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Sure Start Maternity Grant

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help with the costs of having a new-born or adopted baby. You will 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.

1. What is a Sure Start Maternity Grant?

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help with the costs of having a new-born or adopted baby.

You will 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.

You can choose how to spend the grant money. You do not have to pay the grant back and it won’t affect your other benefits or tax credits.

To receive the maternity grant you or your partner must already be getting certain qualifying benefits on the day you claim the grant. You must also show that you have received advice from a health care professional.

You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby’s birth or if you have adopted a baby or had a child by a surrogate mother within the last six months.

In the case of adoption, guardianship and residence orders, the child must be under the age of 12 months at the date of claim.

A Sure Start Maternity Grant does not count as income when calculating your entitlement to other means-tested benefits.

In Scotland, the Pregnancy and Baby Grant has replaced the Sure Start Maternity Grant.  Read the MyGov.Scot guide to Pregnancy and Baby Grant for more information.

Applies to: England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Age rules: There are no specific age rules

Type of benefit: Means-tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: JobCentre Plus

 

Updated January 2019

 

2. Can I get a Sure Start Maternity Grant?

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 six months
•    You have a dependent child who is pregnant or has given birth in the last six 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.

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. (link opens in a new window)

 

Updated November 2018

3. How much Sure Start Maternity Grant will I get?

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500.

Benefit Cap

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is not included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive.

How will I be paid a Sure Start Maternity Grant?

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is paid directly into your bank account.

Sure Start Maternity Grant and other benefits

A Sure Start Maternity Grant does not count as income when calculating your entitlement to other means-tested benefits.

4. How do I claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant?

In England and Wales

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus Office for a claim form

Download a Sure Start Maternity Grant claim form from the Department for Work and Pensions website

In Northern Ireland

Contact your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office for a claim form

Print out and fill in a Sure Start Maternity Grant claim from the nidirect.gov.uk website.

What documents will I need to claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant?

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.

When will my Sure Start Maternity Grant claim begin?

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

 

Updated: March 2019

5. How do I challenge a Sure Start Maternity Grant decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your claim you can usually ask for it to be looked at again known as a 'mandatory reconsideration'. If you still disagree with the further decision you can then appeal to an independent tribunal.

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 our guide to challenging decisions which includes the different process for challenging decisions in Northern Ireland  Challenging Department of Work and Pensions Benefit Decisions