Terms of General Agreement with Funeral Directors
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Terms of General Agreement with Funeral Directors (Effective 01 June 2013)

The Last Post Fund delivers the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral & Burial Programwhich offers financial assistance toward the funeral, burial and grave marking expenses of Veterans. The Veterans Burial Regulations outline the service and financial criteria that govern the Program. An application may be accepted when both service and financial eligibility are met and the application is made within one year of death.

When it is determined by medical authorities at Veterans Affairs Canada that a Veteran died as a result of a service-related condition (matter-of-right), the maximum allowable is granted for the deceased without means-testing.

All other cases are means-tested where the net assets held by the deceased are taken into consideration.

Every case is unique and not all Veterans qualify. Many factors (such as marital status, dependents, finances and military service) must be considered before making a firm decision on eligibility.

REQUEST FOR LAST POST FUND STANDARD SERVICES:

Type 1-Standard Service: When Last Post Fund is contacted before firm funeral arrangements are made, the Last Post Fund may contract directly with a funeral home and/or cemetery. In this case, a decision on eligibility is made in a timely manner once sufficient service and financial (or abandonment) information is confirmed.

Type 2-Assisted Service: When Last Post Fund is contacted after funeral arrangements are made (within one year after death), reimbursement may be made once an application form is completed, signed and returned with supporting documentation and invoices documenting costs of the services provided.

Request for Services: An invoice may only be issued to the Last Post Fund when a “Request for Last Post Fund Standard Services” has been signed between funeral home and Last Post Fund. Without a signed agreement, the case is considered a Type 2-Assisted Service and application/supporting documentation must be submitted by the person responsible for making funeral arrangements to qualify for reimbursement.

BENEFITS PROVIDED UNDER FUNERAL SERVICES RATE:

Funeral Services: Financial assistance is payable for the following funeral services/items (within the established maximum funeral service rate of $7376 plus applicable tax) when no similar payment is made by another source:

  1. (i)            If body is to be buried, a casket that meets specifications; or

(ii)           If body is to be cremated, an urn may be paid, within maximum rate, and if viewing is requested, a rental casket or casket (when rental not available) for the purposes of visitation.

  1. Professional services to cover operational costs, staff and use of the facilities.
  2. Preparation of body for viewing (includes embalming, washing, dressing & placing remains in a casket) with a suitable viewing room to pay respects as custom dictates.
  3. If requested, a Canadian flag to cover casket.
  4. Use of funeral home chapel/parlour for religious service and clergy services if applicable.
  5. Use of funeral vehicles for family and transfer of deceased from place of death to funeral and if applicable a cemetery near normal place of residence. In case of cremation, from place of death to funeral home, then to crematorium and then to the place of burial nearest the normal place of residence.

Standard for Casket: The specifications for a casket that may be used are as follows:

  1. Solid wood, or one made of wood veneer, with swelled/tiered top with a satin or high gloss exterior finish;
  2. Eggshell rayon interior or equivalent, with pillow;
  3. Appropriate extension bar handles.
  4. Two Funeral Directors: in cases where there is authority to pay for transportation of deceased for such distance from place of death that services of two funeral directors is necessary, an additional $500 for funeral services may be authorized. The division of tasks and fees claimed by each is best agreed upon by the two funeral directors; in the absence of a mutual agreement the following division of tasks and respective payments will apply:

    1. An amount not exceeding $5356 to the funeral director who first receives the body, prepares it for viewing, places it in a casket that meets specifications and arranges shipment; and
    2. An amount not exceeding $2520 to the funeral director who receives and displays the body, transports the body to the place of burial and provides graveside services.

     

    Allowable Additional Expenses: These additional services may be provided above the funeral service rate as required:

    1. Cremation/retort fee.
    2. Special Casket-amount equal to difference between casket and cost of an oversized casket or if required by law, a hermetically sealed casket or hermetically sealed oversized casket.
    3. Special Preparation-an amount not exceeding $210 plus tax for special preparation of body for viewing when required because of drowning, disease, or accidental death.
    4. Cemetery or burial related expenses.
    5. Grave marking (Military gravestone may be ordered by Last Post Fund-private gravestones are not reimbursed).

     

    ADDITIONAL POINTS:

    Direct Disposition: When the direct removal of the remains to a crematorium or burial site is requested by next-of-kin or in accordance with the deceased’s wishes, the Last Post Fund may assist by contracting this type of service with a funeral home. Payment will be limited to the cost of the essential basic funeral services (for example, in the case of preparatory services: only those needed or otherwise required by law), plus the cost of any required allowable additional services that are provided and/or paid for by the funeral director. It is anticipated that payments in such cases will be well under the maximum funeral rate. It is not appropriate to arrange a direct disposition as a cost cutting measure.

    Abandonment: When service criteria is met, the Last Post Fund may enter into an agreement with a funeral home to ensure a dignified funeral and burial for a deceased Veteran who is unclaimed, transient, homeless, is without family or where abandonment is evident at the time of death. If it subsequently becomes known that the deceased has an estate that is above the financial criteria set out in the Veterans Burial Regulations, efforts would be made to recover the costs.

    Consent to Cremate: By law, only immediate family members or executors may offer consent to cremate. The Last Post Fund shall not authorize cremation for a deceased Veteran who is unclaimed, transient, homeless, or who does not have a family member who will sign consent for cremation.

    Payments to Funeral Directors: Payments to a funeral director are based solely on the services provided in accordance with the terms of the general agreement, and will be made upon receipt of itemized invoice, signed “Request for Last Post Fund Standard Services,” and a death certificate.

    Specifications as Minimum Acceptable Standard: Any of the specifications described in the “Terms of the General Agreement” are considered to reflect the minimum acceptable standard. When a more expensive casket or services  is desired by the next of kin and where this will cause the cost limitations to be exceeded, the application must be considered as becoming Type 2-Assisted Service without further responsibility on the part of the Last Post Fund.