The Sure Start Maternity Grant no longer applies if you live in Scotland but you may be eligible for the Best Start Grant instead.
Who is entitled to the Sure Start Maternity Grant?
Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help you with the costs of a new child. You usually only get it if you have no other children aged under 16. You can claim it from 11 weeks before a baby is due until six months after the birth, or six months after the adoption, residence or parental order if you are going to be responsible for a child under 12 months old (whether or not you have a stillbirth, or a live birth but the baby dies afterwards will not affect your entitlement). You can only get it if you are on a “qualifying benefit” which covers the date when you make your claim. The benefits are:
- Income Support.
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Child Tax Credit which includes a child element or a disabled child element.
- Working Tax Credit with a disability or severe disability element.
- Pension Credit.
- Universal Credit.
If you are not entitled to a qualifying award of Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit before your child arrives, it is worth checking whether you may become eligible after the birth (see Sure Start Maternity Grant if your income has gone down if you are currently claiming Tax Credits).
Strict time limits
You must also make the claim within the time limits. If you are not sure whether you are getting a qualifying benefit, you could claim anyway to make sure you are within the time limit. So make sure you claim within six months of your baby’s birth or adoption/parental order if you are not sure. You can find out how to make the claim on gov.uk.
What if I have other children?
You can usually only get a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you do not have other children aged under 16 in your family. However if:
- You have a multiple birth, you can claim for all your babies as long as you do not have other children under 16.
- You already have children because you are a kinship carer, foster carer or adoptive parent, you can still receive the Sure Start Maternity Grant for your own first-born child.
- You already have a child or children under 16 from separate pregnancies, but then have twins, you can get a Sure Start Maternity Grant in respect of the second twin (you would not get a grant if you already had twins under 16 in your family).
- You are claiming because the parent of the baby is under 20, you can get a grant even if you have other children under 16 (but not if the young parent already has children under 16 who live with you).
- The only child(ren) under 16 who live with you have a parent under 20 who is a member of your family, you can get a grant (for example if your youngest child is 17 and has a child, and you are pregnant).
If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.