expect payments to arrive each month?
Your payments will arrive on the third last banking day of the month if you receive payment directly to your bank account. However, if you accept payment by mail, it will arrive during each month’s last three banking days.
Will I lose my survivor’s/widow’s pension if I remarry?
No. Even when you remarry, your pension will continue.
How long does CPP survivor benefit last?
At the time of the CPP contributor’s death, if you are over 35, the pension stops after your death. However, if you are under 35, your pension stops when you do not have a disability, no longer raise the deceased’s child, or after your death.
Can I get children’s benefits if I’m married?
Yes. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, the children’s benefits will not be affected if you marry.
What happens to my children’s benefits when I turn 18?
At age 18, you are still eligible for the children’s benefits. You must attend full-time at an institution and complete an application and a “Declaration of Attendance at School or University” form.
What happens to my children’s benefits if I leave school?
The children’s benefits will stop if you leave school. You must reapply if you return to school before it is reinstated.
When do children’s benefits stop?
Your children’s benefits stop when you are between 18 and 25 and no longer go to school, when you reach 25, or when you die.
Can I receive my CPP Survivor benefits outside Canada?
Yes. If you can meet all the CPP eligibility criteria, CPP can make your payments anywhere.
Do I get cost-of-living increases on my CPP Survivor benefits?
Yes. Your CPP payments are adjusted in January and indexed to the cost of living.
Do my CPP Survivor benefits affect the amount I receive from other programs?
Yes. It’s possible. Other programs such as War Veterans Allowances, Allowance for the Survivor, and GIS take your CPP income into account. CPP might also affect your employer pension amount or your private-sector disability insurance.