Employment & Social Services

Help with funeral costs

Employment and Social Services provides help on behalf of deceased city residents who do not have enough funds in their estate to fully cover funeral costs. The deceased person does not have to have been in receipt of Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits at the time of death to be eligible.

Help with funeral costs can include:

  • Funeral services - Employment and Social Services will pay for the transfer of the body for cremation, burial, or for a traditional funeral service.
  • Burial services - Employment and Social Services will purchase a burial lot. If the deceased person owned a lot, Employment and Social Services will pay to open and close the grave.
  • Cremation services - Employment and Social Services will pay for cremation, including a standard urn. Employment and Social Services also covers the cost of scattering the remains in a cemetery or a burial in a pre-owned plot.

To determine eligibility, a caseworker will consider the financial situation of the deceased person and his/her spouse at the time of death. This includes, for example, looking at assets, income, RRSPs and life insurance.

How to apply:

  • If the deceased person was in receipt of Ontario Works or ODSP, you can go directly to the funeral home of your choice. However, before making the funeral arrangements you must advise the Funeral Director that the deceased was in receipt of social assistance. The Funeral Director will contact Employment and Social Services to authorize payment.
  • If the deceased person was not in receipt of Ontario Works or ODSP, you can apply at an Employment and Social Services office. Contact an office to book an appointment and find out what information you need to make a funeral application.

IMPORTANT…
Employment and Social Services:  

  • must authorize services before you sign a contract with a funeral home or cemetery
  • prefers that the executor/executrix start the funeral arrangements
    (If there is no executor/executrix, the person applying for this help should be the person making the arrangements at the funeral home.)
  • is entitled to recover the funeral costs from all sources available to the deceased person
  • is open between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; if the death occurs after hours or on a weekend/holiday, you must advise the Funeral Director that you plan to apply for financial help from Employment and Social Services

For more information, call Funeral Services at 416-392-1666 or contact an Employment and Social Services office.