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 can get it

To get Widow Allowance you need to meet certain criteria.

Read more about who can get Widow Allowance

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.

How much you can get

How much Widow Allowance you can get depends on your income and assets.

Read more about how much you can get

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 an Australian resident and in Australia.

Read more about residence rules

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.


  • 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

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.

Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes that could reduce or stop your Widow Allowance payment.

Read more about change of circumstances

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 for your main income support payment.

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 how a change in circumstance may change the payments and services you currently get 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 how Centrepay works.

Page last updated: 2 November 2017