Death Benefit

What is the Death Benefit?

When military families lose a loved one as a result of a sudden service-related death, there can be great suffering as the surviving spouse and children struggle to find their place in the civilian world.

Veterans Affairs Canada pays a death benefit to help ease that struggle.

The death benefit is not designed to be life insurance. Instead, it recognizes the impact the death of a service member has on the functioning of their immediate family, including the permanent loss of guidance, care and companionship. It is paid in addition to the usual pension-related death benefits paid under the Canada Pension Plan and the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act.

The rates for this benefit are adjusted annually according to the cost of living.

Do I Qualify?

The Death Benefit is paid to a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children if a Canadian Armed Forces member has died as a result of a service-related injury or disease provided the death occurred within 30 days after the injury occurred or the disease was contracted.

A survivor is defined as:

  • the surviving spouse, who was, at the time of the member's death, residing with the member;
  • or
  • the person who was, at the time of the Canadian Armed Forces member's death, the member's common-law partner (a common-law partner means a person who is cohabiting with the member in a conjugal relationship, having so co-habited for a period of at least one year).

A dependent child is defined as:

  • the child of a Canadian Armed Forces member (or of their spouse or common-law partner) who is under 18 years of age,
  • or
  • under 25 years of age and attending school, or an adult but physically or mentally incapacitated and prevented from earning a living. In addition, the child must have been living in the home of the Canadian Armed Forces member to be considered a dependent child.

How Do I Apply?

If, you have not heard from us at the time of the member's death, please contact us

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