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Are You Eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance?

By: Mike Watson - Updated: 21 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Widowed Parents Allowance National

The Widowed Parents Allowance is available to help lone widowed parents with the difficulty of bringing up a child. This allowance is one of many available to help the bereaved cope financially. Whilst finances may not be your top priority if you have recently lost a spouse it is worth visiting the Citizens Advice Bureau to see what you may be eligible for. See related articles for further information.

Who is Eligible

The surviving parent of a child who’s other patent has died may be eligible to widowed parents allowance providing that the child, or children, is/are eligible to child benefit and also providing that the deceased parent maintained sufficient National Insurance contributions throughout their working life. They may also be entitled in they are due to give birth to a child by their deceased spouse or civil partner. Some cases where the surviving parent is pregnant as a case of artificial insemination are considered.

If your partner died as a result of a work based illness or accident you may receive Widowed Persons Allowance even if they did not pay sufficient amounts of National Insurance over their working life.

Though you cannot claim Widowed Parents Allowance if you are over pensionable age you may be due for extra retirement pension if you spouse paid National Insurance at a sufficient rate whilst they worked.

If the couples marriage or civil partnership had ended prior to the deceased death then Widowed Parents Allowance will not be due. It will also be withheld it the surviving Parent is living with a person of the opposite sex as a spouse or as a civil partner, or that person is over state pension age, or if that person is held in prison or in custody.

How Much Are You Due

Widowed parents allowance is paid to maintain a standard of living for both the parent and the children and is paid on top of child benefit. A standard rate is paid to the widowed parent, with a standard amount being paid on top of that for each child and a higher rate being paid for an eldest or only child.

The basic rate is £95.25 per week, with each child receiving £11.35 per week, with an extra £9 per week for an only child or eldest child (meaning that extra £9 will be payable in any case if you have one or more dependent children.

Contribution based Jobseekers Allowance and several other allowances will be reduced as a result of claiming Widowed Parents Allowance, and allowance will stop when you reach state pension age. If in doubt check with your Jobcentre Plus or with you local Social Security Centre. Widowed Parents Allowance will also impact upon the way in which your working tax credit and child tax credit are calculated.

Child benefit will be affected if you are claiming extra for an only child: Instead you will receive normal Child Benefit and claim the extra only child reward due as a Widowed Parent.

Widowed Parents Allowance can be paid directly into a bank account, building society, Post Office or National Savings account. You can choose to receive these payments weekly, every four weeks or every thirteen weeks.

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