The Canada Pension Plan or CPP Survivor Benefit is a government-funded benefit that consists of payments made to families who lost the primary breadwinner, provided they were contributors to the Canada Pension Plan.
The program provides a pension of up to of 37.5% to 60% of the deceased contributor's retirement pension depending on the survivor's age and particular condition. These payments help cover cost-of-living expenses and may be as high as $752.15 if the survivor doesn't receive any other benefits from the CPP.
What Is The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit?
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit is a program that provides the legal spouse or common-law partner of a deceased Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributor with monthly payments. It is a form of social assistance or government-sponsored benefit program that helps families who would otherwise struggle financially because of the loss of the main breadwinner.
The payments are usually partial or a fraction of the deceased contributor's total pension plan.
As a survivor, the amount you may receive takes into account your age at the time of your loss and whether or not you receive other Canada Pension Plan benefits.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit: Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the CPP survivor benefit or survivor's pension, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You must be the legal spouse of the deceased CPP contributor
- You must be the common-law partner of the deceased CPP contributor
A common-law partner, according to the Canada Pension Plan legislation, is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for one year or more.
You will have to show proof that you were in a common-law relationship with the deceased contributor by filling out any of the following forms:
- The Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form – dual signatures (ISP3004CPP)
- The Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form – single signature (ISP3104CPP)
Other situations that could make you eligible include:
- If you and the deceased were legally married and then separated, and the deceased had no common-law partner or spouse at the time of death.
- If you remarry, you will still be eligible to receive the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit. If you previously could not receive the benefit because you remarried, you can contact the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to see if you are now qualified to receive the benefit.
- If you have been bereaved of a spouse or common-law partner more than once, you will be eligible to receive only the larger Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit from one of your deceased spouses or partners.
Related: You may be interested in the OAS payment dates for 2022.
How Much Can You Receive As Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit?
The amount you may be eligible to receive as payment as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit depends on:
- How much and for how long the deceased contributor had been paying into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Your age at the time of bereavement (whether or not you are 65 years or older)
- Whether or not you already receive other CPP benefits
The Deceased's Available Retirement Pension
The amount you may receive is determined by first calculating the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension amount of the deceased or the amount it would have been if the deceased was up to 65 years of age at the time of their death.
The Survivor's Age
The surviving spouse or common-law partner's age at the time of the contributor's death is also used to make further calculations to determine the benefit amount as follows:
- If you are 65 or older, you will receive 60% of the deceased contributor's retirement pension if you don't already receive other Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits.
- If you are below 65 years old, you will receive a portion of the benefit and about 37.5% of the deceased contributor's retirement pension if you don't already receive other Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits.
The survivor benefit you may be qualified to receive in 2022 is shown below:
|Age of Survivor||Average Payment Amount||Maximum Payment Amount|
|Below 65 years of age||$466.88||$674.79|
|65 years or older||$319.34||$752.15|
Combining CPP Benefits
The abovementioned amounts only apply if you don't receive any other CPP benefits. However, suppose you already receive the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension or the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability pension. In that case, your survivor's pension will be combined with the other benefits into a single monthly payment.
The combined benefit is not the sum of the survivor's pension and any other CPP benefits you may be eligible for. This is because you cannot receive the full survivor's pension together with the full CPP retirement pension or CPP disability pension.
When combining different or multiple benefits, the total amount you will receive for the combined CPP benefits will be determined based on your age and the other benefits you're eligible to receive. This translates into the following cases:
- If you are eligible for both the survivor's pension and the disability pension, you will receive the maximum disability pension, which is more than the maximum survivor benefit.
- If you are eligible for both the survivor's pension and the retirement pension, you will receive the maximum retirement pension, which is more than the maximum survivor's pension.
- If you are eligible for different CPP benefits with different flat rates, you will receive only the flat-rate payment of the highest-paying Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefit you are eligible for.
For combined Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, the amount you may be eligible to receive is shown below:
|Combined Benefits||Average Combined Benefit Amount||Maximum Combined Benefit Amount|
|Combined survivor's pension and retirement pension (at 65 years of age)||$929.31||$1,257.13|
|Combined survivor's pension and disability pension||$1,133.84||$1,467.04|
The CPP enhancement component of your combined benefit will be added to the base amount of your combined benefit.
When Should You Apply For The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit
You should apply to receive the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit as soon as possible when your spouse or common-law partner dies.
The CPP can only make payments for benefits delayed for 12 months or less, so you may not receive any benefits if you delay applying for them.
How To Apply For The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit
To receive the CPP pension as a survivor of a deceased contributor, you need to apply for the monthly survivor benefit. If you're unable to apply yourself for any reason, you can have someone you trust apply for you.
You can apply for the benefit online, by mail, or by phone. However, a representative can only apply on your behalf by mail or by phone but not online.
To apply for the CPP survivor benefit online, you should follow the steps below
- Step #1: Log in to your My Service Canada Account (MSCA) and fill out the online CPP Survivor's Pension form.
- Step #2: Mail the certified original copies of the required documents or submit them in person to any Service Canada office. You'll need to provide both your and the deceased contributor's Social Insurance Number (SIN) on all the required documents before mailing or submitting them to Service Canada.
Applying By Mail Using A Paper Application
To apply for the survivor benefit using a paper application, follow the steps below:
- Step #1: Fill out and complete the Canada Pension Plan survivor's pension and children's benefits application form (ISP1300).
- Step #2: Add the certified original copies of the required documents to the form.
- Step #3: Include both your and the deceased contributor's Social Insurance Number (SIN) on all the required documents.
- Step #4: Submit the form in person or mail the form to any Service Canada office.
After submitting your completed application to Service Canada, you should receive your first Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit payment in about 6 to 12 weeks from the date your application was received.
If more than 12 weeks have elapsed and you have not received any payment, you can check the status of your application by contacting Canada Pension Plan.
If you disagree with the CPP's decision, you may always request a reconsideration. You may appeal any decision you disagree with that affects your eligibility or the amount you may be entitled to receive.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Survivor Benefit FAQs
How much does a surviving spouse get from the CPP?
A surviving spouse may get a maximum amount of $674.79 from the CPP if the spouse is under 65 years of age and a maximum amount of $752.15 if they are up to 65 years or older.
Is the CPP Survivor Benefit for life?
Yes, the CPP survivor benefit is for life. Unlike other benefits like Employment Insurance or EI payments, Eligible survivors will receive the benefit payments until they die.
Who qualifies for the CPP survivor benefit?
To qualify for the CPP survivor benefit, you must be the deceased contributor's legal spouse or common-law partner.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit provides surviving legal spouses or common-law partners of deceased contributors with a monthly pension from the CPP. The amount that the CPP may pay to the survivor depends on the survivor's age at the time of bereavement and on their eligibility for other Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits.
If you are eligible for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefit, ensure that you apply for the benefit on time. Otherwise, you risk losing the benefit.