Death of a parent of a minor child

Following the death of a parent of a minor child, Retraite Québec is one of the organizations that must be contacted.

Family Allowance

The Directeur de l'état civil informs Retraite Québec automatically of the death of a parent or a spouse.

If the deceased was receiving payments for the Family Allowance or the Supplement for Handicapped Children, those payments will stop. Therefore:

  • if a child's care was shared with another person, that person must contact Retraite Québec in order to receive the payments in the deceased's place.
  • if a new caregiver is appointed to the child, that person must file an Application for Family Allowance.

If a beneficiary's spouse dies, the Family Allowance payments will be recalculated to take into account the new situation (single-parent family). You can use the CalculAide tool to get an estimate of the amounts you could receive.

The minor children of a deceased person may be entitled to certain benefits if their parent contributed enough to the Québec Pension Plan(QPP).

Survivors' benefits

If a deceased person contributed enough to the QPP, his or her family may receive survivors' benefits of 3 types:

Orphan's pension

The person caring for the deceased's minor child can receive an orphan's pension until the child turns 18. To qualify, the deceased must have made sufficient contributions to the QPP. The relationship between the deceased and the child determines whether a child is entitled to an orphan's pension.

    Good to know...

    We consider a deceased person's child to be:

    • his or her minor biological or adopted child;
    • a minor child who was living with the deceased for at least one year, if the deceased served as mother or father to the child.

    A child is not considered to be the deceased person's child if he or she was placed in foster care in that person's home and the deceased was receiving amounts for his or her care.

The orphan's pension under the QPP is payable as of the month following the death. It can be retroactive.You could therefore receive an amount that corresponds to a maximum of 12 monthly payments that you could have received prior to your application.  

In 2024, the amount of the orphan's pension is $294.12 a month for each child. The pension is taxable.You must therefore declare it in the child's income. It is adjusted every year based on the cost of living. Payment ends when the child turns 18.

The person who is caring for the child can apply for an orphan's pension by filing an Application for Survivors' Benefits online.

If the child already receives an orphan's pension under the QPP and his or her second parent dies, only one orphan's pension will be paid.

Death benefit

The death benefit under the Québec Pension Plan, is a maximum of $2500. It is paid on a priority basis to the person or charitable organization that paid the funeral expenses within 60 days following the death. We must receive proof of payment within that time limit. 

After 60 days, the death benefit can be paid to the heirs. If they have renounced the estate, other persons can receive the benefit.

The death benefit is taxable. It must be declared in the income of the estate, regardless of who receives the benefit.

To apply for a death benefit and/or an orphan's pension, file an Application for Survivors' Benefits online.

Surviving spouse's pension

The deceased may have had a spouse. This person could be entitled to a surviving spouse's pension. Certain rules allow us to recognize him or her as a spouse.

The amount of the surviving spouse's pension may be higher if the deceased person was entitled to a retirement pension supplement. The supplement will be taken into account in calculating the surviving spouse's pension.

To apply for a surviving spouse's pension, file an Application for Survivors' Benefits online.  

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