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Deserted Wife's Allowance

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Deserted Wife's Allowance is

Deserted Wife's Allowance is a means-tested payment made to women under 66 years without dependent children, who were deserted by their husband and who do not qualify for Deserted Wife's Benefit.

Deserted Wife's Allowance has been closed for new applications since 2 January 1997 when the One-Parent Family Payment was introduced.

Some women continue to receive Deserted Wife's Allowance because they qualified for the payment before 2 January 1997 and have continued to meet the qualifying criteria.

How to qualify

Deserted Wife's Allowance is a payment made to a woman deserted by her husband and who did not qualify for Deserted Wife's Benefit (because there were insufficient PRSI contributions recorded on either her own or her husband’s insurance record before the date of desertion).

Deserted Wife's Allowance is paid until your 66th birthday. You can then apply for a State Pension (Non Contributory).

Rate of payment

Deserted Wife's Allowance is €203 per week.


It is no longer possible to apply for Deserted Wife's Allowance. The payment has been closed to new applicants since January 1997.

If you are getting Deserted Wife's Allowance, you may be entitled to extra benefits from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection including Living Alone Allowance and the Household Benefits Package when you turn 66.

You must always tell the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection if there are any changes to your circumstances while you are getting a Deserted Wife's Allowance.

If your means or circumstances change, you may no longer qualify for the payment or it may be reduced.

This could mean that you have to repay an overpayment.

For more information about Deserted Wife's Allowance contact:

Deserted Wife's Payments Section

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, College Road, Sligo
(Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.