War Widows
or War Widowers Pension


Overview

You may be entitled to War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension if your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war.

A partner must have served before 6 April 2005, but you may be eligible if they died of an illness or injury later.

Eligibility

One of the following must apply. Your husband, wife or civil partner:

  • died as result of their service in HM Armed Forces before 6 April 2005

  • was a civil defence volunteer or a civilian and their death was a result of the 1939 to 1945 war

  • 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

  • died 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

  • was getting a War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance at the time of their death, or would have been had they not been in hospital

  • was getting a War Disablement Pension at the 80% rate or higher and was getting Unemployability Supplement

You may be entitled to a pension if you lived with a partner as husband and wife or as civil partners.

Illness, injury and death on or after 6 April 2005

If your partner was injured, developed an illness or died as a result of service on or after 6 April 2005, you can claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

What you will get

War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension is paid at different rates depending on your age and circumstances.

You do not pay tax on it.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, for example your bank account.

How to claim

To claim War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension you can either:

Send the completed form to:


Veterans UK
Norcross
Thornton Cleveleys
Lancashire
FY5 3WP

How to appeal

If you disagree with a decision about your claim you can appeal to an independent Pensions Appeal Tribunal.

Before you appeal you should:

  • ask Veterans UK for more information about how the decision was reached

  • ask for the decision to be reconsidered if there are some facts Veterans UK may not have known when they made their decision

If you’re still unhappy with the outcome contact Veterans UK to let them know that you want to appeal.

Further information

Changes in your circumstances

You’ll continue to get your pension if you marry, form a civil partnership or start living with a partner on or after 1 April 2015.

If this happened before 1 April 2015, you’ll still get a pension if both:

  • your late spouse or civil partner left service before 31 March 1973

  • your new relationship started on or after 6 April 2005

Otherwise, your pension would have been stopped.

If your pension stopped

You can claim your pension again if:

  • you become widowed again

  • you divorce or separate

  • your civil partner dies

  • your civil partnership ends

  • you stop living with the person as their partner

Make sure you tell Veterans UK of any changes in your circumstances so you get the right amount of pension.

Funeral expenses

Veterans UK may be able to pay a grant of up to £2,200 towards a veteran’s funeral if any of the following apply:

  • death was due to service before 6 April 2005

  • War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance was being paid or would have been paid if the war pensioner had not been in hospital when they died

  • Unemployability Supplement was being paid at the time of death and the War Disablement Pension was assessed at 80% or more

The payment can be made to the veteran’s widow or widower, next of kin or person paying for the funeral.

You must make a claim within 3 months of the funeral.

How to apply

Download the claim form. Send the completed form to:

Veterans UK
Norcross
Thornton Cleveleys
Lancashire
FY5 3WP