Death and Dying: Burial Resources
Some older adults with substance use problems will die prematurely. No one deserves to die without a proper burial or other respectful disposition of the body, but people who are poor, in particular, can face this last indignity.
A counsellor who has developed an ongoing relationship with the older person may need to know of resources that can help with the cost of burial. Here is one resource to consider. If the person who died was in the Armed Forces and was receiving a disability pension, he or she may be eligible to be buried through the Last Post Fund (Fonds du Souvenir).
What is the Last Post Fund (LPF)?
The Last Post Fund is dedicated to ensure, in so far as possible, that no war veterans, military disability pensioners or civilians who meet wartime service eligibility criteria are denied a dignified funeral and burial for lack of sufficient funds.
It is tied to, but separate from, Veterans Affairs Canada. The Last Post Fund was founded in 1909 in Montreal, Quebec, and is a non-profit corporation. Its purposes are:
to ensure, insofar as possible, that no war veterans or civilians who meet wartime service eligibility criteria are denied a dignified funeral and burial for lack of sufficient funds;
to provide funeral and burial benefits to wartime and peacetime disability pensioners who die either from a pensioned condition or a condition that can be related to military service; and
to provide grave headstones for war veteran graves that have been unmarked for more than five years.
It will cover, among other things, the costs of the funeral and burial/cremation services up to $3600.
Who is Eligible?
a. Those who were in active wartime (WWI, WWII, Korean War) OR
b. Those who were in the armed forces in peacetime service. For people in this category, they had to be
c. The third requirement is financial need:
The person's financial eligibility is based on an assessment of financial resources at the time they died. That assessment depends on their marital status of the deceased and whether there are dependent children.
The Last Post Fund is flexible in the financial need area. A widow, for example, does not have to be destitute before being eligible.
If you would like more information on the Last Post Fund, the information is available in English here: www.lastpostfund.ca/Home.html, or in French , here: www.lastpostfund.ca/Acceuil.html
Also, another possibility: For people who were in the Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge (but no disability pension), their survivors or other representative can email www.forces.gc.ca/cemetery or telephone 1-800-883-6094 or in Ottawa 613 995-1457.
Page last updated Sunday October 31, 2004
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