Author Site Reviewresults

7B.11. Funerals


Ontario Works Effective Date: July 1, 2009
Topic: Benefits/Discretionary Benefits Replaces: November 1, 2004
Subject: Funerals Policy No. H.7B.11.



Authority OW Act: Sec. 8 and 74(4) & OW Directives: Dir. 7.2

This policy has been established to ensure that OW / ODSP clients can access basic funeral services. 

The funding for this benefit is cost-shared at 80/20 with the province.


It is important that prior approval from the Case Manager be obtained, before any funeral arrangements are made. The Case Manager is responsible for completing the Funeral Approval Checklist. 

  1. When a telephone call is received from the funeral home, determination should be made if the deceased person had available assets. (i.e. real estate, bank accounts, bonds, pensions  CPP, DVA, or life insurance).  If the deceased had sufficient assets, the family/next of kin/executor should be asked to accept responsibility for funeral costs.

  1. Are any family members contributing toward the cost of the funeral?

    Where it is determined that a person was in need at the time of death and requires assistance for funeral costs, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will pay for funeral cost up to the  approved policy limits. Where family members wish to contribute to the cost of the funeral, such contributions will be used to reduce the DSB’s share of the funeral expense.

    Family members or friends who wish to “top-up” for additional professional services or upgrade will be allowed to do so. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will not be held responsible for any cost over and above the approved policy limits.

  2. If it can be determined that the deceased was a veteran with the Armed Forces and served overseas, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will assume responsibility for the funeral and burial.

  3. If the deceased person was a Legion member, the Legion provides monies directly to the next of kin for funeral costs.

  4. If the deceased person resided in a Home for the Aged and was in receipt of OW or ODSP, the Home must be contacted to determine if there are any assets/income. If sufficient assets/income, the Home takes responsibility for the funeral.

  5. If there are no assets or there are no persons willing to accept responsibility for funeral costs, then Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will make payment and seek reimbursement from whatever sources are available.

  6. Complete CPP Death Benefit application on behalf of deceased.  The application must be accompanied by certified true copies of the birth certificate, death certificate, and funeral bill.

  7. If the deceased was in receipt of ODSP, contact the relevant Case Manager and request that the deceased person’s last cheque be re-issued to Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB.

  8. The DSB jurisdiction where the deceased person resided at the time of death, is responsible for the funeral costs.  For example: Mary, an ODSP client passes away during treatment in Toronto.  Her place of residence is Little Current.  The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB would be responsible to pay the funeral costs.  Also, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB would be responsible to pay the cost of transporting the body back to Little Current.

  9. If the will, estate or family of the person wants the deceased to be buried in a town/city other than their residence at time of death, the family would be responsible for the costs associated with the transportation and the burial of the deceased’s body. Should the estate or family be unable to cover said costs, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will bury the deceased in their respective residential community.  Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB would cover other associated costs of the funeral as per our policy including the casket and preparation.

  10. Family or friends will indicate their choice of a funeral home from those contracted to provide services to the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB.  The Case Manager will contact the chosen home and assume the responsibility for the funeral and burial of the client.  Where there is no family and or friends(s), the Case Manager in consultation with the Supervisor will contact the funeral home and issue instructions for disposal of the remains.

  11. The individual’s will either spoken or written, and the family’s choice will always be considered where the option of burial or cremation exists.

  12. Payment to a funeral home constitutes “Payment in Full”. Any further charges (as agreed under #7 of this policy) will be the responsibility of any other party/parties involved.

  13. The Case Manager is to keep a record of the name of the deceased, the date of request, the funeral home, etc. and is to update that record as information and money is received. The Social Assistance Computer System will be updated accordingly.

  14. The Case Manager is responsible to pay the costs associated with the funeral through Social Assistance Computer System -Benefit –Funeral- The payment is made to the vendor (Funeral Home).  Refer to the appendix for funeral and cemetery rates to ensure that the billing is correct.


Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB approves the following criteria regarding change in ownership of grave plots and the placing of markers in cemeteries:

  1. That permission from Ontario Works be requested before any monument installation or ash burial is permitted on grave plots owned by Ontario Works.

  2. That the transfer of ownership of grave plots owned by Ontario Works may be approved if cemetery costs are reimbursed where applicable.  (i.e. cost of plot, care of plot, opening and closing, etc.).


The following services are approved for funerals by the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB board of directors up to a maximum of $2,250.00.  Funerals are cost shared at 80 – 20. 

  • Professional Services
  • Preparation and Embalming
  • Transfer from the place of death
  • Visitation
  • Religious service (incl. Payment to clergy)
  • Hearse and other vehicles for procession
  • Shelter of remains
  • Cloth finished casket or equivalent basic wood
  • Cremation where appropriate
  • Cost of an Urn
  • Coroner’s Certificate 

The following services are approved as additional expenses, over and above the $2,250 up to a maximum of $2,000.00.   

  • Additional travel and transportation as approved
  • Opening & closing of the grave
  • Cost of plot
  • Grave marker and installation as required by cemetery
  • Oversized Casket
  • Care and maintenance