Updated 13th April 2017
If you are pregnant, then it is likely that you are entitled to some form of Maternity Allowance.
This allowance is a social security benefit, that you might be entitled to. It will be paid around the time of the birth of your child. If you qualify, then it is normally paid for a period of 39 weeks.
You may qualify if you are not entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay from you previous employer - or employers - but have either been self-employed or employed for a minimum of twenty six (26) weeks out of the sixty-six (66) weeks before the birth of your baby. Together with this, your gross weekly pay (before any deductions - should have been £30.00 a week or more, and have stopped work in order to have your baby.
The Department of Work and Pensions call the 66 weeks before the expected birth of your baby, as the Test Period! The period is worked out as being from the date of expected birth - not the actual time of birth! For this period, 'employment' for part of a week is seen as being employment for a whole week!
If you were not employed during the 15th week before the due date of your baby, or if you have not been with the same employer for long enough, you may not be entitled to M A. There might also be a problem if you did not earn enough. (Minimum of £30.00 per week gross)
There is a certain amount of checking to be done by the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure that you are entitled to this benefit. For employed persons, they may - or may not - check your information with your employer, to ensure that it is correct. For self-employed people, you will need to have registered for self-employment with the Inland Revenue - HM Revenue and Customs.
This is a legal requirement for being self-employed. If you simply worked 'cash in hand' that is NOT lawful self-employment! If that is the case, you may lose some or all of your Maternity Benefits Allowance!
You could get either:
(When the DWP talks about 'employer' they mean someone who has been liable to pay your NI Class1 contributions. If you did not earn enough to pay NI, then the company is still your 'employer'.)
Maternity Allowance can be claimed at any age WHERE the general conditions apply. It is possible to get maternity allowance at age 17, but at age 16 it is unlikely - though not impossible - that you meet the earnings and employment criteria.
Even if you are not a UK citizen - but you have permission to work - you may still be entitled to the Allowance.
When Should You Claim Maternity benefit?
Time limit for claiming maternity Allowance
Claim within 3 months of the date that your M A Period is due to start, or you will lose money!
Expected date of of your Baby being Born.
If you claim before your baby is born. (The date of expected birth, will be in part A of your Maternity certificate, which you get from your doctor or midwife after the 21st week of your pregnancy.)
If you claim after your baby is born, the date is in Part B of your Maternity Certificate MAT.
Payment of Maternity Allowance
Maternity Allowance Period starts on the Sunday of the 11th week before the week you expect to have your baby, if you are not employed or self employed at this time. If you are self-employed or employed still at that time, you can choose when you would like your benefit to start from.
The latest date you can start your Maternity Allowance, is the day after your baby is born.
You cannot receive SSP and MA allowance at the same time. If you are getting SSP, you must tell your employer when you are to start receiving Maternity Allowance. If you don't do this and you receive both, you will HAVE to pay back the SSP. You could even be accused of fraud if there was a dishonest motive!
If you give birth earlier than expected, tell Jobcentre Plus straight away. Your Allowance must start if you give birth before you have had a chance to start your maternity leave.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit will stop. Your Maternity Allowance will then start the day after the first day you are sick and absent from work.
You will need a Form -
MA1 Claim Form - Eith online at the link or get one from the
Online version - you can either fill it in online and then print it, or download it and fill it in by pen. There are plenty of help note as to how to fill in your Maternity Allowance Claim form.
Jobcentre Plus Telephone
0800 055 6688 Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
The Maternity Allowance Number is 0844 248 2557 - there maybe charges using this number - in any even you will have to get the form as above.
It is normally processed within 24 working days - excluding Sat and Suns.
If you’re eligible, a letter will be sent to you confirming that you are entitled to Maternity Allowance. It will ask you to confirm your last day of work - before you actually leave.
How the amount of your Maternity Allowance is calculated.
Any Experiences good or bad with this subject - Please email us here.
March 9th 2017
***Child Tax Credit - From April this year the ‘family element’ of £545 per year will be abolished.***
March 8th 2017
**MPs are calling for a halt to the accelerating roll-out of Universal Credit as the ongoing problems are causing undue and unnecessary hardship**
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