Widowed Parent's Allowance

If you’re a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have at least one child who you receive Child Benefit for, you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA).

Widowed Parent’s Allowance is only paid when the death was on or before 5 April 2017.  If the death was on or after 6 April 2017, you should apply for Bereavement Support Payment instead.  

Who can claim

You may get WPA if all the following apply:

  • you're bringing up a child or young person under 19 (or under 20 in some cases) for whom you're getting Child Benefit
  • you're under State Pension age
  • your husband, wife or civil partner died
  • the death was on or before 5 April 2017 (for deaths after this date, claim Bereavement Support Payment)
  • your husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions

You may also claim WPA if:

  • you're expecting your late husband's baby or your late civil partner's baby (with whom you were pregnant from fertility treatment)
  • your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of their work - even if they didn't pay NICs
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (diseases and deafness)

Class 2 National Insurance contributions.

Class 2 National Insurance contributions are paid by people who are self-employed. From the 2015/2016 tax year, payment of Class 2 contributions are collected as part of the annual self-assessment tax return for the majority of self-employed people.

It means that people who are self-employed make an annual once-only payment of Class 2 contributions when completing their self-assessment tax return.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance customers may wish to contact HMRC for advice if their allowance has been reduced due to a deficit in a spouse’s or civil partner’s Class 2 contributions.

Who can't claim

You can't claim if:

  • you were divorced from your husband or wife or the civil partnership had dissolved when the civil partner died
  • you remarry or are living with a partner as husband and wife or as if you had formed a civil partnership
  • you're in prison

How much you will get

The amount you get is based on how much your late husband, wife or civil partner paid in National Insurance contributions. In some cases, you may be entitled to an additional pension. The maximum Widowed Parent’s Allowance is £113.70 a week.

How it's paid

Direct Payment into an account is the Department for Communities' normal way of paying pensions and benefits. It is a safe, convenient and efficient payment method.

Effect on other benefits

If you're already getting any of the following benefits, the amount of your payments may change once you start to get WPA:

The office that deals with your claim will explain how this works.

Bereavement Service

Telephone the Department for Communities' Bereavement Service, if the person who has passed away was getting State Retirement Pension or a social security benefit such as Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Disability Living Allowance.

The Bereavement Service offers a single point of contact for reporting a death to the Department for Communities and also offers access to other benefits that you may be entitled to.  

How to claim

Contact the Bereavement Service for a Bereavement Benefits claim pack (form BB1).

Once you’ve completed the form, send it to the Bereavement Benefits section or to your nearest Social Security / Jobs & Benefits Office as soon as possible.

Claims can only be backdated three months and are dated when the office gets them, so if you delay you may lose benefit.

​What to do if your circumstances change

It's important you tell the Bereavement Benefits section or Social Security office if your circumstances change, for example:

  • you remarry
  • you start to live with a partner as husband and wife or as if you had formed a civil partnership

What else you need to know

You'll need to prove your identity when making a claim. You'll also have to answer questions about your circumstances and show official documents to support the information.

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