Widow Allowance

An income support payment if you’re a woman over a set age who became widowed, divorced or separated after turning 40.

Eligibility basics

  • born on or before 1 July 1955
  • widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40
  • haven’t had a job in 12 months
  • under the income and assets test limits

Eligibility & payment rates

Who's eligible

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.

Payments from another country

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.

Payment rates

Your payment rate will depend on your income and assets.

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 $538.80
single with dependent children $582.80
single, after getting Widow Allowance for 9 months in a row $582.80

Income test

Your income can reduce how much we pay you.

Read more about the income test


Property or items that you or your partner own in full or part, or have an interest in, can affect your payment.

Read more about assets

Residence rules

On the day you claim Widow Allowance, you must be:

You also need to be either:

  • widowed, divorced or separated from your partner while both of you were Australian residents
  • an Australian resident and have been in Australia for a total of 104 weeks
  • an Australian resident for at least 10 years in total. For at least 5 of those years, there must be no break in your residence
  • a refugee or former refugee
  • the family member of a refugee at the time they arrived in Australia, or
  • the holder of a visa subclass 852

To keep getting Widow Allowance

You must continue to be an Australian resident for as long as you get this payment.

Waiting periods

You may have to wait before your payments start.

Read more about waiting periods


Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.


  1. tell us you’re going to apply
  2. fill in the claim form
  3. get any documents the form asks for
  4. submit your claim and documents
  5. wait for us to tell you the result


Managing your payment

Try self service

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.

Tell us about changes

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

While travelling outside Australia

To get your payment while outside Australia, you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Widow Allowance.

Read more about Widow Allowance while travelling outside Australia

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.

Read more about advance payment

Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

Read more about income reporting

When you reach age pension age

If you get Widow Allowance and reach age pension age, we invite you to transfer to Age Pension.

Read more about Widow Allowance when you reach age pension age

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn


Improve your skills for education and employment

The Skills for Education and Employment program may help you improve your speaking, reading, writing or maths.

Read about Skills for Education and Employment.

Payment and Service Finder

Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

Manage your money


We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about regular deductions using Centrepay

Page last updated: 20 September 2017