What is a Maternity Grant?
The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment towards the cost of having a child. It does not need to be paid back and you can spend it on whatever you like. It is not connected to or affected by Maternity Allowance or maternity leave. It is not taxable and will also be ignored as income for any other benefits.
Are you eligible to claim?
- You must be a pregnant or have had a baby in the last three months, or
- You have adopted or become responsible for a child in the last three months who is less than 12 months old
- If you have a child under 16 already, you will only be eligible if this is a multiple birth
- You must be receiving certain benefits, including Child Tax Credit paid at a rate exceeding the family element, Working Tax Credit including the disabled worker or severe disability element, or Universal Credit. These can be claimed whilst self-employed. Some other benefits count too, such as Income Support.
How much do you get?
£500 for each expected child. However if you already children under 16 this will affect the amount you get. For example, if you are expecting twins and have no other children you will get £1000. If you are expecting twins and have one other child your payment will be reduced by one child, so you will get £500.
How to make a claim
You need to complete form SF100 and send this to the address on the form. It might be helpful to take a copy and get proof of posting (free of charge) in case of any problems. A health professional (doctor or midwife) is required to sign your form, and you may also need to supply your MATB1 certificate or adoption agreement. You can claim from 11 weeks before the week your baby is due up to 3 months after your baby is born, or up to 3 months after you become responsible for a child, eg through adoption.
Not happy with your Maternity Grant decision?
If you are not happy with the decision for your Sure Start Maternity Grant, generally you have a month from the date on your decision letter in which to ask for this to be revised. You will need to ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ which can be done by phone or letter and you should point out facts which you think are wrong, or information you think they have missed or not taken into account. This is always worth a try as a high percentage of decisions are changed at this point. If the decision is not changed in your favour you will have the chance to make an appeal to a Tribunal.