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Sure Start Maternity Grant

Key information

A Sure Start Maternity Grant can help with the costs of a new-born or adopted baby.

You'll only get a maternity grant if the new baby is the only child under 16 in the household. There are special rules for multiple births.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: There are no specific age rules

Type of benefit: Means-tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: JobCentre Plus

 

Index

You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:

Who does it help?

You can apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you or your partner get:

You may also be able to get a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you get Child Tax Credit (at a rate higher than the family element) or Working Tax Credit (where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award).

If your income drops because you are taking time off to have a baby, it may be worth asking the Tax Credit office to reassess whether you qualify for Tax Credits based on your estimated income in the current year. You may then find you can get a Sure Start Maternity Grant.

If you don't qualify for one of these benefits because you're under 16 or in education, a family member could claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant for you if they get a qualifying benefit.

To qualify you will also need to have received the advice of a health professional on the health and welfare needs of your baby and fit one of the following criteria:

  • You or your partner is at least 29 weeks pregnant or has given birth to a child within the last three months
  • You have a dependent child who is pregnant or has given birth in the last three months. This might apply to you if you have a daughter for whom you are getting Child Benefit and she is pregnant
  • You are adopting a child aged 12 months or under (by being given an adoption order, having a child placed with you from an adoption agency in the UK or having adopted a child from overseas)
  • You have been given a residence or parental order for a child aged 12 months or under
  • You have been appointed as the guardian of a child aged 12 months or under
  • You are the father or other parent, not in a relationship with the mother and are solely responsible for a child aged 12 months or under.

Multiple births

The current rules have been extended to allow an extra Sure Start Maternity Grant to be paid in some circumstances when there is a multiple birth and there is already a child or children under the age of 16 in the family. This applies to claims made for babies born or adopted on or after 29 October 2012.

You may also be able to claim a Sure Start Maternity grant under these rules if your dependent already has a child or children and is expecting a multiple birth.

The amount you can get depends on whether the number of babies expected or born is more than the number of children already in the family.

See Sure Start Maternity Grants information on the Gov.UK website for more information (link opens in a new window)

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How much does it pay?

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500.

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How do I make a claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus Office (link opens in a new window) for a claim form

Download a Sure Start Maternity Grant claim form from the Department for Work and Pensions website (link opens in a new window)

In Northern Ireland

Contact your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office (link opens in a new window) for a claim form

Download a Sure Start Maternity Grant claim form from the NI Direct website (link opens in a new window)

You can claim from the eleventh week before the baby is due and up to three months after the baby is born. If you are adopting a child, the claim must be made within three months of the date of the adoption.

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What documents will I need?

You will need to provide evidence that you have received the advice of a health professional on the health and welfare needs of your baby. There is a certificate for this on the back of the claim form that you will need to get signed by a healthcare professional, for example:

  • A community or hospital midwife
  • A health visitor
  • Your doctor.

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Challenging a decision

If you disagree with the decision made on your claim you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

See the Sure Start Maternity Grants section in the Department for Work and Pensions Guide to the Social Fund (link opens in a new window) for more information.

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Last updated: 8 April 2013

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