The Canadian Government has traditionally assumed responsibility for the burial of Canadian Armed Forces members who died during battle and, later, those who died as a result of war-related injuries. In the years following the Second World War and Korean War, benefits were expanded to Veterans who died without the financial means to provide for a dignified funeral and burial. The Last Post Fund (LPF) has been mandated to deliver the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral & Burial Program on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). The Program is governed by criteria set out in the Veterans Burial Regulations, 2005. An application may be approved for assistance when three criteria are met: 1) Service Criteria; 2) Financial Criteria; and 3) Timing of Application (within 1 year of death).
To be eligible for the Program, Veterans must meet both military service and financial criteria.
Assistance is not based on annual income, it is based on the net assets (assets minus debt) available at the time of death. If the estate of the deceased and financial resources of any surviving spouse are not sufficient to pay funeral and burial expenses (as determined by the means test described below) then assistance may be provided to cover all or part of the cost.
Where the deceased is survived by a spouse or dependent children the following assets in the deceased's estate will not be included in the means-test calculation:
Where the deceased is not survived by a spouse or dependent children, all estate assets are examined to determine financial need.
Funeral and burial expenses of the deceased, as well as other debts, are considered when determining the value of the estate. If it is determined that there are insufficient finances to provide for a funeral and burial, assistance may be approved.
APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE
An application for funeral and burial assistance can be made through the Last Post Fund within one year following the death of a Veteran. An application to pre-approve funeral or burial arrangements cannot be made prior to death.
Before approving assistance, the Last Post Fund will conduct a short interview with the Veteran’s next-of-kin, executor or other responsible person to establish eligibility. When contacting the Last Post Fund it recommended to have military service and financial information on hand to facilitate the application process.
Application by Telephone or Mail
The Last Post Fund may be contacted by telephone or mail to request an official application. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Toll Free: 1 800 465-7113
Last Post Fund | Fonds du Souvenir
401-505 René Lévesque Blvd W
Montreal QC H2Z 1Y7
Online Request for ApplicationThis Online Form may be used to supply preliminary information to initiate an application. Once submitted, a Last Post Fund representative will contact you. An official application form will follow by mail
Upon the death of a Veteran, two options to proceed with services are available, depending on circumstances and family preference:
Type 1: Standard Service
If the Last Post Fund is contacted after death but prior to finalization of funeral arrangements (and service and financial eligibility can be determined) the Last Post Fund may contract directly with a funeral home based on the coverage outlined in the Veterans Burial Regulations, 2005.
Note: Should the estate or net assets of a Veteran be greater than the value initially declared, resulting in an overpayment, costs may be recovered.
Type 2: Reimbursement of Services
When arrangements for funeral and burial are already made by an estate, family or another person/organization, an application for reimbursement (partial or full) may be made within one year of a Veteran’s death. The reimbursement is subject to the maximum rates outlines in the Veterans Burial Regulations, 2005.
Note: If the deceased has no family available to assist with arrangements, an administrator at a nursing home, social worker, hospital staff or another agency may initiate arrangements.
In both cases listed above, the family can order a grave marker through the Last Post Fund.
The Maximum Funeral Service Rate (MFSR) for the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral & Burial Program is maximum $7,376 plus tax.
Items and services that may be covered under the MFSR are the professional services of a funeral director, a solid wood (or wood veneer) tiered-top casket, use of facilities, preparation of the deceased, use of vehicles for family/transfer of deceased, visitation, death registrations, death certificates, staff attendance at cemetery, and disbursements (i.e. flowers, reception, stationary and musicians, clergy, etc).
In addition to funeral benefits, the actual cost of cremation and coroner fee may be covered, if applicable.
Cemetery services/items that may be covered in addition to the MFSR include the cost of a single grave or niche (priced within the Last Post Fund established guideline), single-depth interment for casket burials or inurnment of ashes and a grave liner (up to legislated maximum) if required by the cemetery authority. Other cemetery services such as a lowering device, overtime charges, winter storage and any other reasonable burial charges may be considered.
Once approved for funeral and burial assistance, a military gravestone (conforming to the standards of Veterans Affairs Canada) may be offered as part of the benefit package offered under the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral & Burial Program when no other gravestone has been placed or ordered. A family or estate must request a gravestone, they are not automatically ordered. If a military-style marking is not desired, partial reimbursement toward a privately arranged inscription may be offered in lieu of a military gravestone.
More information on grave marking is offered here: military-style grave marking. (Jump to separate tab for Grave Marking)
For more detailed information about the Veterans Burial Regulations, 2005 please visit the Department of Justice web site: Veterans Burial Regulations (external)
Height 39 in. x Width 15 in. x
Height 12¼ in. x Width 20 in. x
Thickness 4 in.
Privately purchased grave markers or monuments are not reimbursed under the Veterans Burial Regulations 2005. However, partial assistance may be offered toward a military inscription on such markers showing proper rank and unit. Please contact your Provincial Office for full details.