In the intricate world of welfare entitlements, there exists a fascinating provision that many may find surprising. In Ireland, divorced individuals can receive a survivor's pension after their ex-spouse's death, regardless of whether they have remarried.
In Welfare and Bereavement Issues, Brendan Casey brought insight into this unusual instance.
This unique provision is an Irish solution to an Irish problem, as divorce was only introduced in the country in 1996. Despite the societal changes since then, no amendments have been made to the social effort legislation on contributory survivor's pension. This means that even if you divorced your spouse 20 or 30 years ago, you could still be eligible for a survivor's pension.
The eligibility for this pension extends beyond the borders of Ireland. If you've immigrated to America and your ex-spouse dies in Ireland, you can claim a survivor's pension to be paid from Ireland. This global applicability makes it all the more important to keep track of your ex-partner's status.
However, certain conditions must be met to qualify for this pension. A divorcee who has not remarried and is not cohabitating with a partner can qualify for a survivor's contributory pension after the death of their ex, provided the divorce is recognised as valid in the state and the contribution conditions are satisfied.
Interestingly, the survivor's contributory pension can be paid to two survivors if the ex has remarried. For instance, if a person was married and they divorced in 1996, and the wife then remarried someone else, that marriage continued into old age pension age for the husband. If he then died, she would be in receipt of a contributory survivor's pension because her husband has died and she is a widow. Simultaneously, her ex-spouse from the first marriage could also claim a survivor's pension.
This provision, while complex, underscores the importance of understanding welfare entitlements and keeping abreast of changes in your ex-partner's status. It may seem like a peculiar system, but it is a reality that divorced individuals should be aware of, as it can significantly impact their financial situation following the death of an ex-spouse or civil partner.
To watch the full session, please click here. Brendan Casey discusses the following areas during this course:
- Death of a Spouse or Civil partner and immediate entitlements
- Rules on entitlement to the Survivors Contributory Pension
- Disbursement of the Estate of the deceased when they were in receipt of a means tested payment at time of death
- Appealing any claim against the Estate
The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author/s accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article.