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The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) death benefit is a one-time benefit paid to a deceased CPP contributor’s estate. It is not paid out automatically and must be applied for. This benefit serves mainly to help cover the deceased’s funeral expenses. There are also other CPP benefits that are paid upon the death of a CPP contributor, namely the CPP survivor’s benefit and the CPP children’s benefit.

How Does The CPP Death Benefit Work?

How the CPP death benefit works depends on whether or not the deceased contributor has an estate.

If There is an Estate

If the deceased contributor has an estate, the will’s executor or the court-appointed administrator applies for the death benefit and should do so within 60 days of when the CPP contributor is deceased.

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If There is no Estate

If the deceased contributor does not have an estate, or if the executor or administrator has not applied for the benefit within 60 days of the death of the CPP contributor, additional individuals may apply for the benefit. They are prioritized as follows:

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

Check out these tax benefits for seniors.

Who’s Eligible For The CPP Death Benefit? 

To be eligible for the CPP death benefit, the deceased contributor must have contributed to the CPP for at least one-third of the years in which they were eligible to contribute to the CPP (but no less than 3 years), or at least 10 years.

For those in Quebec, the requirements are the same, except contributions are made to the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) rather than the CPP. The application for the QPP death benefit must be filed within 5 years of when the QPP contributor dies.

CPP Death Benefit Payment Amount

The CPP death payment amount is $2,500.

The QPP provides a payment of $2,500 to those who satisfactorily paid into the QPP, as the CPP does not operate in Quebec. If the deceased lived in Quebec at the time of their death or lived outside Canada with their last province of residence being Quebec, applications for the death benefit should be made to Retraite Québec. 

Check out what happens to your debt when you die.

How do You Apply For The CPP Benefit?

To apply for the CPP death benefit, you must fill out form ISP1200 in order to submit your application. Your completed application must also include certified true copies of all required documents. Once you have the documentation you need, mail your application to your local Service Canada Centre.

It takes between 6 and 12 weeks for Service Canada to pay out the CPP death benefit once they receive your finished application.

CPP Death Benefit FAQs

Is the CPP death benefit taxable?

Yes, the CPP death benefit is taxable.

Is the CPP death benefit the same as the CPP survivor’s benefit?

No. The death benefit is a one-time payment. The CPP survivor’s benefit provides monthly payments to the deceased’s surviving spouse or common-law partner. The amount that a survivor can receive depends on whether they are older than 65 and how long and how much the deceased contributed to the CPP.

Are there any CPP death benefits for the deceased’s children?

Yes. The CPP children’s benefit provides monthly payments to the deceased’s dependent children. The children must be under age 18, or under age 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university. The monthly payment for the CPP children’s benefit is $257.58.

Final Thoughts

The CPP death benefit is paid to an eligible CPP contributor’s estate and must be applied for. A similar benefit exists for those in Quebec and is known as the QPP death benefit. These benefits are mainly aimed at helping to pay for funeral expenses. The payment amount is $2,500. Besides the death benefit, the CPP survivor’s benefit and the CPP children’s benefit are available to support the deceased’s surviving spouse or common-law partner, as well as their children.

Matthew Taylor avatar on Loans Canada
Matthew Taylor

Matthew joined the Loans Canada writing team in 2021 while was finishing up a Bachelor's degree at the University of Saskatchewan. It was there that he discovered his love of writing. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Canadian Student Review and In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, geocaching, and spending time with his family and pets.

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