Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension is a means-tested payment payable to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner who does not qualify for a contributory widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner’s payment. (This payment was formerly called the Widow's/Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pension).
It is a payment for widows, widowers or surviving civil partners who do not have dependent children. People with dependent children should apply for the One-Parent Family Payment or Jobseeker's Transitional payment.
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension is not paid to people aged 66 and over, but you can apply for a State Pension (Non-Contributory).
Budget 2024: increase to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
It was announced in Budget 2024 that people on the maximum rate of Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension will get an increase of €12 per week from January 2024. There will be proportional increases for qualified adults and people on reduced rates of payment.
To qualify you must, of course, be a widow, widower or surviving civil partner and you must not be cohabiting with another person. You can keep your entitlement to this pension if you are divorced or your civil partnership has been dissolved, and you would have been entitled to this pension had you remained married or in the civil partnership.
You must also:
The means test
Your means are any income you have or property (except your own home) or an asset that could bring in money or provide you with an income.
Your means are assessed using specific rules under the following headings:
- Cash income (including, income from work)
- Value of capital (for example, savings, investments, cash on hand and property but not your own home)
- Income from property personally used
Cash income and income from work
Any cash income you have is assessed in the means test. This includes income from a social security pension from another country. However, certain items of cash income are not taken into account in the means test. For example, earnings of up to €100 per week from employment (but not self-employment) are not taken into account. Any income from work above €100 is assessed as means.
More information is available in our document about cash income not taken into account in the means test.
Any income you get from working as a home help for the HSE is taken into account in the means test.
Capital and property not personally used
Savings, investments, cash on hand and any property you own (but not your own home) is assessed as capital. All your capital from different sources is added together and a special formula is then used to find your weekly means from capital.
The property and investments that may be assessed under this heading include savings in a bank account (or anywhere else), a house that you have let, and stocks and shares. You may or may not be getting an income from the property or investment. Income from property already assessed on its capital value is not assessed in the means test - see 'Cash income' above.
More information is available in our document on how capital and property is assessed as means.
Income from your home (such as rent)
The value of the house you live in is not taken into account in the means test. Income you are getting from your home (for example renting a room) can be taken into account. However, the following exceptions apply:
- You are living alone: If renting out the room means that you would not be living alone, then your income from rent is not taken into account.
- You are not living alone: You can get up to €269.23 a week (€14,000 per year) from renting a room in your home without it affecting your Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension. The person renting a room in your home must use the room for a minimum of 28 consecutive days and not be an employee or immediate family member.
You should check if renting a room in your home will affect your Fuel Allowance.
The Accommodation Recognition Payment for hosting refugees from Ukraine is not assessed in the means test for the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension.
Your means under the various headings are added together to see what level of pension, if any, you can get.
The first €7.60 per week of means as assessed by the Department of Social Protection does not affect the rate of pension. After that, the pension is reduced by €2.50 each week for every €2.50 of means.
|Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension||Maximum weekly rate 2023|
|Widow, widower or surviving civil partner (under 66)||€220|
This pension is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if it is your only income.
If you are getting a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Non-Contributory) you may qualify for Fuel Allowance (if you are living alone or with certain 'specified' people).
If you are aged 60 to 65 and your late spouse or civil partner was getting a Household Benefits Package at the time of their death, you may qualify for a Household Benefits Package.
You may also qualify for help with funeral expenses and rent under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.
How to apply
Download and complete Form WP1 here (pdf). You can also get application forms from post offices.
If you are unhappy with a decision made on your claim, you can appeal against it. Find out more about the social welfare appeals process.
You must always tell the Department of Social Protection if there are any changes to your circumstances while you are getting a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Non-Contributory). If your means or circumstances change, you may no longer qualify for the payment or it may be reduced. This could mean that you have to repay an overpayment.
Where to apply
If you wish to talk to someone face-to-face about your pension entitlements, you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre, Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.