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.



Getting paid

Starting a new relationship

Finding out more


To apply, you should be the surviving spouse or partner of a qualifying veteran.

Qualifying veterans

The veteran must have died of a service-related cause; or at time of death been getting, or able to get, permanent:

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.


Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension (application form) [PDF, 451 KB]

Getting Paid

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.

Starting a new relationship

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.

Finding out more

One-page summary

Related information

  • 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

Relevant legislation