After a Death: Get Support When Someone Dies


 Telephone: 1-877-779-2223 BC Bereavement Helpline & BC Victims of Homicide
Offers you care and support when going through grief. See more on this page in Emotional Support.

 Telephone: 1-800-277-9914 Service Canada
You may qualify for financial help such as a Death Benefit. See more on this page in Financial Support.


Emotional Support 

Reduce your emotional impact

Emotional support services can help people to understand and process someone’s death. Most people find these resources helpful when experiencing grief or loss.

You can also ask a doctor or funeral director to refer you to local or online resources. This list serves as a starting point to find help for your individual needs and situation.

A free helpline for grief. This non-profit confidential service connects you to a caring volunteer who can listen. They are familiar with support groups, organizations and resources across the province.

How to Contact

A free helpline providing support to people in distress. Call if you’re worried, upset, confused or just want to talk to someone.

How to Contact

Search for a counsellor or psychologist in British Columbia. Find a professional who can help you with grief or other difficulties that come up when someone dies.

Get help with substance use or addiction.

Free information and support for life-threatening illness, end of life care, loss and grief, including:
 

Confidential support developed by families and grief experts. Online information and interactive lessons to help you cope with grief. Free for Canadians.
 

Sharing of cultural stories and wisdom about living with serious illness, end of life and grief.

 

 


Financial Support  

Reduce your financial impact

Financial support services can help ease the burden and difficulty of costs associated with someone's death.

An employee in B.C. is entitled to up to 3 days of unpaid leave when an immediate family member dies.

Do This

  • If you need unpaid leave to grieve, attend a funeral or take care of issues relating to the death of an immediate family member

What You Need

  • To be an employee in B.C.

How to Contact

If you can’t afford the funeral costs of a person who dies in B.C., you might qualify for funds to help with a portion of the costs.

Do This

  • If you can’t afford the funeral costs
  • If the assets of the person who died don’t cover the funeral costs

What You Need

  • Social Insurance Number (but not the physical SIN card) of the person who died

How to Contact

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) death benefit is a one-time, lump-sum payment to the estate on behalf of a deceased CPP contributor. The amount of the death benefit depends on how much and for how long the deceased contributed to the CPP. The maximum is $2,500.

Do This

  • If the person who died contributed to CPP

What You Need

How to Contact

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) children’s benefit provides payments to dependent children of deceased CPP contributors if the contributor has made enough contributions to CPP.

Do This

  • If the person who died contributed to CPP and had dependent children

What You Need

How to Contact

The Allowance for the Survivor benefit is available to people aged 60 to 64 who have a low income, who are living in Canada, and whose spouse or common-law partner has died. A person must apply in writing for this benefit.

Do This

  • If you’re aged 60 to 64, have a low income, live in Canada, and have a spouse or common-law partner who died

What You Need

  • Statement of Income for the Renewal of the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Allowance or the Allowance for the Survivor application form
  • Application for the Allowance or Allowance for the Survivor form

How to Contact

If you have taken time off work temporarily to care for or support a family member who was gravely ill and has died, you may be eligible for Caregiving Benefits through EI.

Do This

  • If you took time off work to care for a family member who was ill and died

What You Need

  • Authorization to release a medical certificate
  • Medical Certificate
  • Record of Employment
  • Attestation for non-family members
  • Your personal and employment information

How to Contact

Let Service Canada know if the person who died was receiving EI. If the deceased person had not applied for EI benefits, the legal representative can apply in the name of the person who died. EI benefits may be paid to the legal representative or a person authorized to inherit property of the person who died.

Do This

  • If the person who died was receiving EI

What You Need

How to Contact

Under the Crime Victim Assistance Program, immediate family members of an injured or deceased victim, and some witnesses may be eligible for financial assistance or benefits relating to crimes which occurred in B.C.

Do This

  • If the person who died was a victim of a crime

What You Need

How to Contact

If an insured person is killed in a motor vehicle crash, Basic Autoplan will reimburse burial and funeral expenses of up to $7,500.

Do This

  • If the person who died was killed in a motor vehicle crash

What You Need

  • Reported claim

How to Contact

If a member of the Canadian Armed Forces dies, their legal spouse or common law partner, their children under the age of 18 years, or their children aged 18 to 25 years enrolled as a full-time student, may be eligible for a survivor pension or child pension.

Do This

  • If the person who died was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces

What You Need

  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates of survivors
  • Sworn declarations
  • Documented evidence of common-law relationship

How to Contact

The Last Post Fund delivers the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral & Burial Program. It helps with funeral, burial and grave marking for Veterans who meet the financial and service criteria.

Do This

  • If the person who died was an eligible military Veteran

What You Need

How to Contact

WorkSafe BC provides information for compensation on death of a worker including funeral and other death benefits. Where compensation is payable as the result of an injury resulting in death, an amount for funeral expenses is paid with other compensation.

WorkSafe BC also has a booklet with information on assistance available and lists resources that may be helpful following a work-related death.

Do This

  • If the person who died as a result of a workplace accident

What You Need

  • Full name of the person who died
  • Their date of birth
  • Their date of death
  • Their Social Insurance Number (if available)
  • Their employer's name

How to Contact

 


Resources for Indigenous Peoples

If the person who died was Indigenous, contact their community to learn about options and resources.


Veteran Support

If the person who died was a Veteran, access information and resources from Veterans Affairs Canada.

Read more about related financial support options:


Legal Help  

Get help with legal issues

Understand your legal rights and address your legal issues. Many of the listed services and resources are free. Depending on the circumstances of the death, you may want to talk to a lawyer or access legal information.

Free legal help and access to justice in B.C. from volunteer lawyers.

Information, advice, and representation for British Columbians. Priority given to people with low incomes.

Get an action plan for a legal issue, including wills information and dialogue or mediation tools.

Information on wills, dealing with an estate and personal planning.

Find someone to talk with for law-related help in B.C.

 


Related

After a Death Checklist (PDF, 3.8MB)

Common Definitions & Terms