All You Need to Know About Widows Pension
Widows pension or bereavement allowance refers to the pension benefits that the surviving spouse or civil partner of a deceased employee, veteran, or retiree will receive.
How to Qualify for a Widows Pension
- A widow or widower must fulfil the specific criteria set by the company, Veterans Affairs policy, or Social Security
- She/he can also give up her/his pension benefits if desired by putting it into writing
- The widows’ pension is also based on the number of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) of the deceased spouse or civil partner unless the death is caused by a disease or an accident.
- Benefits will no longer be given once the surviving spouse reached the age of 65, has re-married, or engaged in a civil partnership.
Benefits of a Widows Pension
It is a regular weekly payment of £95.25 as of 2009, providing that you are 45 years old and older but lower than the State pension age (60 for women and 65 for men) upon death of your spouse or civil partner. You need to submit an application for a widows’ allowance up to three months after the death of your spouse or civil partner. You will receive this allowance for 52 weeks after death.
It is a one-time lump sum of £2,000 (tax-free) that is given as help during the time of death of your spouse or civil partner. You must claim this payment three months after the death of your spouse or civil partner unless you have no knowledge of his/her death.
Widowed Parent’s Allowance
It is a maximum basic allowance of £97.65 a week. You will receive this if you have dependent children under the age of 19. You can also avail this even if your dependent is 20 years old, providing that you are still entitled to Child Benefit for them. Pregnant women at the time of death of her husband or civil partner can also avail this allowance.
Not Eligible for Widows’ Pension
You cannot claim any widows; pension:
- If you are already divorced from your spouse or you are already legally separated from your civil partner at the time of his/her death
- If you are already remarried to someone else at the time of your previous spouse or civil partner’s death
- If you are already living with someone else at the time of your spouse or civil partner’s death
- If you are in prison or legal custody
- If your spouse or civil partner’s death is on or after 9 April 2001
Payment Method for Widows’ Pension
Widows’ pension is paid out on a weekly basis. It can be any form of the following:
- A basic pension, with applied reduced rates for younger widows
- An earnings-related additional pension that is based on the deceased’s National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
Common Problems Encountered With Widows Pension
- You were awarded with less than what you think you deserve.
- Specific benefits were not given to you.
- You were subjected to discrimination because of your race, sex, disability, or religion.
There is a whole lot of information you can read on pension paid to the spouse of a pension holder.
If you have encountered the following problems when claiming your widows’ pension, you should make a complaint or challenge the decision.