| Service eligibility criteria|
| Financial eligibility criteria|
| What benefits are provided|
| Arranging for the benefits|
The Last Post Fund is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to arranging for the provision of dignified funeral and burial services to war veterans and certain other persons who, at the time of their death, meet the wartime service financial eligibility criteria. The Last Post fund operates in cooperation with, and is supported financially by, the Government of Canada through Veterans Affairs Canada.
The branch office in Ontario is located at the following address:
|Last Post Fund|
|Suite 905 - 55 St. Clair Ave. East|
|Toronto, ON M4T 1M2|
|Telephone No. (416) 923-1608|
|Toll free number for Ontario callers - 1-800-563-2508|
|Click here for the Web site|
Generally speaking, when a veteran is in receipt of benefits from Veterans Affairs at the time of his death, his family should be referred to a Veterans Affairs Canada office for possible Funeral and Burial Assistance.
Assistance for veterans who are not eligible for Funeral and Burial Assistance from Veterans Affairs Canada, may be available from the Last Post Fund subject to the criteria listed below:
For eligibility to be established on the grounds of service, a person must have been on active duty during any one of the periods and conflicts described below, and in one of the defined categories:
- World War I - August 4, 1914 to August 14, 1921, or
- World War II - September 1, 1939 to September 30, 1947;
- A veteran of the Canadian armed forces who served either in Canada or overseas;
- A merchant navy veteran, as defined in the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian War-related Benefits Act. (Note: to qualify as such, a person must have served on a Canadian Ship while on a high seas voyage or must have been a Canadian national who was awarded the 1939-45 star in respect of merchant navy service or who served on an allied ship while on a high seas voyage);
- A Canadian person, as defined under the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian war-related Benefits Act, who was in receipt of a disability pension or allowance under the said Act;
- A veteran of allied forces, with prewar domicile in Canada or who has received benefits from VAC prior to February 28, 1995, provided burial occurs in Canada.
- Korean War - July 5, 1950 to October 31, 1953;
- A veteran of the "Special Force" who enlisted specifically for service in Korea, whether or not service was in an actual theatre of operations;
- A veteran of the Regular or Reserve Forces of Canada who volunteered for service in the Special Force and served in an actual theatre of operations;
- A merchant navy veteran, as defined in the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian War-related Benefits Act. (Note: to qualify as such, a person must have sailed in any one of the ten recognized Canadian Merchant Ships in "dangerous waters", while on a high seas voyage);
- A Canadian person, as defined under the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian War-related Benefits act, who was in receipt of a disability pension or allowance under the said Act.
For eligibility to be established on the grounds of financial need, the available estate of a service-eligible person must be deemed insufficient to cover the costs of funeral and burial services. To assist in this determination there are certain guidelines to follow which depend on the circumstances:
When the service-eligible person is survived by a spouse and/or dependant(s):
The payment for funeral and burial services under the auspices of the Last Post Fund will be considered if the net value of the estate at the time of death is not greater than a specific dollar limit set by regulations from time to time. If a veteran leaves a spouse and/or dependants, the exemption ( which may vary from time to time) is at the present time:
Surviving Spouse $ 12,015.00 Each dependant (under age 18) $ 700.00
In calculating the net value of an estate when there is a surviving spouse certain assets are excluded, as follows:
The family's principal residence or car
Joint bank accounts/investments and property held with someone other than the spouse
Life insurance payable to a beneficiary other than the spouse
All regular cheques payable in the month of death.
When the service-eligible person is single (bachelor/spinster, widow(er) or divorced)
Funeral and burial expenses under the auspices of the Last Post Fund will be considered if the value of the estate of that person is deemed insufficient to cover the cost of funeral and burial services. In calculating the value of an estate in such circumstances it is the total worth that must be considered.
NOTE: If, after funeral and burial services have been taken place under the auspices of the last Post Fund, the value of the estate is found to be such as would have denied financial eligibility had it been known at the time of death, the Fund will see to be reimbursed in whole or in part.
Funeral and burial services arranged for under the auspices of the Last Post Fund consist of the following to a maximum of $3,600.00 plus taxes (2005 rate):
The services of a Funeral Director (of the family's choice where applicable)
A quality solid wood casket conforming to certain specifications
Certain transportation expenses
Cremation, an urn or interment in other than a cemetery plot (if desired).
Also covered are certain costs associated with the following:
A single cemetery plot and its opening and closing
A grave liner if cemetery by-laws require it
An inscribed grave marker (to certain Standards) and its installation is also available provided a Departmental funeral and burial grant has been award.
At the death of a person for whom Last Post Fund benefits may be a consideration it is important that contact be made with a Branch official at the last Post Fund Ontario office or Representative, by phone or in person, as soon as possible and before any arrangements are concluded with a Funeral Director
The purpose of this contact with the Last Post Fund is to provide the basic information that will permit the Branch Officer or Representative to establish eligibility. An application form (which includes a Statutory Declaration) must be completed at that time, or as soon as possible thereafter, by the next-of-kin or other responsible person. A Funeral Director must receive authorization from an official representative of the Last Post Fund in order to proceed with funeral and burial arrangements under agreed-upon terms and conditions, as set out in the Funeral Director's Declaration.
As a rule, preliminary arrangements made with a Funeral Director with a view to applying Fund monies to the cost of a more expensive funeral will not be honoured by the Last Post Fund.
However, if in extenuating circumstances (for example, lack of knowledge of the existence of the Last Post Fund) the next-of-kin or other responsible person had gone ahead with other funeral arrangements prior to making contact with the Last Post Fund, an "after-the-fact" application for assistance from the Fund may be considered, provided that eligibility for Last Post Fund services would have been established had the request been made beforehand, and provided that such application is made within one year of the date of death.