The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Widow allowance (WA) - description

Note: WA ceased on 1 January 2022. The following page is for historical purposes only as the information only relates to the period before 1 January 2022.

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 ceased on 1 January 2022 when the youngest recipients reached 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: