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Funeral Services Funding for ODSP Recipients

Photo of casket surrounded by flowers

My grandfather passed on this week, and because he didn’t have an estate I later discovered that there are programs offered by different municipalities that cover basic funeral services for persons receiving Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), low-income residents, as well as residents who do not have enough money in their estate to cover funeral expenses.

Types of Services Included

Municipalities have arrangements with funeral homes across the city where they would provide services such as:

What’s Required to Apply?

In the City of Toronto, you need the following documents to apply:

Whereas for the Niagara Region you need:

The process according to the City of Toronto Social Services caseworker only takes a day or two, so be sure to have all the documents to ensure the processing goes through. You will be asked to go in for an appointment to see a caseworker to review all the documents before the caseworker’s coordinate with the funeral home.

Some Controversy

In an article by the Toronto Star in 2010 titled Funeral Homes Subsidizing Services for the Poor, says that funeral homes can no longer afford to spend millions of dollars subsidising services at a loss to their business. I spoke with the funeral director of the funeral home in North York that serviced both my grandparents and according to the director between 5-15% of their potential clients do apply for financial support from the City of Toronto and the services they provide do come at a loss to their business.

Other Forms of Funding

If you or your loved ones contribute the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), there is a one-time, lump-sum death benefit of up to $2,500. You will have to apply for this payment and takes approximately 6 to 12 weeks to process.


My suggestion after this experience is, especially during an emotional time when a loved one has passed on to:

Funerals can be costly and it is definitely worth being knowledgeable to what options you have for yourself and loved ones.

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