Payability of WidB

Note: WidB ceased on 20 March 2020. The following information is for historical purposes only.


Even though a claimant is qualified, WidB was NOT payable to the claimant in the circumstances listed in the following table. If more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Circumstances More Detail

WidB was/is NOT payable

WidB was not payable if the applicant had not taken reasonable action to claim a CFP (1.1.C.230). 7.3.3 CFP notices & reasonable action requirements
WidB was not payable before the start day. 8.3 Start days
The following general payability provisions:
  • rate would be nil
  • tax file number
  • recipient in prison
  • failure to nominate an account
  • failure to comply with a requirement made of the recipient, and
  • multiple entitlement exclusion.

3.1.6 General payability provisions

Effect of payments from DVA

Under the multiple entitlement exclusion, WidB was NOT payable to a woman if she is:

  • an armed services widow, AND
  • receiving a pension under VEA Part II or IV at a rate determined under or by reference to subsection 30(1) of that Act.

Examples: DVA war widow's pension, single orphan's pension, service pension, income support supplement and bereavement payments.

Act reference: SSAct pre-20 March 2020 section 368 Multiple entitlement exclusion

Single orphan's pension from DVA

A woman could:

  • receive the single orphan's pension from DVA, and
  • claim PPS if she forgoes the DVA war widow pension.

Explanation: Although a widow could not receive WidB and a war widow's pension at the same time, WidB can be paid to a woman who receives a veteran's disability.

Service pension from DVA

VEA section 42 states that a woman cannot receive both:

  • a service pension, and
  • WidB.

Explanation: A woman who received a service pension (wife's pension) from DVA could continue to receive it at the married rate after her husband dies.

A claimant who claimed WidB and also receives a DVA service pension would have to decide if she wanted to forfeit the service pension for WidB. If so, the necessary adjustments had to be arranged with DVA. WidB could be paid from the date from which service pension is cancelled.

Exception: If a woman was receiving both pensions before March 1973, when the legislation was amended, and has continued to receive both payments, the rate of service pension is frozen and treated as income in the assessment of the social security pension.

Bereavement payments from DVA

Bereavement payments are made by DVA when:

  • both the husband and wife received service pensions before the husband's death, OR
  • the wife received a service pension in her own right and her late husband received a social security pension.

WidB could NOT be granted within the bereavement period (1.1.B.40) to a woman who had received a lump sum bereavement payment from DVA, but could be paid for 16 weeks after the death of her husband.

Income & assets tests

The pensions income test and assets test applies to WidB. Hardship provisions may also apply.

A pension being received from an overseas government in respect of the death of the woman's husband on service, or as a result of service, is income for the purpose of calculating payability of WidB.

Policy reference: SS Guide Pensions income test, 4.2.3 Pensions & benefits assets tests

Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A WidB recipient who loses payment because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period. To assess qualification for an employment income nil rate period see 3.1.12.

During the employment income nil rate period a WidB recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits, and
  • retain their PCC, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a fall in income sufficient for WidB to be payable again. WidB remains current through the employment income nil rate period and therefore the restriction on new grants does not apply in this situation.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for WidB recipients to take up work, particularly casual or short-term work.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4) …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …, section 1061ZEA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, PCC due to employment


WidB is not payable during any period of imprisonment. Payment should be suspended or cancelled immediately.

As a general guide, payments should be suspended for periods of imprisonment less than 3 months and cancelled for longer periods of imprisonment. The delegate can, however, use their discretion for periods of imprisonment slightly longer than 3 months. This is especially important, as once WidB is cancelled it CANNOT be re-granted.

Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable …

SS(Admin)Act section 80 Cancellation or suspension determination

Policy reference: SS Guide Situations that constitute being in gaol or psychiatric confinement, Payability During Periods in Goal or Psychiatric Confinement

Payment during overseas absences

A recipient may continue to receive WidB during an overseas absence from Australia for the following periods:

  • WidB 'Entitled persons' (1.1.E.120) - unlimited period, OR
  • WidB 'Persons other than entitled persons' - 6 weeks.

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020