What is Maternity Allowance?
Posted: Wednesday February 27 2019
By: Guest Blogger
Maternity Allowance (MA) is a weekly benefit paid by Jobcentre Plus to some women who are pregnant or have just given birth. This is typically for those who don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay and the amount you receive depends on your eligibility. MA can be claimed after you are 26 weeks pregnant and can be paid from 11 weeks before your due date.
The full rate of MA is £145.18 per week or 90% of your weekly earnings where this is lower, for a period of 39 weeks. This is paid where sufficient National Insurance contributions have been made and one of the following applies:
• You are employed but can’t receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
• You are self-employed
• You have been employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before your baby is due
There is a useful maternity entitlement calculator available at www.gov.uk/pay-leave-for-parents, and the Department for Work and Pensions will check if you’ve paid enough National Insurance when you make a claim.
If you have not paid enough, there is a lower rate of MA available of £27 per week for 39 if you meet the other criteria, or 14 weeks if you do unpaid work in a spouse or civil partners self-employed business.
To claim you need to complete an MA1 claim form which can be submitted once you have been pregnant for 26 weeks. In addition, you will need to provide proof of income, proof of your due date, a SMP1 form if your employer has refused SMP and information about your partners self-employed business and your role if applying for the lower rate of MA for 14 weeks.