- a woman born on or before 1 July 1955
- have become widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40
- have no recent workforce experience
- meet an income and assets test
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Widow Allowance
To be eligible for Widow Allowance you must:
- be a woman born on or before 1 July 1955
- not be a member of a couple
- have become widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40
- have no recent workforce experience - this means you have not been employed for 20 hours a week or more, for a total of 13 weeks at any time, in the 12 months immediately before you claim
- meet income and asset tests, and
- meet residence requirements
You do not have to look for work or undertake training to receive Widow Allowance. If you want to, you can get help to improve your job prospects, learn new skills, or become involved in your community.
You must take reasonable action to obtain any comparable foreign payment that may be available to you from any country, or show why a claim in another country would be unsuccessful.
Payment rates for Widow Allowance
Widow Allowance payment rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
|If you are||The maximum fortnightly payment is|
|single, with no children||$519.20|
|single, with dependent children||$561.80|
|single, aged 60 or more, after 9 continuous months on payment||$561.80|
Income and assets test for Widow Allowance
To qualify for Widow Allowance, you need to meet income and assets tests.
Your income affects the amount of payment you receive. Read more about the income test.
An asset is any property you own either partly or wholly. It includes assets held outside Australia and debts owing to you. Read more about the assets test.
Residence requirements for Widow Allowance
To be eligible for Widow Allowance you must satisfy residence requirements.
On the day you submit your claim, you must be:
- an Australian resident, and
- physically present in Australia
You also need to meet one of the following requirements:
- you were widowed, divorced or separated from your partner while both of you were Australian residents
- you first entered Australia on or after 1 February 2000 and you were an Australian resident and stayed in Australia for a total of 104 weeks
- you first entered Australia between 1 April 1996 and 31 January 2000 and you were an Australian resident for a total of 104 weeks
- you first entered Australia before 1 April 1996 and you were an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks immediately before your claim
- you have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years, or for a number of periods that total more than 10 years with one of the periods being at least 5 years
- you are a refugee or former refugee
- you were the family member of a refugee or former refugee at the time they arrived in Australia, or
- you hold a visa subclass 100, 110, 801, 814, 832 or 833
You must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to wait for a period of time before receiving your first income support payment.
Other benefits while receiving Widow Allowance
If you qualify for Widow Allowance, you may be entitled to other payments and benefits, such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- register an intent to claim
- complete the claim form
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service. Options include Express Plus mobile apps, online services or phone self service.
Change of circumstances while receiving Widow Allowance
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- your personal circumstances change
- you become a member of a couple
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- your work or study load changes
- you leave Australia
To maintain your Widow Allowance, you also need to report your income details every 2 weeks if you are earning income from working. If you are not earning income you need to report every 12 weeks.
Widow Allowance while travelling outside Australia
If you leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop on departure.
If you leave Australia temporarily, you can continue being paid for the first 6 weeks overseas.
You may be able to be paid for more than 6 weeks if you are studying outside Australia as part of a full time Australian course.
Tell us of your travel outside Australia
You should tell us if you are leaving Australia and you will be away for longer than 6 weeks. Otherwise you do not need to tell us if you are leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by the Australia Government Department of Immigration when you leave Australia and when you return.
Weekly payment option
You can receive your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly, in certain circumstances.
Advance payment options
You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance. Accessing an advance payment depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.
How much you earn affects your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.
Transfer to Age Pension
If you are age pension age and receiving an eligible Centrelink income support payment, you can apply to transfer to Age Pension.
What to do if your account is overdrawn
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Skills for Education and Employment
A program to help develop speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills to improve the chances of you getting and keeping a job.
Read more about Skills for Education and Employment
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.
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