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Personal and household finance

Maternity Grants

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a non-repayable grant of £500. You may be able to get it if you have a low income and are expecting a baby. It's intended to help you deal with the costs of having a baby.

Maternity Grant eligibility and qualifying benefits

You can only apply for a Maternity Grant for your first child (or children, in the case of twins or multiple births) if they were born or adopted (or similar) on or after April 11 2011.

If you already have children aged under 16 in your family, you will not be awarded a Maternity Grant. However, you may be able to apply for a Maternity Grant on behalf of a dependant aged under 20 who you receive benefits for if they become pregnant for the first time.

You can claim a Maternity Grant if:

  • you, your partner or someone who is a member of your family for benefits purposes is pregnant and due to give birth within the next 11 weeks
  • you gave birth within the past three months (you can still claim if you had a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy)
  • you or your partner adopted a baby under the age of one (or you've been granted a residence order for a child under the age of one) within the past three months
  • you and your spouse have been granted a parental order allowing you to have a child by a surrogate mother – find more information on the GOV.UK website

To be eligible for a Maternity Grant, you or your partner must also be receiving one of the following benefits:

In all cases, you must claim within three months of the birth, adoption, residence order or parental order, as claims for Maternity Grants cannot be backdated.

When you apply, you will need to show that you received advice about your baby's or your own health from a health professional (such as a midwife or doctor), and they must sign your Maternity Grant claim form.

Issues that can affect your Maternity Grant claim

If you're awaiting a decision on a qualifying benefit claim, make your claim for the Maternity Grant within the time limits above. If your qualifying benefit award is backdated to cover the date of your Maternity Grant claim, you should qualify for the grant. If your grant is refused before the qualifying benefit is awarded, make another claim for the Maternity Grant within three months of the qualifying benefit being awarded.

If you or your partner are involved in a trade dispute (for example, a strike), you'll be refused a Sure Start Maternity Grant unless you're on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and the trade dispute has been going on for at least six weeks, or you get Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit, which you claimed before the dispute began.

How to claim

To make a claim or for further information on the Sure Start Maternity Grant, you will need to complete an SF100 form. You can get the form from your local Jobcentre Plus or by downloading the SF100 form and returning the completed form to Freepost RTGE-ERZC-GLYK, Wembley Benefit Centre, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1HE.

If you claim before the birth, a maternity certificate (MAT B1) is no longer required because the last page of form SF100 must be completed by a health professional with details of the expected date of birth. If you're claiming after the birth, you'll need the birth certificate, maternity certificate or adoption certificate.

Challenging a Maternity Grant decision

If you dispute the decision on your claim, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions to revise its decision and have the right to appeal the decision at an independent tribunal.

You can find more information by reading the pages on caring and your family's finances.

The official online source of government information on benefits is GOV.UK.

If you have any questions about being a carer and claiming a Maternity Grant, call the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.

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