Help for women born on or before 1 July 1955 who’ve become widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40. They mustn’t have recent work experience.
Eligibility & payment rates
To get Widow Allowance you must:
- be a woman born on or before 1 July 1955
- not be part of a couple
- have become widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40
- haven’t had a job in the 12 months just before you claim, which was:
- 20 hours a week or more, and
- for a total of 13 weeks or more
- meet income and assets tests
- meet residence rules
You don’t have to look for work or do training. If you want to, you can get help to improve your job prospects, learn new skills or do community work.
If you get Widow Allowance and we think you may get a pension or other payment from another country, we may ask you to:
- apply for that payment, or
- show why you wouldn’t get it
How we can help
We can help you apply for a payment from another country. For example, we can copy documents and send forms to the other country for free.
We update rates on 20 March and 20 September each year. The table is a guide only.
|If you're||The maximum fortnightly payment is|
|single with no children||$535.60|
|single with dependent children||$579.30|
|single, after getting Widow Allowance for 9 months in a row||$579.30|
Income and assets tests are used to work out your payment rate. The test resulting in the lowest payment rate will apply.
Property or items that you or your partner own in full or part, or have an interest in, can affect your payment.
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 are an Australian resident and have stayed in Australia for a total of 104 weeks
- 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 852
You must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.
Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.
- tell us you’re going to apply
- fill in the claim form
- get any documents the form asks for
- submit your claim and documents
- wait for us to tell you the result
Managing your payment
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
You must tell us if:
- you become part of a couple
- you change your address
- your income changes
- the value of your assets changes
- you don’t have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change, or
- your work or study load changes
Read more about changes of circumstances.
How to tell us
You can tell us about changes at any time:
Report your income
To keep getting Widow Allowance you need to report your income to us:
- every 2 weeks if you earn income from working
- every 12 weeks if you don’t earn income
To get your payment while outside Australia, you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Widow Allowance.
In certain circumstances you may be eligible to get your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly.
You may be eligible to receive part of your income support payment in advance, depending on how long you have been getting it and the amount that you get.
How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn each fortnight so you're paid the right amount.
If you get Widow Allowance and reach age pension age, we invite you to transfer to Age Pension.
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.
A program to improve your speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills is available to help you get and keep 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.