Niagara Region provides financial assistance for funeral, burial and cremation services at a funeral home or place of worship, including:
Cremation or burial, including plot, and interment are subsidized separately and provided by local cemeteries under this program.
A full eligibility review of the deceased person's estate must be completed by Niagara Region before completing funeral arrangements. If the deceased is a dependent child (up to 17 years of age), the application for assistance will be based on the parent or legal guardian's eligibility for funeral services.
Individuals are eligible for help with the cost of funeral, burial and cremation services if they meet the following criteria:
We provide for a basic, yet professional and dignified service, according to Niagara’s Funeral Fee Schedule. Only items and services outlined in the fee schedule will be approved. Burial services must take place within 60 days of the funeral approval.
Individuals wishing to purchase items and services that exceed this schedule, such as an urn, newspaper / website placement and costs, clergy, register book and other stationery, executor / follow-up assistance, after hours services, and other additional services or alternative merchandise may contract directly with funeral and burial providers to purchase at their own cost.
Niches, mausoleums and tombstones are not eligible burial costs in Niagara’s Funeral Fee Schedule.
To apply, call Niagara Region Community Services, Discretionary Benefits Program at 905-641-9960 ext. 6026. Applicants will be contacted to book an appointment with a staff member within one business day of your request.
If the death occurs on the weekend, holiday, or if there are time sensitive cultural / religious requirements, contact our office immediately and leave a message to ensure your appointment is prioritized during regular business hours.
Applications for financial assistance must be approved by Niagara Region before funeral arrangements are finalized. If you're unable to attend a local Niagara Region Community Services office, the application may be completed at an alternate location. If the deceased has a will, the executor of the will is the only person who can complete the application.
The following documents of the deceased person are needed to complete the application for funeral, burial and cremation services:
After the funeral, burial and cremation service, Niagara Region will recover all costs paid from the estate of the deceased, including any income or assets eligible for recovery, such as cash in bank accounts and CPP Death Benefit.
If Niagara Region purchases a burial plot, the ownership of the plot (interment rights) will be held by the cemetery in the estate of the deceased. Contact the cemetery to request access to the interment rights or to request alterations or additions to the burial plot.
Niagara Region is not responsible for any costs associated with the transfer of interment rights or changes to the plot.
If you require a Proof of Death Certificate, contact the funeral home. Certificates will be marked "not for financial gain" until the full costs of the services are recovered by Niagara Region from the deceased's estate.
Transportation costs are the responsibility of the family if the: