Widow's pension

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A widow's pension is a payment from the government of a country to a person whose spouse has died.

Generally, such payments are made to a widow whose late spouse has satisfied the country's requirements, including contribution, cohabitation, and length of marriage.[1]

United States[edit]

In the United States, the widow's pension was introduced in the Senate in 1930.[2]

In 2003, Congress approved a payment of $11,750 of widow's pension owed to Harriet Tubman.[3]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the Widow’s Pension was discontinued in 2001.[4] A widow's pension can be paid to childless widows age 45 or over, or to those whose husband died before September 4, 2001.[5]

When it was offered, for a woman to qualify, her husband must have paid 25 flat-rate contributions before April 6, 1975.[3]


In Israel in 2007, a court ruled the female partner of a deceased lesbian was entitled to a widow's pension.[4]

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, a widow's pension was introduced in 1911 to help families with no other way of supporting themselves.[6]


In 2009, a court agreed that a Gypsy woman was entitled to receive a widow's pension.[7]