Financial support during pregnancy

There are several different benefits for families to help with the extra costs of children, detailed below.

Statutory Maternity Pay

Women are eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay if they have been working for the same employer for at least 26 weeks, by the time they are 15 weeks away from the date their baby is due. Earnings should be at least as much as the lower earnings limit each week. The lower earnings limit is the level of wages where national insurance contributions start. Statutory Maternity Pay is paid by the employer and can be paid for up to 39 weeks.

Maternity Allowance

This is a benefit for women who have been working but who do not meet the work and earnings conditions for Statutory Maternity Pay.  Women are eligible for Maternity Allowance if they have been working recently or have stopped working to have a child. They must have been working for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before they are due to give birth. Women are still entitled to maternity allowance if the weeks 26 weeks are split up over the 66 week period or if they are for different emplyers as long as they have been earning at least £30 a week on average. This can be from employed work or self-employed work. Maternity Allowance does not depend on national insurance contributions. The amount of Maternity Allowance paid is either 90% of the average earnings or £123.06 a week, whichever is less. An additional amount can be paid if the partner is on a very low income.

If the mother is not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance, they may be able to claim other benefits instead.

If they are pregnant or have had recently had a baby, they may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This will depend on the stage of the pregnancy and whether there would be a risk to their health or their baby's health if they worked. They may be able to claim Income Support instead. This can be claimed once they are 29 weeks into pregnancy, or earlier if they are incapable of work because of the pregnancy. Before this, if they are capable of work, they could claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

For further information visit GOV.UK

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