Contents

Main benefits

Widow’s Benefit

Eligibility

A Widow’s Benefit is available to a woman who has been widowed and:

Income and residency tests apply.

Work obligations

From September 2010, clients receiving a Widow’s Benefit are obliged to meet the requirements of the employment planning process if required to by their case managers.

Between March 2003 and September 2010, clients receiving a Widow’s Benefit were obliged to meet the requirements of the Personal Development and Employment planning process if required to by their case managers.

Recent administrative changes

From September 2010, there was an increase (from $80 a week before tax to $100 a week before tax) in the amount of additional income Widow’s Benefit recipients could receive before their benefit was affected.

Numbers receiving a Widow’s BenefitTop

The number receiving a Widow’s Benefit remained relatively flat between 2008 and 2012

This pattern (see table WB.1) reflected the relatively small difference between grants and cancellations of Widow’s Benefits over the same period. Grants of Widow’s Benefit decreased slightly between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 (see table WB.2), while cancellations of Widow’s Benefit remained relatively flat over the same period (see table WB.3).

table WB.1: Numbers receiving a Widow’s Benefit

Age of client at 30 June Clients receiving a Widow’s Benefit1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Working-age clients receiving benefits 5,803 5,820 5,901 5,840 5,685
Other clients receiving benefits 180 214 258 355 397
Total clients receiving benefits 5,983 6,034 6,159 6,195 6,082

Note

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving a Widow’s Benefit at the end of June.

table WB.2: Numbers granted a Widow’s Benefit

Age of client when benefit granted Grants of Widow’s Benefit1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Benefits granted to working-age clients 1,623 1,776 1,756 1,687 1,571
Benefits granted to other clients 53 70 101 106 120
Total benefits granted 1,676 1,846 1,857 1,793 1,691

Note

  1. The number of successful applications for Widow’s Benefit recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

table WB.3: Numbers cancelling a Widow’s Benefit

Age of client when benefit cancelled Cancellations of Widow’s Benefit1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Benefits cancelled by working-age clients 1,832 1,518 1,348 1,426 1,407
Benefits cancelled by other clients 304 336 328 337 377
Total benefits cancelled 2,136 1,854 1,676 1,763 1,784

Note

  1. The number of cancellations of Widow’s Benefit recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

Very small numbers of the working-age population were receiving a Widow’s Benefit

Between 2008 and 2012, around 0.4% of the working-age population were receiving a Widow’s Benefit. Women aged 50–64 were significantly more likely than younger women to be receiving a Widow’s Benefit. This largely reflected the eligibility criteria for a Widow’s Benefit.

See table OT.3 for trends since 1940 in the number of clients receiving a Widow’s Benefit.

2‘Married’ includes clients who were married, living as married, or in a civil union.