Support Programs

Funerals, Burials & Cremations

The City of Hamilton provides financial assistance on behalf of deceased Hamilton residents who do not have sufficient funds in their estate to fully cover the cost of a basic funeral, burial and/or cremation.


  • Contact can be made with the Special Supports Program immediately following a death. Special Supports will not accept an application to pre-approve arrangements for a person which is not deceased.
  • Contact can be made by next of kin, any relative or bona fide friend who has assumed responsibility for the funeral arrangement.
  • If the deceased has no family or friends, arrangements can be made by a professional associated with the person (e.g. nursing home administrator, representative of a hospital, etc.). The Police and/or the Hospital will notify the Regional Supervising Coroner if a body is unclaimed despite reasonable efforts to locate a potential claimant. The Regional Supervising Coroner will issue a written order to the Special Supports, under the Anatomy Act, to proceed with funeral arrangements.
  • In cases where the funeral and burial has already occurred prior to an application with Special Supports, funeral assistance will not be provided.
  • In situations where the funeral occurred on a weekend or holiday or where extenuating circumstances exist, consideration will be given on a case by case basis.
  • Eligibility for assistance is based on the deceased’s assets, life insurance, property, etc.
  • If the deceased was not single, the family unit’s assets will be considered.
  • If the deceased is a minor child, the application will be based on the parent(s)/legal guardian’s eligibility.
  • If the assets or life insurance policy exceed the allowable asset level for the family size, assistance will be refused.

Once eligibility has been determined and details of the type of service and burial/cremation is confirmed, the Special Supports Program will approval the funding for the funeral/burial. City of Hamilton, Special Supports must authorize services before a contract is signed by next of kin, any relative or bona fide friend with a funeral home or cemetery. Special Supports will not reimburse the cost of a funeral, burial or cremation after a contract is signed.

Funeral applications are required for all deceased persons who were not in receipt of Social Assistance at the time of death. Applications are not required for deceased persons who were in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits at their time of death, however, eligibility must be reviewed.

Application will be completed at the Special Supports Office with the next of kin, relative or bona fide friend with a Special Supports Case Aide. The appointment will be scheduled upon obtaining the following required information.

Required information:

Next of kin, relative or bona fide friend:

  • Full name, address, phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social insurance number

Deceased person's information:

  • Full name & address
  • Date of birth
  • Social insurance number
  • Marital status
  • Assets
  • Life insurance/prepaid funeral
  • Source of income
  • Sponsorship arrangements (if applicable)
  • Date of death
  • Place of death

City of Hamilton offers two funeral packages according to rates approved: 

  • Full Service (One visitation and service plus cremation and burial)
  • Immediate Disposition (No visitation/service)

The following items are not paid for or covered by Special Supports:

  • Prayer Cards
  • Pallbearers
  • Obituary Notices
  • Flowers
  • Organist
  • Clergy
  • Headstones
  • Urns when interment not required
  • Transfer of cremated remains to another Province or Country

Contact Special Supports:

Phone: 905-546-2590
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Email: [email protected]