Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your child. It is usually paid every four weeks but in some cases can be paid weekly, and there are separate rates for each child. The payment can be claimed by anyone who qualifies, whatever their income or savings.
You may have got an application form from the ‘Bounty Pack’ that’s given to new mothers in hospital.
If you have problems getting a claim form, please contact the Child Benefit Helpline on 0845 302 1444.
Working & Child Tax Credit
See Parents information sheet. You are likely to get some tax credit if your income is less than £58,000 a year (£66,000 if you have a child under the age of one).
Sure Start Maternity Grant
This is a one-off payment of £500 to help pay for things you need for a new baby if you are on a low income. The grant is tax-free and does not have to be paid back.
To qualify, you, or your partner, must be getting one of these benefits:
• Income Support
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension Credit
• Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
• Child Tax Credit, at a higher rate than the family element
Application form can be obtained from your Health Visitor or download it on:
Statutory Maternity Pay
Statutory Maternity Pay is paid by your employer, providing you with some money to help you to take time off work before and after the birth of your baby.
It is paid for 39 weeks. The first 6 weeks is paid at 90% of you average weekly earnings and the remaining 33 weeks is paid at the Standard rate of £117.18 a week or a rate equal to 90% of your average weekly earnings. You will get whichever rate is lower.
If you’re pregnant or have a new baby but don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) through Jobcentre Plus.
You may be eligible if:
• You’ve been employed and/or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in your ‘test period’ (66 weeks up to and including the week before the week your baby is due). Part weeks count as full weeks; and
• You earned £30 a week averaged over any 13 weeks in your test period