The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is one of the country’s most important social programs, helping people live a dignified life after they reach retirement age. The program is open to most Canadian citizens and people who contribute to CPP. In some circumstances, like someone married to a person collecting CPP, a survivor benefit exists to help them after their partner passes away.
Here is some critical information you need to know about the CPP survivor benefit.
How to Know if you Qualify
There are details about eligibility on the Government of Canada’s webpage about CPP survivor benefits, but to qualify you must:
- Be legally married to a deceased CPP contributor
- Be the common-law partner of a deceased CPP contributor
If you were previously married to a CPP recipient but have since remarried or were widowed more than once, then you will need to contact the CPP office for more information. You can find their contact details on their contact page.
How Much Can You Expect with CPP Survivor Benefits?
The amount you receive for the CPP survivor’s benefit depends on a lot of different factors. The main factor is your age. If you’re over 65, you could receive 60% of the contributor's retirement pension, if you are not receiving other CPP benefits. If you’re under 65, will receive a flat rate portion and 37.5% of the contributor's retirement pension, if you are not receiving other CPP benefits.
The survivor’s benefit can be combined with other benefits. For example, if you already receive a CPP or a disability pension, your survivor’s benefit will be combined into a single monthly payment.
How to Apply for the Survivor’s Benefit
Are you ready to apply? This handy pdf walks you through how to apply for the survivor’s benefit. the document is invaluable information for anyone who wants to learn more about the application process.
As for when to apply, you should do so as soon after your partner’s passing as possible. This will ensure that there is as little a gap in your income as possible while going through a difficult time. You can expect to wait between 6 and 12 weeks for your first payment after the CPP office receives your completed application. They can also only back pay 12 months’ worth of payments, so it’s important to complete the application as soon as possible.