Pensions / Compensation
War Pensions Scheme
Am I eligible to claim?
War Widow's / Widower's Pension
You may be entitled to a War Widow's/Widower's Pension if;
- your spouse’s or civil partner’s death was a result of their service in the HM Armed Forces prior to 6th April 2005;
- your spouse or civil partner was a merchant seaman, a member of the naval auxiliary services, or a coastguard and their death was a result of an injury or disease they got during a war or because they were a prisoner of war;
- your spouse’s or civil partner’s death was as a result of their service as a member of the Polish Forces under British command during the 1939 to 1945 war, or in the Polish Resettlement Forces;
- your spouse or civil partner was getting a War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance at the time of their death or would have been had they not been in hospital or they would have been entitled to the Allowance for a period of 26 weeks had they claimed; or
- your spouse or civil partner was getting a War Disablement Pension at the 80% rate or higher and was getting Unemployability Supplement.
We may be able to pay a pension if you lived with the war pensioner as their spouse or civil partner and looked after his/her child.
Where death occurred on or after 6th April 2005 whilst still Serving in HM Armed Forces, claims will be considered under the Armed Forces compensation Scheme (AFCS). Click here
You are not entitled to a War Widow's/Widower's Pension as well as a Social Security Bereavement Benefit but the War Widow's/Widower's Pension is usually paid at a higher rate and is tax-free.
War Widow's Association
The War Widows Association exists to improve the conditions of War Widows and their dependants in Great Britain. Its work encompasses not only those who have suffered bereavement from the last World War and as a result of conflicts from Korea to the Falklands and the Gulf but also those who have suffered the loss of their husband in peacetime.
It represents War Widows at national events of remembrance. It maintains close links with all ex-Service organisations and the Service widows' associations. It works with all Government departments, petitioning for improvement in pensions, the administration of benefits and other issues affecting War Widows.
For more information about War Widow's Association or how to join, please click here to access the official website. Alternatively, please call 0845 241 2189 or write to the following address;
War Widow's Association of Great Britain,
c/o 199 Borough High Street
Telephone Number: 0845 2412 189
Website Address: www.warwidowsassociation.org.uk
Calculating your entitlement - War Widow's/Widower's Pension
There are two rates of War Widow's/Widower's pension - a higher rate and a lower rate.
We will pay you a War Widow's/Widower's pension at the higher rate if you are;
- the widow/widower of an officer above the rank of Major or equivalent
- aged 40 or over;
- under 40 and getting an allowance for a child; or
- under 40 and unable to support yourself financially
Otherwise, you will receive lower rate of pension until you reach age 40. When you reach age 40 we will pay you the higher rate.
Supplementary Pension may be paid if your spouse or civil partner was discharged from HM Armed Forces before 31 March 1973.
You may also get allowances for your children and your accommodation costs.
If your late spouse or civil partner left Service before 31 March 1973, you can keep your pension if you enter into a legally recognised relationship or if you live with somebody as their spouse or civil partner on or after 6 April 2005, otherwise your War Widows/Widower’s Pension will stop although we may be able to continue payment of allowances for your children.
You may be able to have your pension restored if:
- you become widowed again;
- your civil partnership ends in divorce or judicial separation;
- your civil partnership end due to death;
- your civil partnership ends in dissolution; or
- you stop living with someone as their spouse or civil partner.
War Widow's/Widower's allowances
Age allowance for older War Widow's/Widowers
You may automatically get an age allowance when you reach 65. We also increase this allowance at age 70 and age 80.
Temporary allowance for War Widows/Widowers
Temporary allowance can be paid if your spouse or civil partner was getting War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance or Unemployability Supplement at the time of their death.
This is paid for 26 weeks after your spouse or civil partner dies. You may then receive a War Widow's/Widower's Pension or Social Security Bereavement pension.