Claiming a Widow Allowance

Information about the Government’s Widow Allowance

Last updated: 28 November 2016

If you were born before July 1, 1955 and your spouse or partner has recently died, then you may qualify to receive a Widow Allowance.

This government assistance scheme exists to support older women, including those who have separated from or divorced their spouse or partner, who have limited recent experience in the workplace and may struggle to earn an independent living.

In order to meet the requirements to claim a widow’s pension from the Government, you cannot be part of any new relationship that would define you as a couple.

If within the past 12 months you have not been employed for more than 20 hours a week, nor had a job for more than 13 weeks at a time, you may be eligible to make a claim. This will also be assessed according to any other income you receive and assets such as real estate (which excludes the home you live in).

Your payment will depend upon the outcome of a means test and residency criteria which you must complete in order to make a claim. The rates are adjusted in early autumn and spring every year.

The maximum fortnightly widow’s pension payment rates as currently administered by the Department of Human Services are:

  • If you are single, with no children: $528.70
  • For single women with dependent children: $571.90
  • Single women aged 60 years old and over, after nine continuous months on the scheme: $571.90

Find out how to apply for Widow Allowance online via the Department of Human Services.