Maternity Pay Still Possible Even If You've Stopped Work
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Maternity Pay Still Possible Even If You've Stopped Work

98
Found 11th Feb 2014
Bear with me on this....

My wife is pregnant with our second child and we were just able to get by if she stopped work completely. We thought (as I'm sure many would) that if you gave up work then you effectively gave up any chance of Maternity Pay. After all you've not got an employer.

Well, we were tipped off by an Aunt to apply for maternity pay as my wife was previously employed. The criteria is that you must have worked for 26 of the 66 weeks before the baby was born. Luckily we passed the criteria and now get full Maternity Pay (around £5,500 in total). Hardly anyone knows about this and it's never going to be advertised, so I thought I'd pass it on.

Here's a cut and paste of all the info:

1. Overview
Maternity Allowance is usually paid to you if you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.

You could get either £136.78 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). It’s paid for up to 39 weeks.

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

2. What you'll get
You can get a weekly rate of either £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax (whichever is lower).

Maternity Allowance is paid every 2 or 4 weeks for up to 39 weeks.

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

Use the maternity entitlement calculator to work out how much you could get.

How you’re paid
All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg a bank account.

Impact on other benefits
Maternity Allowance won’t affect your tax credits but it will affect how much you get for:

Council Tax Reduction
Housing Benefit
Employment and Support Allowance
Income Support
Jobseeker’s Allowance - this will stop if you get Maternity Allowance
Bereavement Benefits
Carer’s Allowance
The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.

3. Eligibility
You might get Maternity Allowance if:

you’re employed, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay
you’re self-employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions
you’re self-employed and have a Small Earnings Exception certificate
you’ve recently stopped working
Also, you must have:

been employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the week your baby is due
been earning at least £30 a week over any 13-week period
You may still qualify if you’ve recently stopped working, and it doesn’t matter if you had different jobs or periods of unemployment.

Use the maternity entitlement calculator to check your eligibility.

If you lose the baby
You may still qualify if the baby is either:

stillborn from the start of the 24th week of pregnancy
born alive at any point during the pregnancy
Change of circumstances
Report any changes to your circumstances to your local Jobcentre Plus as they can affect how much you get. For example, if you go back to work.

4. How to claim
Print off and fill in the MA1 claim form or fill it in online, print it off and send it to the address on the form. The form has help notes on how to fill it in.

Jobcentre Plus

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Supporting your claim
You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

You need to provide:

proof of your income - eg, original payslips, Small Earnings Exemption Certificate (if applicable)
proof of the baby’s due date - eg a letter from the doctor or midwife, or your MATB1 certificate
your SMP1 form - only if you were refused Statutory Maternity Pay by your employer
What happens next

You should get a decision on your claim within 14 working days. If you’re eligible, a form will be sent to you confirming your entitlement and asking you to confirm your last day of employment before leave.

Link to the form - gov.uk/gov…pdf

98 Comments

Not a deal - moved to Misc.

Ooooh I will get my sister to look into this. Thank you and best wishes with your 2nd baby's arrival x

Interesting

Yep ,I did this 5 years ago .I was covering for someone on maternity leave , a ten month contract in the office. On month 9 I happened to fall pregnant . My contract was up next month so I was out of work anyway however I managed to read I would be entitled to full maternity pay .I was laughing all the way to the bank !!! So I worked 10 months and was paid maternity for the year .

really!!! I lost out

I just did this with our 2nd baby and if anyone is unsure about anything I would suggest calling them, they were so friendly and helpful on the phone and were able to backpay everything I was entitled to.

This is a great find, something we'll definitely think about for baby no. 2!

Stubbarama

Cheers, means Ill be paying more tax for more people to stay at home.....



You dont have to pay.... just give up your work!!!

I had to claim this even though I was employed as I only worked part time 15 hours and hadn't earned enough for my employer to pay me, plus I had only worked there 9 months.

If you have worked then your entitled to it. Its not benefits Britain (certainly not if you have previously worked and will work again)

mumtozm

how is it 'benefits Britain' every single WORKIG woman is entitled to … how is it 'benefits Britain' every single WORKIG woman is entitled to maternity pay. You need to have WORKED during the eligibility period to be entitled to this. For goodness sake.



AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a stupid comment to write.

Also, little known fact that if you salary sacrifice to get childcare vouchers £243 per month you are entitled by law to keep receiving this payment even though you aren't getting paid by your employer after week 18, your employer must still pay your Childcare voucher amount for the remaining 8 months of maternity leave. Works out a good couple thousand towards Childcare costs, you can also 'bank' these (if online) for years. if say you don't need a child minder straight away. Hope that makes sense! I was just about to cancel mine before maternity leave and I discovered this, although I don't need the vouchers this year, when I return to work next year I'll be paying for two full time, so this has been a gift.

Stubbarama

Cheers, means Ill be paying more tax for more people to stay at home.....


It's OK, if you want the supply of new humans to stop then we can just stop providing you with any and all services and manufactured goods.
Edited by: "ethicsgradient" 11th Feb 2014

Stubbarama

Cheers, means Ill be paying more tax for more people to stay at home.....



What a fool, embarrassing really

Anyone complaining about this benefit, your mum would have received this benefit when you were being born if she worked!

Believe me as someone who was made redundant a few years back and was unemployed for a few months the allowances are a joke. I don't know how people dare to say benefits britain. Clearly they must be upper class toffs.

My wife got maternity allowance for the second time. It is the common knowledge. I have no idea how someone expecting a baby might not know about it. After 2 minutes on google.co.uk you can get this.
There is a mistake in the title of it: Maternity Pay - is not available if you stopped working. Maternity Allowance - is
Regards
Roman

FelixofMars

Believe me as someone who was made redundant a few years back and was … Believe me as someone who was made redundant a few years back and was unemployed for a few months the allowances are a joke. I don't know how people dare to say benefits britain. Clearly they must be upper class toffs.



EXACTLY! I was made redundant but also became severely ill. So much so that I will probably never work again. I've been treated like scum. It's impossible to get people to understand that on 'benefits' I actually get LESS per week than I earned PER HOUR. I was at the top of my game for crying out loud and it was getting better.

Do they HONESTLY think I'd be living this 'luxury Benefits Britain' lifestyle if I could work? It makes my blood boil.

End of rant.

there is also something else you can claim if you can't get maternity allowance, can't remember what its called though! there is currently a 6ish weeks wait as I applied for it at the start of January! but they do back date it

A life saver for me also, I was made redundant whilst pregnant I was 13 weeks when I lost my job and still received statuary maternity allowance...

For the ejjitts saying benefit Britain... I went back to work when my baby was five months old so am paying my dues!

Nice of the OP to point this out. But for all things of a similar nature you cannot beat adviceguide.org.uk - revised daily by Citizens Advice Bureaux - after all not everyone has a wise aunt!

mrsdColgan

Also, little known fact that if you salary sacrifice to get childcare … Also, little known fact that if you salary sacrifice to get childcare vouchers £243 per month you are entitled by law to keep receiving this payment even though you aren't getting paid by your employer after week 18, your employer must still pay your Childcare voucher amount for the remaining 8 months of maternity leave. Works out a good couple thousand towards Childcare costs, you can also 'bank' these (if online) for years. if say you don't need a child minder straight away. Hope that makes sense! I was just about to cancel mine before maternity leave and I discovered this, although I don't need the vouchers this year, when I return to work next year I'll be paying for two full time, so this has been a gift.



balls, I didn't know this! that could have been handy!

Thanks for info richiedouglas .

Original Poster

I knew there'd be some benefit comments but it's based on national insurance contributions (yes...contributions is the key word) so it's an earned benefit.

I know some will have heard of this before and I could have googled it. I didn't think to search for it as I hadn't a clue it existed. If it helps a few extra people it's been more than worth it.

I thought this was common knowledge!

Thank you very much

Banned

I just arranged it as my employer dont pay me smp. I dont know why people dont know about it. It says at smp section that you may be entitled for ma...

teh arn

Get off this online shopping forum and go look for work.Bloody free … Get off this online shopping forum and go look for work.Bloody free loaders. . . .

I'm not going to bite at your comment but I'm going to point out this is not an online shopping forum you tard

Stubbarama

Cheers, means Ill be paying more tax for more people to stay at home.....



Yeah, just think how much tax you'd get back if this didn't exist!

Oh wait....

I can understand your frustration but it is a rightful entitlement and even better, it is rewarding those who have contributed financially within the past year :-)

Great find OP, not relevant to me but I'm sure it'll help a lot of people. No surprise it isn't advertised though. My work requires me to know a lot about benefits and even I wasn't aware of it.

Here is a small list of facts that may add, consolidate or help out further.

1. As long as you've worked for an employer for a minimum of 26 weeks and then fall pregnant then yes Statutory Maternity Pay should be paid whether you no longer work there but no where else.
2. Employers claim back 92% of the SMP cost so it still costs both the employer and tax system
3. Contractual benefits from work should continue during maternity pay, so as mentioned above childcare vouchers are the best ones to maximise before you become pregnant for a second time or more. This is a full employers cost and responsibility.
4. It you return to work early during maternity, so say 6 months in. If you were to take time off sick in the next 3months, you don't get Statutory Sick Pay, you actually get SMP. Which pays about £136 instead of £80 a week. This even if your illness isn't related to the birth of your child. (See point 2 for how it would effect your employer)
5. SMP lasts for 39 weeks worth of payments. You can't claim any other statutory benefits during that time! see point 4 above.

I've worked for all of my adult live and never claimed a penny. I was 8 months pregnant when I was made redundant from my job. So yes I am claiming Maternity Allowance. And why shouldn't I? I've paid in, like I've paid into the NHS, should I not be using that also?

Damn it, this would have been handy if we had known about this when our second daughter was on her way

anitawalsh

Not a deal - moved to Misc.

it is a deal, a big deal if it affects you. If it doesn't affect you then don't bother pointlessly commenting!

Doods1875

Benefits Britain.



do you have an enlightened view on state pensions as well?

I've just started my additional Paternity leave about a month ago, but was made redundant last Friday. Do you know if I would still receive this for the 39 weeks?

This is something I am years past worrying about, but great news for those who are. Hot vote

oliverreed

do you have an enlightened view on state pensions as well?



Owch. Bite.

...........................

Deficit, what deficit? How can we keep paying for this crap

Hopper8888

If you choose to have a child you should expect to look after it without … If you choose to have a child you should expect to look after it without handouts from the government!



Would you rather women shuffled off into the loos at work to give birth?
Then brought their babies to work every day for the first however many weeks?

No, you wouldn't, silly.
Edited by: "circuit" 11th Feb 2014

Better still, if you pay for childcare using vouchers through a company such as fidelity, when u go on maternity leave, all your childcare vouchers that mummy buys and uses, is paid for, for free....

So my wife, who buys £250 of childcare each month, gets these for free while on maternity leave! Result.
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