Can you reapply for the widow’s allowance?

Corinne lost her widow’s allowance when travelling overseas. Can she get it back?

Corinne lost her widow’s allowance when travelling overseas and wants to know what she needs to do to get it back, or if there are any alternative options that may be available.


Q. Corinne
I have been living in Australia for 40 years and I will claim my pension on my 65th year, which will be next year, when I’m 66.

I have not accumulated superannuation, as I raised my two children while my partner was the one working.

When we separated, I raised the youngest of my children and then started to work. I accumulated next to nothing in super and then studied massage therapy. But during the time I worked in this area I couldn’t afford to contribute towards my own superannuation.

What amount of money can I expect without superannuation and is this a unique circumstance? What do they take into consideration during the pension assessment?

I had to go overseas last year as well as this year, as my mother was very ill. She passed away last year. I returned to Australia, but I decided to go back overseas this year to offer support to other family members. I was then on widow allowance, but upon return, I lost that privilege. I have applied for a review with Centrelink, because without my widow allowance, I lose benefits, such as concessions for vehicle registration, and other similar payments.

Are there exceptional circumstances that would allow me back on the widow’s allowance? What else can I do to regain this payment?

I would also like to know if I can receive my Age Pension in Europe once I become eligible. Can I move to France permanently and receive the Age Pension or a part pension?

A. Your situation is not unique and there are many women who find themselves in similar situations, with very little money in superannuation. Without knowing your full circumstances, you will most likely be eligible for the full rate of the Age Pension, which is currently $916.30 per fortnight (including supplement and energy supplement), although this may be higher by the time you are eligible, as these rates are indexed.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to reapply for the widow’s allowance as new claims for this allowance closed on 1 July last year. You may instead be able to apply for a Newstart Allowance. If you claim Newstart Allowance and meet Widow Allowance eligibility, you’re exempt from Mutual Obligation Requirements. This means that you don’t need to look for work.

With regard to your third question, you need to be an Australian resident to claim the Age Pension, but once you start receiving the Age Pension you will be able to move overseas. There are rules regarding this, but you can read more about claiming the Age Pension overseas on our website.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.


    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


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    4th Mar 2019
    Crikey, Centrelink and our federal governments are lousy stingy mongrels..They make sure they get their pensions and allowances, but bugger everyone else,
    4th Mar 2019
    Yes, they get their huge full pension as well as any wage they earn (though I use the word earn, lightly). If single on aged pension, anything more than $125 a week, and pension is cut. WOOPDEE DOO!
    4th Mar 2019
    thommo, when you refer to the politicians getting their pensions and allowances, they are no different to the "perks" that abound in the top end of private enterprise. It's a fair certainty that very few, if any, politicians will be eligible for the Age Pensions and the allied benefits that are tied into it. So you are ahead of them there.
    I could tell you of rorts in pensions and benefits in a significant part of Australian society, but you wouldn't believe me. Ask yourself how many widows can one man leave?
    5th Mar 2019
    By George, thommo - you beat me to it!
    "Centrelink and our federal governments are lousy stingy mongrels."

    Put pension age back to 65, cut out their hugely preferential super system for nothing. It's not as if they're doing a good job for the money.

    Couldabeen - leave it out about the rare rorts.... nowhere near the subject.
    4th Mar 2019
    True an election soon just be aware that if Labour gets voted in hopefully then they will make changes
    4th Mar 2019
    True an election soon just be aware that if Labour gets voted in hopefully then they will make changes
    5th Mar 2019
    Don't trust either party as far as I could throw Clive Palmer.
    pedro the swift
    4th Mar 2019
    Its a case of look after themselves! Wouldn't you love to in a job where you could vote on your own salary and perks. Don't even bother to talk about the "independent" tribunal. If you believe that I have a bridge in Sydney I can sell you
    4th Mar 2019
    That’s why you should never vote for wealthy candidates/politicians, they go into the job to create more wealth for cuts, charging accommodation expenses for their own property and the list goes on.
    4th Mar 2019
    I worked full time, a second job and raised three kids alone and saved into compulsory super after full tax was paid. I really am tired of these sob stories and excuses for not being responsible and diligent in saving a bit. Go to Centrelink as Newstart is available.

    One trip overseas for dyingg mum was okay. The second you should have used skyped and just lived within your means.

    I lost my part pension and concessions because the Government is crying poor when it suits them and can't afford some of us they don't like now supposedly so do what I did and suck it up.

    You know we have to make lower lifestyle choices so that others can arrive for a better life. The entitled and deserving ones favoured by our Government.
    5th Mar 2019
    I tend to the view that once a penson is awarded it remains... but don't tell the government that.
    4th Mar 2019
    What a lot of barnyard whingers. All that stuff about not voting for a wealthy candidate. Those with some substance are often the best educated and can understand the pros and cons of legislation. They are not all money grubbers.
    If Labor gets in, I wouldn’t get too excited about money being spread about like fertilizer, either. There will be token displays, but ...
    4th Mar 2019
    Bow and scrape and idolise the wealthy politicians if you want, Catkin, that's your right and it's my right to be realistic.
    Turnbull axed the Life Gold Travel Pass which has cost taxpayers $17.2 million since 2001.... except the perk will still be available to former prime ministers who are all multi millionaires and well able to pay their own air fares.
    Politicians billing the taxpayer for holidays for themselves and family, use of a VIP jet to attend a friend's wedding, tax cuts, even the huge pensions which some politicians and ministers have been living on for the last 30 years and still looking for a couple more decades.
    4th Mar 2019
    Unfortunately there has been so much poor legislation lately it will tie the Courts up for years in challenges so that theory doesn't stack up.
    5th Mar 2019
    Thanks for the daily humour, Catkin.
    6th Mar 2019
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now
    2nd Apr 2019
    What the?? - I applied for a widow's allowance/pension when widowed as 62yo a few yrs ago & was told it was no longer available ("gifted" an insulting sum of just over $1,000 "to cover funeral costs!!??"), was forced onto meagre Newstart whilst saving our Govn'mt $10,000s for almost 3yrs thereafter minding my 6 grandkids so my kids/spouses could work, pay their mortgages & not need to claim childcare benefits - & I was old enough to finally claim OAP.

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