I'm not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. Are there any other benefits I'm entitled to instead?

If you are not entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you may quality for Maternity Allowance (MA). If you are not sure, you should seek advice from your local Jobcentre Plus office or Citizens Advice about your eligibility.

You can get MA if:

  • you have changed jobs during pregnancy so have not met the qualifying period for SMP; or
  • you do not earn enough to qualify for SMP; or
  • you are unemployed or self-employed during your pregnancy.

There are three types of Maternity Allowance:

  • Some women who cannot meet the eligibility criteria for SMP will qualify for Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks at £145.18 a week (from April 2018), or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is less.
  • Some self-employed women who haven’t paid enough Class 2 National Insurance to get the full rate will get £27 a week for 39 weeks. You must meet all the other eligibility criteria for Maternity Allowance to get this amount.
  • Some women who are not employed or self-employed and who don't qualify for Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks but who work unpaid in their partner’s business may qualify for Maternity Allowance for 14 weeks at £27 per week.

You may also qualify for Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.

Maternity Allowance can affect your entitlement to other benefits, although it won’t affect tax credits.

To check your entitlement to tax credits, you need to contact the Tax Credits Office of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A useful source of information is the Benefits webpage of the Citizens Advice website.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.