Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension
You may qualify for this support payment if you’re the surviving spouse or partner of a veteran who:
- had significant, service-related impairment; or
- died of a service-related cause.
It recognises the support you’ve lost because of the veteran’s service to New Zealand.
To apply, you should be the surviving spouse or partner of a qualifying veteran.
The veteran must have died of a service-related cause; or at time of death been getting, or able to get, permanent:
- Disablement Pension, for whole-person impairment of at least 52%; or
- War Disablement Pension, of at least 70%.
The veteran must also have Scheme One service (in Viet Nam, or before 1 April 1974).
For Qualifying Operational Service [PDF, 230 KB] later than that, Scheme Two entitlement may apply instead:
Qualifying spouses & partners
Just before the veteran’s death, you must have been living:
- with the veteran in (or as in) marriage, and helping with the veteran’s everyday welfare; or
- apart from the veteran for health, work or imprisonment reasons.
Payment of Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension is fortnightly within New Zealand, 4-weekly to overseas accounts.
Start of entitlement
The pension is paid from the day:
- after the veteran’s death (if we got your application within 6 months of this)
- on which we got your application (if more than 6 months after the veteran’s death).
End of entitlement
Unless you start a new relationship, your right to the pension lasts for:
- your life; and
- 28 days after your death.
You must let us know if you start a new relationship.
Right to pension
Your right to the pension stops as soon as you start a new relationship (marriage, civil union or de facto).
Right to alternative payment
You can apply for payment equal to 2 years of pension [PDF, 309 KB] instead. Your right to this payment starts the day after your right to the pension stops.
You can have this paid as:
- a one-off lump sum; or
- regular payments over two years.
Right to restart pension
If your new relationship ends within 5 years of its start date, you can restart your pension.
- Factsheet (Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension) [PDF, 220 KB]: summary for printing
- Children's Pension: support payment for child, where veteran's death or severe impairment is service-related
- Reviews: your rights if you disagree with our decision about whether you qualify
- Veterans' Support Act (external link) (NZ Legislation website): sections 38 & 66–71; and Schedule 1 clause 8
- Veterans’ Support Regulations (external link) (NZ Legislation website): regulation 18