How to claim a one-off payment of £500 to help with baby costs

Being pregnant is an exciting time – and the last thing you want is to be worrying about money.

But there’s good news for many parents who may be eligible for a £500 grant from the Government to support them with baby expenses in the first few months of their newborn’s arrival.

The Sure Start Maternity Grant offers soon-to-be parents expecting twins or triplets in England and Wales a one-off upfront sum of £500 – or a £600 though the Pregnancy and Baby Payment in Scotland.

You usually qualify for the grant if you’re about to have your first child and are expecting a multiple birth (such as twins) and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element

  • Universal Credit

  • A Support for Mortgage Interest loan

However if it’s not your first child, you may still qualify if:

  • You’re expecting a multiple birth (such as twins)

  • The child you’re caring for is someone else’s (but not your partner’s) and the child was over 12 months old when the arrangement started.

What about those adopting a baby?

You may also be able to get a grant if you’re adopting a child or are becoming a surrogate parent.

The baby must be less than 12 months old on the date you claim, you must be receiving one of the benefits above and one of the following must also apply:

  • You’ve become responsible for the baby and you’re not the mother

  • The baby has been placed with you for adoption

  • You’ve got permission to adopt a baby from abroad

  • You’ve got a parental order for a surrogate birth

  • You’ve been appointed as guardian

  • You’ve an adoption or a residence order

How much can I claim?

This depends on how many children you are expecting, if:

  • You already have 1 or more children under 16 (and none of them are from multiple births) you can get £500 for twins or £1,000 for triplets.

  • You’ve already had twins you can get £500 if you have triplets.

If you’re becoming responsible for a child, you must claim the grant within 6 months of this happening.

Otherwise, the grant must be claimed within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby’s birth.

It will be paid straight in to your bank account and it will not affect your other benefits or tax credits.

Read More

Your maternity rights

  • Shared Parental Leave explained
  • 8 important workplace rights for mums
  • Can your boss sack you?
  • What happens if the baby’s born early 
  • Maternity Allowance explained
  • Mums missing out on pension
  • Statutory Maternity Pay explained
  • Shocking excuses employers use on mums

How to claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant

Print out and fill in the Sure Start Maternity Grant (SF100) claim form. A health professional (such as a doctor or midwife) must also sign your claim form.

Post it to “Freepost DWP SSMG” – you do not need a postcode or stamp.

You can also take the form to your local Jobcentre Plus, but it can take longer to process.

If you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.

More financial support for parents

Here is some more financial support available during and after pregnancy:

  • You’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment if you’re pregnant when you start your treatment. To get free NHS dental treatment, you must have a MATB1 certificate issued by your midwife or GP and a valid prescription maternity exemption certificate (MatEx).

  • You’re also entitled to free NHS dental treatment for 12 months after your baby is born. To prove your entitlement, you will need to show a valid maternity exemption certificate, a notification of birth form (your midwife will give you this form) and your baby’s birth certificate.

  • Eligible employees can also take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. The first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’ and the last 26 weeks as ‘Additional Maternity Leave’. The first 6 weeks is paid at 90% of average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax while the remaining 33 weeks is £145.18 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower). These are the rules for those claiming Shared Parental Leave instead.

  • If your child is below the age of 18 and you don’t live with another adult, you can also apply for 25% off your council tax.

  • All parents can claim Child Benefit. This is a state subsidy of £20.30 a week for your first child and £13.40 a week for subsequent children.

  • The Healthy Start scheme supports parents with food vouchers. You qualify if you’re 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four and get income support or another benefit. Payment vouchers start from £3.10 a week.

  • If you’re on a low income, you may be able to claim income support, jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), or housing benefit – which can help with rent. Here’s a guide to benefits.

  • If you’ve a three or four year old child, you can register for the government’s 30 hours free childcare scheme on top.

  • The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs for parents still in education. It’s £160 per child per week if you live outside London or £175 per child per week if you live in London. All payments will go directly to your childcare provider.

  • As well as the above, there are also water bill discounts, free prescriptions, free school travel (and uniform relief) and energy bill discounts that you can claim.

Read More

Financial support for parents

  • Grandparents Credit
  • Tax-free Childcare
  • 30 Hours Free Childcare
  • Paternity Pay
  • Workplace rights for parents
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Shared Parental Leave

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