Deserted Wife's Allowance


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.


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).

The Allowance closed to new applications in January 1997. Some women have continued to get Deserted Wife’s Allowance because they qualified for the payment before 2 January 1997 and continue to meet the qualifying criteria which include:

  • You must not be cohabiting with any person
  • You have not resumed living with your husband
  • You must satisfy a means test

You can find more information about the rules for keeping for your Deserted Wife’s Allowance.

You must always tell the DSP 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.


Deserted Wife's Allowance maximum rate is €232 per week in 2024.

How to apply

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 Social Protection (DSP) including Living Alone Allowance and the Household Benefits Package when you turn 66.

Where to apply

For more information about Deserted Wife's Allowance contact:

Department of Social Protection

Deserted Wife's Payments Section

College Road

Tel: (071) 915 7100
Locall: 0818 200 400 (Note: the rates charged for using 0818 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)
Page edited: 4 January 2024