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Hi i wondered if anyone could offer any advice for a friend of mine. She was recently made redundant but had been in her job for only a short while (less than 2 years so did not get anything cash wise)


She currently receives a private widows pension of £120 per week is aged 44 and has a daughter aged 16 still in full time education.


She has been told she is not entitled to any help apart from the tax credit of £40 per month.


Is this right, i find it hard to believe and as you can imagine she is struggling with her mortgage, bills etc


Thanks for your help.

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Had she worked and paid any natioanl insurance contributions in previous years, and is she looking for other work or unfit for work,


She can probably get some help with council tax, housing benefit or both, she would have to ring the council or there are sites on line where she could do the calculation. She would have to have capital under 16k though

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Hi thanks for replying, she would of only paid NI in the last couple of years but then nothing prior to that since her daughter was born in 1992. She is looking for work and has to still sign on every two weeks but is still being told she isnt entitled to anything. I use th 'entitled to' website myself so have had a bit of a nosey but got a bit stuck because she isn't working at all at the moment.


She pays a mortgage of £240 a month but had no protection on it for redundancy, is there any help she could get with this or would this come under housing benefit.


I really want to support her through this as she had such a tough time losing her husband a few years ago aged only 40 so don't want her to end up in a sad place again.


She has no capital


Thanks again for your help

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Tax credits of £40 a month seem a bit low if the £120 a week is all she's got coming in. A friend of mine earns around £800 a month net and gets approx. £98 a week on top of that (working & child TC combined)....and her daughter is 18 and still in f/t education.


She needs to contact Tax Credits and ask for an application.... That way, she can be assessed properly.



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The child tax figure seems low, has she had an overpayment, you can go on the site yourself put in her figures and see what it comes up with.


Sounds like she hasnt paid stamp in the right years for JSA and is just getting credits only, but she can make a claim for help with her mortgage through JSA even if she has an Income coming in it may well be worth a try


She may be entitled to Widow Parents Allowance if she is in receipt of child benefit still for her daughter


Housing benefit just covers her rent if she had any but council tax benefit helps with council tax she needs to look into that as soon as possible


contact her local authority

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Thanks i will explain all this to her she seems to get a bit bogged down by all the paperwork. What criteria does she have to fulfill to qualify for widows parents allowance as ive already mentioned she gets a private widows pension.


Thanks for all your help

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Widowed Parent's Allowance



If you're a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have a dependent child or young person (aged 16 and under 20) for whom you receive Child Benefit, you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA).


Who can claim?


You may get WPA if all the following apply:

  • you're bringing up a child or young person under 19 (or under 20 in some cases for whom you're getting Child Benefit
  • you're under State Pension age (60 for women and 65 for men)
  • your husband, wife or civil partner died
  • your husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions (NICs)


You may also claim WPA:

  • if you're expecting your late husband's baby or your late civil partner's baby (with whom you were pregnant from fertility treatment)
  • your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of their work - even if they didn't pay NICs


Who can't claim?


You can't claim if:

  • you were divorced from your husband or wife or the civil partnership had dissolved when the civil partner died
  • you remarry or are living with a partner as husband and wife or as if you had formed a civil partnership
  • you're in prison



How much do you get?


£95.25 a week is the maximum basic allowance of Widowed Parent’s Allowance. There may be an entitlement to additional pension.

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Your friend needs to claim JSA and CTB.


So long as your friend has paid enough NI in 06/06 and 07/08 then she will receive JSA© for a maximum of 26 weeks. If not enough NI has been paid then she will be assessed for JSA(IB) although this will effectively be nilled by the widows pension she will still get NI credits, also she will be able to claim mortgage interest payments after 13 weeks.


CTB will be assessed on her income, s no JSA(IB) will be payable, and there might be some entitlement to this, although it is unlikely to be the full amount as it is likely there will be a small amount of excess income. For CTB the council will class the following as income



  1. Widows Pension
  2. Child Benefit (disregarded from October)
  3. Child Tax Credit
  4. Other income
  5. Capital and savings

The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.


If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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Hi i have just looked at the info for widows parents allowance and dont think she will qualify because her husband would not have paid enough contributions because he was ill for a long time and could not work. I have spoken to my friend again and she says that all the job centre says is that she must keep going every 2 weeks and she has had to fill duplicate forms in 3 times now because they keep 'losing' them. They have verbally told her that she will not get anything though.

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