Death & Disability Benefits, Programs & Services Guide
Summary Of Death Benefits - Regular Force
References: Pension Act, Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Reestablishment and Compensation Act (CFMVRCA), Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) - Part II
Death and Related Benefits
Surviving spouses/common-law partners of CF members, who die while serving may be entitled to some benefits or annuities and pensions..
The Director, Canadian Forces Pensions Services (DCFPS) will forward a letter to your surviving spouse/partner/Executor providing details regarding various entitlements.
Assistance from VAC
When a death occurs, VAC’s Casualty Support Protocol is invoked. An Area counselor is assigned to the survivor / family. Working closely with the DND Assisting Officer, the Area Counselor will work with the client/family to identify the needs and help access, on a priority basis, the services and programs that are required. The Area Counselor will plan, organize, coordinate and monitor the VAC services and resources required to respond to the needs.
Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Reestablishment and Compensation Act (CFMVRCA)
(Commonly referred to as the New Veterans Charter)
The Death Benefit will recognize and compensate a surviving spouse/common-law partner and/or surviving dependent child(ren) of a member for the non-economic impacts of a sudden service-related death, which includes the member's loss of life, the resulting loss of guidance, care, companionship and the impact of the member's death on the functioning of the household.
If a CF member's death occurs within 30 days of the date of an injury or disease being contracted during service, or an injury or disease that was aggravated by service, the surviving spouse/partner and/or surviving dependent children may be awarded a lump sum death benefit up to $260,843.84 (2008 rate).
An application for a Death Benefit from an eligible survivor or surviving dependent child(ren) must include medical reports that document the member's injury or disease, diagnosis and cause of death. If the death occurred outside Canada, VAC requires a copy of the CF Death Certificate form (DND 2317) which indicates the disease or condition directly leading to the death.
The Death Benefit and Disability awards payable under the CFMVRCA, which are administered exclusively by Veterans Affairs Canada, is separate from CFSA. No contributions are made and the benefits are not dependent on average pay or years of service, but rather on the extent of the member’s disability.
For further information, please contact one of VAC’s toll-free numbers at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French) the Centre toll free at 1-800-883-6094 or (613) 995-1457; or visit VAC on-line at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, Vocational Assistance, including rehabilitation services, is available based on need to the surviving spouse/common-law partner.
When the death of a CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner and orphans are eligible for the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Canadian Forces Income Support. Survivors/common-law partners are also eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit.
Health Benefits Program
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner, if not otherwise eligible for the Public Service Health Care Plan, can enroll in the Public Service Health Care Plan through the Health Benefits Program and obtain coverage for themselves and their family.
Education Assistance is available to help children carry on their education past high school if they have a CF parent who dies as a result of military service. Under the program, full-time students can qualify for grants to help pay for their education costs and living expenses.
To qualify for the program, children must meet the definition of an orphan as per the CFMVRCA. A surviving child must enter the program before he/she reaches twenty-five years of age. Assistance under the program may continue to the end of the academic year in which the student attains the age of thirty.
Pension Act (Department of Veterans Affairs)
The surviving spouse/common-law partner of a CF member, who dies of a condition for which pension entitlement was awarded under the Pension Act, or was pensioned for a disability assessed at 48% or more at the time of death, may receive a full survivor pension, i.e. 75% of the basic single rate 100% pension. If the member was pensioned for a disability assessed between 5% and 47% at the time of death, the surviving spouse/common-law partner may receive proportionate pension, i.e, equivalent to 50% of the disability pension that was in pay at the time of the pensioner’s death.
When a disability pensioner dies, the spouse/partner may receive, for a period of one year, the same pension amount paid to the pensioner at the time of death. After one year, the pension is automatically converted to either a full or proportionate survivor’s pension.
Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA)
In the event of the death of a CF member, a qualified survivor/Estate is entitled to:
- With less than five years Regular Force service, the greater of:
- A return of contributions with interest; or
- Cash termination allowance: a month’s basic pay for each year of service, based on the final rate of pay; this allowance is subject to income tax; and
- With more than five years of Regular Force service, a qualified survivor is entitled to an annual allowance calculated on the basis of one percent for each year of service (not exceeding 35 years), multiplied by the member’s average annual pay during the best five consecutive years period. This amount, known as the basic allowance, is equivalent to one-half of the pension entitlement the member has earned.
Average annual pay for the best 5 consecutive years X Years of pensionable service ÷ 100 = Basic allowance
Each surviving child is entitled to an annual allowance that is one-fifth (1/5) of the basic allowance, to a maximum of four-fifths (4/5). When there is no surviving spouse/partner, this allowance increases to two-fifths (2/5) of the basic allowance, to a maximum of eight-fifths (8/5). The Guardian of the child will receive the annual allowance on their behalf up to the age 18. Between the age of 18-25 an Extended Annual Allowance (EAA) may be paid to the child directly if they are attending full time school or university.
Basic allowance ÷ 5 x Number of children (maximum 4) = $_____
These benefits are paid in equal monthly installments and are subject to indexation starting January of the year following the death of the member if there has been a rise in the Consumer Price Index. These allowances are taxable.
For more information, please refer to Section 2.
Severance Pay or Rehabilitation leave is payable to your estate if you die while still a member of the CF. When the surviving spouse/partner is the beneficiary of the estate, only that portion of severance pay in excess of $10,000 is subject to income tax.
Monthly rate of pay on date of release ÷ 30 X 7 days X number of full years of continuous full time paid service (not exceeding 30 years)
This benefit is administered byt he Directorate Military Pay, Accounts and Pensiond by(DMPAP) NDHQ, toll free 1-800-267-0325 or 613-996-7980.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
The CPP and the QPP provide death benefits consisting of a lump sum payment, monthly spouse’s pension and monthly orphan’s allowance. Please note that many factors affect the amount of some benefits paid under the CPP and the QPP, and that precise calculation can only be performed by the appropriate CPP/QPP office. All CPP and QPP benefits are taxable.
For further information, please contact Service Canada toll free at 1-800-277-9914 in English, or 1-800-277-9915 in French or visit them on-line at www.servicecanada.gc.ca. In Quebec, contact Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) toll free 1-800-463-5185.
Supplementary Death Benefits (SDB)
(Assistance from DND)
The Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB), are benefits similar to term life insurance for all members of the Regular Force and qualifying members of the Reserve Force on Class "C" service. This plan requires mandatory contribution from its participants.
Under the SDB Plan, the member may designate a beneficiary as provided by the regulations. If no beneficiary is named, the benefit is payable to the member's estate or, in the case of a member who was married before December 20, 1975, their spouse. The benefit is equal to twice the member's salary on release, rounded up to the nearest $250. For example, if the annual salary were $41,024, the SDB would be $82,250.
The SDB is not subject to income tax, but may be liable to estate tax.
Payment of benefits under the SDB Plan is arranged by DCFPS at NDHQ and normally is made to surviving spouse, beneficiary or Estate within seven to fourteen days of receipt of notification of death. Where earlier payment is essential to the surviving spouse's welfare, an advance of the total amount may be obtained from the applicable Comptroller, subject to approval by DCFPS, and with documentation confirming marital status.
The DCFPS administers benefits available under the SDB Plan. Your point of contact at NDHQ is toll free 1-800-267-0325 or 613-996-7980.
Funeral Expenses and Headstones
Payment of funeral expenses is normally limited to standard items and services for a funeral and is described in section 23.
Unused Leave Entitlement
When a CF member dies, the value of the total number of days of any type of leave that was earned and not used will be credited to the member’s estate. This payment is subject to income tax.
Move of Household Goods and Effects (HG&E)
A surviving spouse of a member who dies while in service is entitled to the reimbursement of expenses for the movement of household goods and effects (HG&E), to any place within Canada.
Public Service Health Care Plan
If a survivor is in receipt of an allowance under the CFSA, the survivor may opt to continue medical insurance coverage. For details visit www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.
CF Dependant Dental Care Plan
The dental plan entitlement ceases when the member is released from the CF or dies. However, if a survivor is in receipt of an allowance under the CFSA or the Public Service Superannuation Act, the survivor may opt to join the Pensioner's Dental Services Plan. For details visit www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.
SISIP Financial Services (SISIP FS) - Regular Force
A Brief Introduction
As a division of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA), SISIP FS is proud to serve those who serve and to offer them the following high quality financial services:
- Life and Disability Insurance;
- Financial Planning;
- Financial Counselling;
- Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund (CFPAF); and
- Financial Education.
SISIP FS also endorses the Canadian Forces Group Retirement Savings Plan (CFGRSP).
SISIP FS has a team of highly qualified and dedicated professionals in 18 offices throughout Canada.
SISIP FS - Term Life Insurance Plans for Regular Force and Former Members
SISIP FS provides affordable term life insurance plans to serving and former Canadian Forces members and their spouses. These plans can be purchased in increments of $10,000 to a maximum of $400,000. At time of death, the amount of life insurance purchased is paid to the named beneficiary(ies) or trustee(s), tax free.
A SISIP FS licensed insurance representative, who is paid a salary and not commissions, will help you determine their life insurance needs, by providing you with a free Insurance Needs Analysis. Your Military Pension, Government benefits, Supplementary Death Benefits (SDB), etc., are all included in the analysis.
- Serving members can purchase Optional Group Term Insurance (OGTI). Premium payment is automatic by payroll deduction
- Released members can be insured under Insurance for Released Members (IRM). Premium payments can be made by:
- monthly preauthorized deductions from a bank account; or
- monthly pension deductions (if applicable).
Coverage and Benefits
OGTI and IRM have the following features:
- No exclusions for dangerous occupations, hobbies, volunteer activities or sports;
- Less stringent medical underwriting requirements
- Accidental dismemberment benefits for:
- members and insured spouses whose injuries are “non-attributable to military service”*; and
- dependent children to a maximum of $10,000;
- Free Dependent Life (DL) coverage in the amount of $10,000; and
- A living benefit that provides, under specific circumstances, access to;
- an amount not to exceed 50% of the face value of the life insurance in force to a maximum of $50,000, provided that the insured has a terminal illness, and the prognosis by the physician, and confirmed by Manulife Financial’s physician, is that death is expected within 12 months.
Note: The Accidental Dismemberment Insurance Plan (ADIP) provides benefits for members who injuries are attributable to military service. For more information on ADIP please visit www.sisip.com.
Upon the death of an insured member, the spouse is deemed the member, and may transfer his/her OGTI coverage to IRM within 60 days of the date of the letter accompanying the claim package from Manulife Financial.
SISIP FS Financial Planning Services
SISIP FS also has a team of financial planners who are paid salaries and not commissions. For a small monthly fee, these financial planners, who hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation (F.Pl. in Quebec), can help you achieve your financial goals by providing advice on a variety of financial matters such as defining and establishing financial objectives, establishing a savings plan, RRSPs, or RESPs. At time of death, financial planners can also help your beneficiary(ies) in choosing the best financial options for their benefit entitlements, including proceeds of life insurance.
SISIP FS CF Personnel Assistance Fund (CFPAF)
In situations of unforeseen financial distress or other qualifying circumstances, serving, former members and their dependents may be eligible for distress grants and loans from CFPAF. CFPAF also offers educational assistance loans to serving and former members and their dependents. Widows/widowers and orphan children may also be eligible to apply.
If you have a CFPAF loan and are a serving military member who dies during active service, any outstanding balance is absorbed by the Canadian Forces Central Fund Consolidated Insurance Program.
For more information visit www.sisip.com or call toll free1-800-267-6681 or 613-233-2177. For CFPAF, call toll free1-888-753-9828 or 613-760-3447.