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1. What is Widowed Parent's Allowance?

Widowed Parent's Allowance is a weekly benefit for widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners, who were bereaved before 6 April 2017, and have a dependent child or are pregnant. There is no time limit for claiming Widowed Parent's Allowance after the death of your spouse or civil partner, if you meet the conditions of entitlement.

If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 you may be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment instead.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must have been under state pension age when your partner died

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: JobCentre Plus

 

 

Updated: March 2018

2. Can I get Widowed Parent's Allowance?

If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017 and you had a dependent children together under the age of 19 (or 20 if you are still getting Child Benefit for them), or are pregnant with your husband's baby, you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance.  If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 you may be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You could also get Widowed Parent's Allowance if you are a woman who was living with her civil partner when she died and you are pregnant as a result of fertility treatment.

Widowed Parent's Allowance depends on the national insurance contributions of your husband, wife or civil partner. It does not matter if you have not paid national insurance contributions yourself. If your husband, wife or civil partner died because of an industrial injury, their national insurance contributions might not matter.

You cannot get Widowed Parent's Allowance if you were divorced or if your civil partnership was dissolved or if you were living with someone else when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

Widowed Parent's Allowance is paid until you stop getting Child Benefit.

 

Updated April 2018

3. How much Widowed Parent's Allowance will I get?

Widowed Parent's Allowance is made up of a basic allowance which depends on your late husband, wife or civil partner's national insurance contributions (unless they died because of an industrial injury or disease). In some cases, an additional payment based on your late husband, wife or civil partner's earnings is made.

The maximum basic allowance rate of Widowed Parent's Allowance is £117.10 a week.

If you receive Widowed Parent's Allowance you also qualify for a £10 Christmas Bonus each year. You do not need to make a claim for the bonus it is paid automatically. It does not affect any other benefits you might get.

Benefit Cap

Widowed Parent's Allowance is included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive. See our Benefit Cap information page for more details.

How will I be paid Widowed Parent's Allowance?

Widowed Parent's Allowance will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

Widowed Parent's Allowance is normally paid every 2 weeks, though you can choose to be paid every 4 or 13 weeks.

Widowed Parent's Allowance and other benefits

Widowed Parent's Allowance (after tax) counts in full as income when calculating your entitlement to other means-tested benefits.

In some cases, you may meet the conditions for both Widowed Parent's Allowance and another overlapping benefit. If this happens your Widowed Parent's Allowance may be reduced or you may not receive a payment - even though you would if it weren't for the other overlapping benefit you receive. The rules about overlapping benefits are complicated and you may need to get advice about this from an expert benefits adviser.

 

Updated: April 2018

4. How do I claim Widowed Parent's Allowance?

If you meet the conditions of entitlement on the 'Can I get Widowed Parent's Allowance?' page, there is no time limit for claiming Widowed Parent's Allowance after the death of your spouse or civil partner.

England, Scotland and Wales

Telephone claim

DWP Bereavement Service:
Tel: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Tel: 0800 731 0453 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0800 731 0456 (Welsh).

Paper claim

Download a Widowed Parent's Allowance claim form from the Gov.UK website

Telephone Jobcentre Plus for a claim form:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language line: 0800 012 1888

Northern Ireland

Telephone claim

NI Bereavement Service: 0800 085 2463

Paper claim

Telephone your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office for a claim form

What documents will I need to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance?

You must send originals of the following documents to support your claim (or show them at your local Jobcentre Plus office):

  • Your birth certificate

  • Your children’s birth certificates

  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate

  • Your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner's certificate of registration of death

If you do not have this evidence, you should not delay claiming.

When will my Widowed Parent’s Allowance claim begin?

A written Widowed Parent’s Allowance claim will begin from the date the claim form is received by the benefit office. A telephone claim for Widowed Parent’s Allowance will begin from the date of the telephone call.

A Widowed Parent’s Allowance claim can be backdated for up to three months before this date if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming.

Change of circumstances

Payment will be suspended if you start cohabiting whilst in receipt of Widowed Parent’s Allowance but it can be reinstated if you stop cohabiting and would still be entitled to the benefit.

Payment will stop if you marry or enter a civil partnership whilst in receipt of Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

Payment will stop if you stop receiving Child Benefit.

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.

 

Updated March 2018

5. How do I challenge a Widowed Parent's Allowance decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your Widowed Parent’s Allowance claim you can ask for a written statement of reasons. If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

Further information on Gov.UK website Challenging a Widowed Parent’s Allowance decision (link opens in a new window)