Part 1: Entitlement
- Description of Scheme
- Qualifying Conditions
- Qualifying benefits
- Qualifying child
- Divorced persons
- Dissolved Civil Partnership
Part 2: Claims and Decision procedures
- Claims and Documentation
PART 1: ENTITLEMENT
Description of Scheme
A Widowed (Parent) or Surviving Civil Partner Grant is a once-off payment designed to assist with the income support needs of a widow, widower or surviving civil partner immediately following the death of his/her spouse/civil partner. The current rate of payment is €6,000.
The scheme was introduced in April 2000 for persons widowed on or after 1st December 1999 who had at least one qualified child. The scheme was extended to surviving civil partners who have at least one qualified child and who were bereaved on or after 1st January 2011.
In order to qualify for this grant, a person must be entitled to, or in receipt of a qualifying payment as detailed in
'Qualifying Conditions' below.
The provisions in relation to Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant are contained in Chapter 21 of Part 2 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005 (as amended).
The Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant scheme is administered by Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo. Forms and other information relating to entitlement, etc., are available on the Department's website -
'www.welfare.ie'. Alternatively, requests for claim forms or enquiries can be made to:
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension Section
Social Welfare Services
Telephone: Sligo (071) 9157100
Dublin (01) 7043000
LoCall: 1890 500 000
(a) Qualifying Benefit
The widow, widower or surviving civil partner must be entitled to or in receipt of one of the following:
- Bereavement Grant, or
- death benefit under Section 81, or
- widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner's contributory pension under Chapter 18 of Part 2, or
- widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner's contributory pension under EU Regulations or under a Bilateral Agreement between Ireland and another country (
see table below), or
- one-parent family payment, or
- State Pension (non-contributory)
which includes an increase in respect of a qualified child.
With the exception of Bereavement Grant, where widow, widower or surviving civil partner has a qualified child, the pension or payment will normally include an increase. However, instances will occasionally arise where an increase is not payable, as the qualified child is in receipt of a Social Welfare benefit or assistance payment in his or her own right. Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant is however payable in such circumstances.
Countries covered by either EC Regulations or under and Bilateral Agreements are:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Republic of Cyprus(Cyprus South)
- Republic of Korea
- The Netherlands
- The United Kingdom (incl the Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
- The United States of America
The widow, widower or surviving civil partner must have at least one qualified child living with her or him at the time of death or a child born within 10 months of the date of death of her late spouse/civil partner. For the purpose of the Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant a qualified child is a child up to age 18, who is normally resident in the State and who is living with the claimant. A child aged between 18 and 22 who is normally resident in the State continues to be a qualified child if s/he is in full time education by day at a recognised school or college.
Where a child for whom an increase is in payment, reaches the age of 22 during an academic year, s/he will continue to be regarded as a qualified child, for the duration of the academic year beyond their 22nd birthday. (See also the
'Increase for a Qualified Child Guideline' for further information about Qualified Children).
The Grant is payable in respect of the death of the spouse of the widow or widower , on or after 1st December 1999 and, in the case of a surviving civil partner, in respect of the death of the civil partner on or after 1st January 2011.
For the purpose of this grant, the terms 'spouse', 'widow' and 'widower' include parties to a marriage that has been dissolved, provided the dissolution is recognised as valid in this State. Where the widow or widower has been married more than once, 'spouse' refers only to the last spouse.
Dissolved Civil Partnerships
For the purpose of this grant, the terms "surviving civil partner" includes parties to a civil partnership that has been dissolved, provided that the dissolution is recognised as valid in this State. Where a surviving civil partner has entered into more than one civil partnership, 'civil partner' refers to the last civil partner.
PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURE
Claims and documentation
In any case where a claim to a Widow's Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory pension is being made there is no requirement to complete a separate application form for the Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant. The documentation for the pension claim will suffice for the Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant.
If no claim to pension is being made to this Department, a claim form
WPG 1 should be fully completed and signed, and sent to Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo along with the following documentation:
- claimant's own birth certificate (if born outside Republic of Ireland)
- claimant's marriage certificate (if married outside Republic of Ireland)
- claimant's civil partnership documentation
- claimant's late husband/wife's/civil partner's death certificate (if death occurred outside the Republic of Ireland)
- claimant's children's birth certificate(s)
If the grant application is in respect of a qualified child aged between 18 and 22 in full time education, a certificate from the school or college confirming their attendance should be submitted with the claim.
Claims are decided by Deciding Officers appointed by the Minister under Section 299 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005.
As entitlement to the Grant is contingent on being in receipt of or entitled to a pension or a bereavement grant, such entitlement must first be decided.
A notification of the decision must be issued to the claimant.
A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of a Deciding Officer and wishes to appeal it may do so in writing within 21 days of the date of the decision to:
The Chief Appeals Officer
Social Welfare Appeals Office
Payment of the Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner's Grant is made either by cheque or by way of direct payment into the claimants account in a financial institution. This account must be a current, deposit, or savings account.