Can I get CPP money for a family member who died?

1. Learn about the survivor’s pension

If your spouse or made contributions while they were working, you may be able to get a monthly survivor’s pension when they die.

If you were separated, but not divorced, when they died, you may still be able to get the survivor's pension if your former spouse did not have a common-law partner when they died.

You can collect only one survivor's pension. This means if you were previously widowed, you'll get whichever survivor's pension is larger.

Once you start getting a survivor's pension, you continue to get it even if you marry again.

How much you can get

The amount you can get for a CPP survivor's pension depends on:

  • how long your spouse or common-law partner made
  • the amount of your spouse or common-law partner's CPP contributions
  • whether you're over or under 65 when you apply
  • whether you're getting any other benefits from the CPP

If you’re 65 or older

If you're 65 or older, you'll get 60% of your spouse or common-law partner's retirement pension, as long as you're not getting any other CPP benefits.

If your spouse or common-law partner was not getting a CPP retirement pension when they died, the amount of their pension is set as if they were 65 when they died.

If you’re younger than 65

Starting in 2019, if you're under 65, you'll get 37.5% of your deceased spouse or partner's retirement pension, as long as you're not getting any other CPP benefits.

You also get what's called a flat rate portion.

If your spouse or common-law partner was not getting a CPP retirement pension when they died, the amount of their pension is set as if they were 65 when they died.

If you’re getting other CPP benefits

If you're already getting your own CPP retirement benefits or when your spouse or common-law partner dies, your survivor's pension is combined with your existing CPP benefits. The total amount you get from the CPP will be based on your age and other benefits.

Make sure to apply

Your survivor's pension will start as early as the month after your spouse or common-law partner dies, if you apply right away. So to make sure that you don't lose any benefits, apply as soon as you can. If you apply later, you can only get back payments for up to 12 months.

CPP enhancement amount

You'll get a higher amount of survivor's pension if:

  • you started getting it in 2019 or later, and
  • your spouse or common-law partner contributed to the enhanced CPP.
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