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Published Date: April 01, 2022
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08 Supplementary Benefits

Funeral Benefits

Funeral Benefits for Low Income Albertans

Funeral Benefits for Low Income Albertans Special Groups


Income and Employment Supports Act, section 5(1)(b) and the Schedule, section 10
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 4, section 25
Funeral Services Act General Regulation, section 36(2)
Cemeteries Act General Regulation, section 12 and section 13


To describe unique situations that may occur related to providing funeral benefits for low income Albertans.


First Nations Persons

If the deceased was residing off reserve, they may be eligible for funeral benefits if all other eligibility criteria are met. First Nations persons ordinarily residing on reserve are generally not eligible for Income Support benefits. If the deceased was ordinarily residing on reserve, refer the applicant to the Band as federal assistance is provided through the bands. See the First Nations People with Registered Status Under the Indian Act and Off-Reserve Nations People policy for more information.

Estate with No Administrator

The Public Trustee must be notified if the deceased has an estate with no administrator. When no appropriate person or corporation is found to handle the estate, the Public Trustee will administer the 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 Health and Funeral Benefit 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.

Requests for Disposal of Human Remains

Under section 36(2), of 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 there is no other person or government body with higher priority who is able or willing to make this decision.

Unidentified Deceased Persons

When a deceased individual cannot be identified, basic funeral services are provided in the name of Jane or John DOE. The Public Trustee directs the disposition of the deceased individual and the HFB Unit arranges payment for the funeral. A burial only is provided. A cremation must not be authorized.

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 Statutory Director, under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.