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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: December 03, 2020
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08 Supplementary Benefits

Funeral Benefits

Income and Employment Supports Act, section 5(1)(b) and Schedule, section 10
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 4, section 25


To ensure deceased persons are given a proper burial or cremation where the estate or responsible survivors are unable to pay for funeral services.


Funeral benefits are delivered by Common Service Delivery (CSD). Applications for funeral benefits are submitted by the funeral home to the Health and Funeral Benefits (HFB) Unit at CSD. Family or Estate Administrators should contact the funeral home to discuss funeral planning.

Funeral homes that contact IS worksites should be referred to:

Telephone 780‑638‑4443 in Edmonton; outside Edmonton call toll-free 1‑855‑638‑4443

Fax 780‑643‑9228 in Edmonton, or toll free 1‑855‑643‑9228 outside Edmonton

Funeral applications can be sent by email to or faxed to 780-643-9228 .

Community and Social Services may provides basic funeral services for eligible indigent persons who die or are transported to Alberta for a burial. Basic funeral services are provided for under an Agreement with funeral homes in Alberta.

A funeral home that agrees to provide this service must:

The list of approved funeral homes and the Agreement services, terms and conditions must be reviewed prior to funeral service authorization.

The Agreement contains:

  • All applicable definitions, such as: indigent, estate, responsible survivor, and basic funeral services.
  • Funeral home services and responsibilities.
  • Specific details about what is covered.
  • The rates IS pays for basic funeral services.

Community and Social Services pays only for the goods and services specified in the funeral Schedule of Fees. The funeral home business and Community and Social Services workers should become familiar with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

The following documents are required prior to authorization and processing of funeral benefits:

  1. A completed AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses and substantiation documents from the funeral home.
  2. A completed AEHB 2598 Request for Estimate – Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit.

If a body is to be transported outside Alberta but within Canada, the HFB Supervisor must approve the application. Transporting of a body outside of Canada is not authorized.

Eligibility is based on the financial resources available in the estate of the deceased, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) death benefit
  • Cash or bank accounts of the deceased
  • Final OAS/GIS or CPP and other pension cheques
  • Property which may be sold by the estate or borrowed against to cover funeral costs
  • Last Post Fund if the deceased was an Armed Forces veteran
  • Debts owed to the estate
  • Section B insurance benefit if death was caused by an insured motor vehicle
  • Life insurance policy

If the combined available resources with applicable cash/liquid asset exemptions are enough to pay for basic funeral costs, Community and Social Services does not cover the funeral expenses.

If the amount of the CPP death benefit is insufficient to cover the total cost of the funeral, then it is not used as a financial resource/deduction to offset the total funeral cost. Community and Social Services has a shared service agreement with Service Alberta for the collection of debts owed to Community and Social Services, including the collection of CPP Death Benefits.

If there is a responsible survivor (legal spouse/partner, legal parent of a child under 18 years old or a sponsor of an immigrant), the income and assets of the responsible survivor are considered as a potential resource. Community and Social Services does not pay any funeral expenses if the responsible survivor refuses to pay or refuses to provide the information substantiating their inability to pay. Responsible survivors are not allowed to top-up or enhance any funeral services including basic funeral benefits Community and Social Services provides.

If the responsible survivor has non-exempt resources, then Community and Social Services will pay the difference between the basic funeral services rates as specified in the Agreement and any non-exempt assets and income of the responsible survivor.

Only the excess cash/liquid assets and income of the responsible survivor after exemption may be used to offset the basic funeral expenses. The exemptions are as follows:

  • $1,500 cash/liquid assets for a responsible survivor without dependents or
  • $2,500 cash/liquid assets for a responsible survivor with dependents and
  • $5,000 equity in vehicle(s) and
  • a home of reasonable value for the community in which the responsible survivor lives and
  • $1,000 income for a responsible survivor without dependents or
  • $2,500 income for a responsible survivor with dependents

    If a responsible survivor is receiving income support from IS, AISH or Child and Family Services, no income or assets are used when calculating the available resources.

Top Ups, Upgrades or Enhancements to Basic Funeral Services

Responsible survivors (legal spouse/partner, legal parent of a child under 18 years old or sponsor of an immigrant) are not allowed to enhance the basic funeral benefits IS provides. Any individual or group except for responsible survivors may make a financial contribution toward enhancement of any funeral services. This contribution is not considered a financial resource to off-set the total funeral cost.

Non-responsible survivors are not required to cover the cost of the basic funeral service. However, there may be situations where a non-responsible survivor would like to upgrade the funeral services. In these cases Community and Social Services pays the agreement amount for the basic funeral service and the non-responsible survivor pays the difference. For example, a request for an upgrade to the casket is considered if the non-responsible survivor agrees to pay the difference.

Special Groups
Occasionally, unique situations arise which may not be clearly identified in the Agreement and which may require consultation with Income Programs. For these situations, the HFB Unit will gather all relevant information and contact Income Programs. Some unique situations are outlined below.

Person with No Next of Kin
The Public Trustee must be notified if the deceased has an estate. The Public Trustee will take appropriate action, which may include a request for Community and Social Services to cover funeral costs. If there is no apparent estate, no contact is made with the Public Trustee.

Public Trustee Clients
The Public Trustee has an agreement with the funeral homes for funeral services. When the Public Trustee administers an estate that is not large enough to pay for a funeral, the Public Trustee will confirm the amount available in the estate and ask the HFB Unit to arrange for payment of the funeral.

The amount of the estate is not used as a deduction to offset the total funeral costs. Community and Social Services through their shared service agreement with Service Alberta will collect the cost of the estate funds from the Public Trustee. Service Alberta must be advised by the Community and Social Services worker that the funeral is a Public Trustee funeral so that collection can occur.

Registered/Status First Nations People
If the deceased person has Registered Status under the Indian Act, their Band is responsible for all associated funeral costs. If the deceased was living off reserve, the appropriate Band will be asked to pay for the funeral. If the Band refuses, and the person is deemed indigent, Community and Social Services will provide basic funeral expenses.

A Band may not provide enhancement to funeral goods or services; if the Band wants to contribute to the funeral costs, that contribution must be deducted from the costs to be paid by Community and Social Services.

If the deceased person belongs to an out-of-province reserve and the Band refuses funds for funeral costs but wishes the deceased be returned for burial, Community and Social Services pays basic funeral and essential transportation only. The receiving province/territory/Band pays for the burial.

Learners and Their Dependents
When funeral benefits are requested for a deceased Learner or their dependents (spouse/partner or children), the request is referred immediately to the HFB Unit. The HFB Unit follows standard policy and procedures to provide the funeral benefits as expediently as possible.

Requests for Disposal of Human Remains
Under the Funeral Services General Regulation, the Minister of Community and Social Services is designated as the person of last resort to authorize the disposal of human remains, when no responsible survivor can be located, and no other government body has responsibility for the decision. The Executive Director, Income and Employment Branch is delegated the Minister’s responsibility for these rare requests. The HFB Unit is required to forward these requests to Income Programs for review.

Unidentified Deceased Persons
In a rare instance when the identity of a deceased person is not known, Community and Social Services provides basic funeral services in the name of Jane or John DOE. The HFB Unit arranges payment for the funeral and burial only. Cremation must not be authorized. For inquiries in these cases, contact the HFB Unit who will forward these requests to Income Programs for Executive Director review.

Children in Care Under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
The Child and Family Services Delivery Division of Community and Social Services is responsible for the cost of a funeral if a child dies while in the custody or guardianship of the Director, Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.


The funeral home:

  1. Completes section 1-4 of the AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses with the estate administrator and/or responsible survivor if it appears that the deceased may be indigent or an active Income Support client and if the funeral home has a signed agreement with Community and Social Services.
    • Refers the responsible survivor, estate administrator or next of kin to the HFB Unit
      If the funeral home does not have a signed agreement with GoA, funeral home staff should contact the HFB Unit who will forward their request to Income Programs for review.
  2. Completes the AEHB 2598 Request for Estimate-Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit with the deceased's responsible survivor/next of kin and sends it with the AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses to the HFB Unit.
  3. Copies ID of the deceased, when available, for the HFB Unit and faxes it along with the AEHB 2563A and the AEHB 2598 to the HFB Unit.
  4. Awaits confirmation of payment authorization from a Community and Social Services worker prior to proceeding with funeral services.


Workers should ensure the applicant is aware that they are signing over the CPP Death Benefit to the GoA and that they could be subject to collections by Service Alberta if the CPP Death Benefit is paid out to the applicant in error.

  • The HFB Assessor:
    1. Reviews the AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses to determine if sections 1-4 on the application have been completed according to the terms of the agreement and the declaration has been signed.
    2. Ensures the AEHB 2598 Request for Estimate – Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit has been completed by the funeral service business.
    3. Reviews the approved funeral home listing to ensure the funeral business is an approved vendor.
    4. Completes the AEHB 2563B Funeral Benefits Eligibility Determination working copy of the application in consultation with the party applying for funeral benefits:
      • calculates the total resources available to offset funeral costs excluding the CPP death benefit (if less than the cost of the funeral)
      • deducts the amount paid by the estate and/or responsible survivor(s) from the Total Funeral Costs (A) identified on the AEHB 2563A
    5. Completes section 5 and 6 of the AEHB 2563A application if the deceased is eligible and enters the amount approved in box (B).


      Authorization to Transport a Body Outside Alberta Within Canada
      If the body is to be transported over 50 km, the HFB Supervisor signs the AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses and adds in the Comments box in section 6 the following wording:
      “Prior approval given to transport body from
      ________________ to ________________

    6. Sends the funeral home a copy of the signed and department authorized AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses.
    7. Sets the Cheque Release flag to N in LISA, enters comment “Client deceased” with date and the HFB Unit worker’s name if deceased was single and had active IS file.
    8. Marks the client as deceased in CCD. If no active IS file the client should be registered and deceased in CCD.
    9. Completes the EMP 3428 Income Support Application leaving the client signature section blank if there is no estate administrator to sign on behalf of the deceased if no active IS file exists.
    10. Creates a file on LISA if no active IS file exists.
    11. Uses Client Type 82 as applicable.
    12. Records summary information in Mobius Notes.
    13. If the deceased was a member of a household with active IS status, sends the death certificate to the appropriate worksite for the client file.

    Applying for the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit:

  • The HFB Assessor:       

    1. Compiles the following information:
      1. Name, SIN, file number and date of death
      2. AEHB 2563A Application/Invoice for Funeral Expenses
      3. AEHB 2598 Request for Estimate – Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit
      4. Death certificate (copy)
      5. Birth certificate (copy) or a copy of other personal identification that verifies the birth date of the deceased (e.g., health card, driver’s license, EMP 3428 Income Support Application signed by the client)
    2. And forwards, via interoffice mail or fax, the complete package of information within one working day after approval of funeral benefits:

      Crown Debt Collections
      Service Alberta
      8th fl John E. Brownlee bldg
      10365 97 ST
      Edmonton AB T5J 3W7