Widow allowance (WA) - description

What is WA?

WA is an income support payment that provides financial assistance to eligible older women who have lost the support of a partner (1.1.P.85), through death, divorce or separation and who have no recent workforce experience (1.1.R.80).

Since 1 July 2005, WA new grants were only made to women who were born on or before 1 July 1955.

From 1 July 2018, no new claims for WA can be made. Women receiving WA immediately before 1 July 2018 were 'saved' and can continue to receive WA.

On 1 January 2022, WA will cease entirely.

How WA is paid

WA is usually paid fortnightly.

Supplementary assistance

Recipients of WA MAY also receive one or more of the following as part of their WA rate:

They may also be entitled to the following while in receipt of WA:

Background information

WA was introduced on 1 January 1995 and will cease on 1 January 2022 when the youngest recipients reach age pension age.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(5B) to (5D) Pension age

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.4.3 WA - qualification & payability, WA - current rates

Last reviewed: 22 March 2021