Cookies Notice

This website uses cookies to help you have a better user experience. Cookies are not used to collect personal information. For more information, please see our cookies policy.

Rate this page
Rate this content

Widowhood Pension


Procedure for Social Security Widowhood Pension

General Information


Protection of financial needs following the  death of the person that triggered the entitlement.


Those married to or in a common law marriage with the deceased and that have not remarried:

  • Spouse.
  • Separated people, divorcees and those whose marriage had been annulled.
  • A couple in a common law marriage at the time of death.

More information on beneficiaries


Evidence must be provided regarding the contribution period, which varies based on the employment status of the deceased and the cause of death:

  • Affiliated or with asituation equal to affiliation, for 500 days within an uninterrupted period of 5 years immediately before the death or 15 years over their entire working life.
  • Not affiliated: 15 years over his/her entire working life.
  • Pensioners: No contribution period is required.

No previous contribution period is required when the cause of death is attributable to a work-related accident or occupational disease.

It will also be necessary to prove some special conditions for marriages, if the death was due to a common disease prior to the marriage; of separation, divorce and annulment; of de facto partnerships.

More information on requirements


Economic benefits are generally calculated by applying 52% to the corresponding base rate , which varies according to the employment status of the deceased at the time of death and the cause of death.

  • From 01-08-2018, the percentage applicable to the widowhood pension regulatory base shall be 56%, when the beneficiary meets the following requirements:
    • Being 65 years of age or over.
    • Not being entitled to another Spanish or foreign public pension.
    • Not receiving income for carrying out employed or self-employed work.
    • No real estate or property capital income, wealth gains or income from economic activities, exceeding 7,347.99 euros/year.

  • From 01/01/2019, the percentage applicable to the base rate will be 60%.

When the beneficiary has dependent family members and a certain level of income, the percentage may be increased to 70%.

When this person is not entitled to the pension as he/she is unable to provide evidence regarding the duration of the marriage or because they have no children in common, a temporary benefit will be paid for two years, equal in sum to the widow's pension that would have applied.

More information on amounts

Economic effects:
  • Originators who were affiliated, assimilated to affiliation or not affiliated: The day after the causal event, when the application is made within the three months following the date of death.
  • Originators who are pensioners: The first day of the month following the date of the causal event, when the application is made within the three months following the date of death.

When the application is submitted once the 3 months following the date of death have expired, payment will be backdated to a maximum of 3 months from the application date.


The pension is paid on a monthly basis, with two special payments in the June and November, with the exception of work-related injury and occupational disease pensions, which are paid in twelve ordinary monthly instalments.

The pension has guaranteed minimum amounts and is adjusted at the beginning of each year.

The pension is subject to Personal Income Tax (IRPF).

Compatibility / Incompatibility:
  • The pension is compatible with the employment earnings of the beneficiary and with retirement and permanent disability pensions to which they may have a right.
  • When the originator is not registered as employed on the date of death, the widowhood pension will be incompatible with the recognition of another widowhood pension in any of the Social Security Schemes, unless the contributions accredited in each one of the schemes overlap for at least 15 years.
  • When payment of the widowhood pension continues, even though the beneficiary has remarried or is party to a common law marriage, it will be incompatible with a new widowhood pension that could be generated as a result of the death of the new spouse or partner; in such an event, the beneficiary must choose one of the two available options.

Further information on compatibilities/incompatibilities

  • Filing the application: There are no deadlines.
  • Decision on the case: 90 days after the filing date of the application. Currently, the average time frame is 13 days.
  • Upon remarriage or entering into a common law marriage, with exceptions.
  • Upon being found guilty, by final judgement, of causing the originator's death.
  • Gender violence.
  • Due to death.
  • After establishing that the missing worker did not die.

Applying for Survivor’s Benefits.


The documents listed on the application form.

Where it is processed:

At Social Security Support and Information Centres and at local or provincial office of the Social Marine Institute, for seafarers.

Competent body:

Acknowledgement of the right to the pension is the responsibility of the National Social Security Institute, the Social Marine Institute for seafarers, and the Social Security Mutual Society partner, when the death is attributable to a work-related injury.

Other important information:
  • Entitlement to receive the pension does not expire.
  • In cases of divorce where there is more than one beneficiary, the amount of the benefit will be proportional to the time the husband and wife lived together, with 40% guaranteed for the surviving spouse. 
  • Widowhood pension in cases of gender violence.
  • As regards work-related injury and occupational disease, the deceased is considered to have been duly affiliated at the time of death, even if the employer has failed to fulfil its obligations. Furthermore,  compensation equal to 6 months of the base rate will be awarded.
  • Special Regimes


Frequently asked questions

Complementary Content