If you have recently lost your spouse or civil partner, you may be eligible for a bereavement support payment. These payments are not means tested and you can claim them if you meet the necessary conditions.
If your husband was working and had contributed to the national insurance system, you may be eligible for a widow’s state pension. This amount depends on both your own earnings as well as that of your late husband’s, along with any NI contributions paid during his lifetime.
How much is a widow’s pension?
After losing a partner, it is understandable to be concerned about how you will support yourself. Fortunately, in the United Kingdom there are resources available to help with this.
In the past, women without dependent children who qualified for the Widows Pension could receive it until age 65 or remarried or retired. In 2017, however, a new benefit called bereavement support payment became available to all widows.
During times of austerity, widows pensions were severely restricted. This was because it was considered unearned income.
Governments could tax widows at a higher rate, making their situation even more challenging. Widows were thus encouraged to work rather than spend their money on necessities like clothes or food – placing them more reliant on others for sustenance.
How long do I get a widow’s pension for?
A widow’s pension is a benefit that provides financial support to people who have experienced the death of their spouse or civil partner. It’s similar to bereavement allowance and you may be eligible if your partner passed away on or after 6 April 2017.
You must have been married or in a civil partnership with the deceased in order to qualify. Alternatively, if they had paid national insurance contributions for 25 weeks and died due to job-related causes, you can also receive benefits.
The amount of a widow’s pension you receive depends on your partner’s earnings before they passed away and your own work history. Additionally, if you have children, then the amount may be increased.
You may be eligible to inherit some of your spouse or civil partner’s extra State Pension if they reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, based on their National Insurance record and any payments built up through an additional State Pension scheme such as the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) or State Second Pension.
What is a widow’s pension?
If your partner has passed away, you may be eligible for financial support in the months that follow their passing. This benefit, known as a widow’s pension, has now been replaced by bereavement support payments.
Contrary to the original widow’s pension, the bereavement support payment is only available up to 18 months after your partner passes away or until you reach state pension age. While it’s not the same as a regular widow’s pension, you will still receive an one-off tax-free payment of around £2000 if you meet certain eligibility criteria.
Additionally, widow’s state pension payments may be available based on your late partner’s earnings throughout their career. While these benefits are not as large as bereavement support payments, they provide invaluable assistance when trying to cope after your partner has passed away.
How do I apply for a widow’s pension?
If you were married or in a civil partnership and your spouse or partner died before 6 April 2016, then you may be entitled to an additional State Pension based on their National Insurance contributions record.
If your late husband, wife or civil partner were in a ‘contracted out’ workplace pension scheme, most of their inherited additional State Pension may have been built up through that system rather than through the state system. You should contact the Pension Service for further details and to determine what benefits you are eligible for.
On the death of a spouse or civil partner, you can receive an additional lump sum payment similar to Widowed Mother’s Allowance.
Bereavement support payments do not affect your eligibility for pension credit, so you can apply as if it were any other benefit. However, make sure to inform the benefits office (e.g., Jobcentre Plus) when you start receiving them.