Having children is expensive.
Fortunately, some parents can get a maternity grant from the government – no strings attached– to help them with the costs of having a new family member.
But how long does a maternity grant take, and how to apply for a maternity grant?
Let’s find out.
A Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment introduced to help people on benefits cover the initial costs of maternity and infant products.
The Sure Start Grant is tax-free and doesn’t have to be repaid. Since it doesn’t count as income, the grant will not affect your other benefits or tax credits, but you’ll have to meet certain conditions to qualify for it.
In most cases, you can get a Maternity Sure Start Grant if you’re having a child for the first time and you or your partner (regardless of whether you’re married or in a civil partnership) are on at least one of the following benefits:
Note: If you’re just applying for Universal Credit, you might be able to backdate your claim.
You could also apply for SSMG if you’re adopting or becoming a first-time surrogate parent and you’re on (the abovementioned) benefits. In this case, you can get financial help if one of the following applies:
You can get a maternity grant as long as you’re claiming at least one of the benefits listed above. You also might be eligible for CTC after the baby is born. In that case, you can apply for the SSMG then.
You may be interested in: How to get a loan while on benefits?
If you do not have children, a Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500.
If you already have or care for a child that’s younger than 16, you can only get a grant if you are expecting multiple births, in which case you’ll get:
|If you have children under 16||Amount for twins||Amount for triplets (or more)|
|None are from multiple births||£500||£1,000|
|If you already have twins||£0||£500|
|If you already have triplets||£0||£0|
Applying for a maternity grant can be done before or after childbirth.
The earliest you can make a claim is 11 weeks before the baby is due. Once the newborn is here, you’ll have six months to apply for the grant.
If you’re adopting or becoming a surrogate parent, the baby must be younger than 1 year when you make the claim to be eligible for the grant.
To apply for a maternity grant:
Parents that aren’t sure whether they can apply can call the Sure Start Maternity Grant helpline at 0800 169 0140.
It usually takes between 7-10 working days to get the maternity £500 grant transferred into your bank account.
You will first get a message from the SSMG confirming that you are eligible for the claim. They will contact you if they need any additional information to complete the application process and the transaction.
Note: If you’re on Universal Credit, you will get the pregnancy grant decision after the next payment.
First-time parents that are on benefits can get a maternity grant from the government. The maternity grant is designed to provide financial help to parents on benefits who aren’t taking care of any kids or are expecting multiple births.
If you’re eligible, you can apply before or after the baby is born (as long as you meet the deadline). Once the grant is approved, you’ll receive the money in your bank account in up to 10 days.
You do not need to pay the SSMG back.
The grant does not affect Universal Credit, and you can claim Universal Credit while you’re on your maternity leave. You may receive less if you apply for a maternity allowance.
If you have questions about the SSMG grant, you can call the Sure Start Maternity Grant helpline.
Some of the benefits that you can claim while pregnant are free NHS dental treatment, antenatal care, Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay, Maternity Allowance, Child Benefits, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit, among others.
You should report your pregnancy to Universal Credit once you reach 20 weeks. You can be on Universal Credit while pregnant.
It can take anywhere between 7 and 10 days, and sometimes more, for the government to send the money into your bank account.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.