A Widow’s Benefit is available to a woman who has been widowed and:
Income and residency tests apply.
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.
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.
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|
|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|
table WB.2: Numbers granted a Widow’s Benefit
|Age of client when benefit granted||Grants of Widow’s Benefit1|
|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|
table WB.3: Numbers cancelling a Widow’s Benefit
|Age of client when benefit cancelled||Cancellations of Widow’s Benefit1|
|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|
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.