Section 23 - Funerals

23.1.1 EIA Funerals - Persons Eligible

Section 2 of The Manitoba Assistance Act specifies that EIA may cover the cost of a person's funeral upon death.
 
Depending on the deceased's financial resources, EIA will cover the cost, in accordance with fees agreed to with the Manitoba Funeral Services Association, for the following deceased persons:
  1. participants of EIA at the time of death; or,
  2. persons who if they were not deceased, and were in need of financial assistance, would have been in a category of persons who apply for EIA benefits.

23.1.2 Requests for Funeral Benefits

Irrespective of whether or not the deceased person was a participant of EIA at the time of death, staff must receive a request for funeral costs from the person acting on behalf of the deceased person. This may be a relative, a friend, or the medical examiner's office. EIA must assess the request with the person acting on the deceased's behalf, irrespective of whether a funeral home initiates the contact with EIA.
 

23.1.3 Testing Financial Eligibility

The approved services and fees for a funeral are determined in accordance with EIA's agreement with the Manitoba Funeral Services Association.
 
When assessing requests for funeral benefits, all of the deceased's financial resources should be considered, including: any CPP death benefit, any final OAS/GIS payment, liquid assets, and any other resources such as a funeral plan or the Last Post Fund. As outlined below, consideration should be given to obligations to pay for final basic needs to wind-up the deceased's affairs (for example, a last rent payment, utility payments or moving costs).
 
If the deceased was not an EIA participant at the time of his/her death, and the person's resources are sufficient to cover the cost of a funeral, having taken into consideration obligations for final basic needs expenditures, the application should be denied. The applicant should be advised that he/she can apply for the deceased's CPP death benefit and any other benefits to which the person may be entitled.
 
If the deceased's financial resources are insufficient to cover the cost of the funeral, or the person was an EIA participant at the time of his/her death, an assignment form for the CPP death benefit should be completed, and any final OAS/GIS benefit should be waived to cover the cost of winding up the person's affairs. If there are no other available financial resources, EIA should advise the funeral home that EIA will pay the cost, in accordance with the agreement. If the deceased had other available financial resources, the person acting on behalf of the deceased should be advised that these funds should be immediately paid to the funeral home as the deceased's contribution, and EIA should advise the funeral home of EIA's contribution.
 

23.1.4 Inter-Office Transfer of Service Requests

When an apparently eligible person dies away from the area in which he or she lived prior to death, the District Office in the area where the person dies should accept the initial referral from the person or agency acting on behalf of the deceased. If there is good reason, the case may later be referred to the District Office in the area where the person lived prior to death. If there is no reason to transfer the case, the authorization and payment should be completed in the District Office that received the initial referral.
 

23.1.5 Manitoba Funeral Services Association Agreement

Funeral costs are paid for under the authority of Schedule A, section 8 of the Regulation. The Department has an agreement with the Manitoba Funeral Services Association respecting the services and fees.
 
Funeral Directors are compensated for the following:
  1. a fixed fee for either a regular service or a graveside service; in brief, this includes: removal of the body from the place of death to the funeral home; preparation and care of the body; use of slumber or viewing rooms and/or the chapel for the service; funeral coach for the transportation of the remains; and, one vehicle on the day of the funeral for clergy, family and pallbearers;
  2. the cremation of a body;
  3. the actual cost of an approved basic casket plus a fixed mark-up rate (the Association advises EIA when the actual cost changes), and, if required an outer shell and metal lining or seal;
  4. fixed mileage rates to a maximum for distances beyond that provided for in the fee for the actual funeral service; and,
  5. the actual cost of a plot and the opening and closing fees as set out in municipal by-laws.

Additional fees or services are not authorized, such as: church rental; clergy; organist or soloist fees; an obituary notice; newspaper announcements; additional vehicles; a memorial book; acknowledgement cards; and, special services such as a wake.

 
Prior to the funeral, the EIA District Office Director or Designate provides approval to the funeral home for the costs to be paid by EIA. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Director may approve exceptions to the standard costs.
 

23.1.6 No Prior Notification of Contract for a Funeral

In some cases staff may receive a request for funeral costs after the person who is acting on behalf of a deceased person has contracted for a funeral. This request may be because the person did not know of EIA's possible help or was unable to contact the Department prior to contracting for the funeral. Where payment in full would cause hardship, the case may be submitted for approval to the District Director with a recommendation that part of the funeral costs up to the allowable maximum be paid by EIA.
 

23.1.7 Autopsy Costs

Where the Medical Examiner (coroner) orders an autopsy, all costs resulting from the order are payable by the Justice Department.