How new mums can get almost £157 a week even if they don’t have a job


New mothers who do not qualify for standard maternity pay can still receive payments of up to thousands of pounds.

Women who are self-employed may also be eligible for cash on having children.


Having a baby can stretch your budget so every little bit helpscredit: getty

Mothers taking maternity leave are usually entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from their employer.

But in some circumstances they may not be eligible, for example if they have recently lost or left their job.

And women working by themselves have no employer to pay them SMP.

Instead they may be eligible for maternity allowance which is paid for by the government and is up to £156.66 per week.

This adds up to £6,110 in the 39 weeks you can receive, although the exact amount you can get depends on your eligibility.

Anyone receiving a maternity allowance also gets a Class 1 National Insurance Credit—which can help you build up your state pension—so it’s worth claiming it, even if you don’t get the full amount.

How much is maternity allowance?

Maternity allowance is worth varying amounts depending on your situation.

  • 90% of your average weekly income (before tax) up to £156.66 per week for 39 weeks
  • £27 per week for 39 weeks, or
  • £27 per week for 14 weeks.

Who is eligible for Maternity Allowance?

If you are not entitled to maternity pay, you are self-employed or you have recently stopped working, you may be eligible for maternity allowance.

The following must also apply within the last 66 weeks of your due date:

  • You must be employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks
  • You must be earning £30 per week or more (or classified as earning) in at least 13 weeks – weeks together do not need to be

If you are self-employed, you must pay Class 2 National Insurance for at least 13 of the 66 weeks to receive the full amount of £151.97 per week.

If it isn’t, you’ll still get £27 per week for 39 weeks.

If none of the above applies, you may still be able to receive paid maternity allowance of £27 for 14 weeks.

You can get it if, within the past 66 weeks of your due date, and for at least 26 weeks, you:

  • married or in a civil partnership
  • not employed or self employed
  • Participate in the self-employment work of a partner or civil spouse
  • working for a business that is unpaid
  • Married or civil partnership from a person who is registered self-employed with HMRC and must pay Class 2 National Insurance
  • Not eligible for higher amount of Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance

You can check your eligibility for Maternity Allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay Calculator at

If you cannot claim maternity benefits you may be able to get universal credit – is here how to claim,

How do I claim Maternity Allowance?

You can claim this benefit as soon as you are 26 weeks pregnant.

Payments begin 11 weeks before your child is due and are paid out every two or four weeks.

You should know that the money you receive from maternity allowance can affect other benefits you receive, including:

  • universal credit
  • council tax deduction
  • housing benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) – This will stop on receipt of Maternity Allowance
  • bereavement benefit
  • Carer’s allowance.

It can also affect the amount you get due to the benefit limit.

If you are eligible, to receive the money you need to fill out Maternity Allowance (MA1) Claim Form,

You can do this online, or print it out and mail it – the address is on the form.

If you are applying for Maternity Allowance and paying your National Insurance Bill in installments due to COVID, you have to approach HMRC otherwise you may get rejected.

you can contact HMRC Online or by phone on 0300 200 3310, or by post: Self Assessment, HM Revenue & Customs, BX91A.

You must provide the following information:

  • proof of income
  • child’s due date proof
  • Your SMP1 form if you were denied SMP by your employer

You should state your claim here within 20 working days of applying.

If you are not successful but believe you are entitled, you can challenge the decision.

Other support for soon-to-be moms

You may also be eligible for the SureStart Maternity Grant, which offers soon-to-be parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland Lump sum advance of £500.

You can get prescription and dental treatments for free while you’re pregnant and for up to 12 months after your baby’s due date.

Ask your doctor or midwife for a Maternity Exemption Certificate (MATEX) to claim free care.

below healthy start If you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four and you’re on certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, you may be entitled to free milk, infant formula, or fruits and vegetables.

and here are 16 free gifts for moms-to-be, including moms and nappiesBaby wipes and Lego magazines.

The frugal mother showcases Aldi’s giant run that will feed the family for weeks – but is doomed to ‘unhealthy’ snacks

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