Civil partnership and social welfare entitlements

Information

For the purposes of most social welfare claims (for example, Jobseeker's Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance claims) cohabiting couples, people in civil partnerships and married couples are treated the same. However, your civil status will affect your entitlement to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension or Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension.

You can only claim Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's Pension if your civil partner dies. You will not be entitled to this pension if you enter into a new civil partnership or marry.

Where to apply

If you are in doubt about how your civil status will affect your claim, you should contact your local social welfare office. In the case of supplementary welfare allowance, you should contact the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) in your local Health Centre or local social welfare office.

Page edited: 3 May 2016