A Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 paid to families on a low income to help with the costs of a new baby. You do not have to repay it, it is not affected by any savings you may have and it does not affect other benefits you receive.
You will only be able to apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant for your first baby unless:
* you are expecting twins or a multiple birth - you will receive £500 for each baby
* you are expecting twins or a multiple birth and already have a child under 16 - you will receive £500 for one of the twins or £500 x 2 if expecting triplets
* you are claiming on behalf of an under 16 year old as their parent/carer (or 20 if they are in f/t further education)
Who can apply?
You can get a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you or your partner receives any of the following:
* Income Support;
* Income based Jobseekers Allowance;
* Income related Employment and Support allowance;
* Child Tax Credit at a higher rate than the family element.
* Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award.
When to apply
You can apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant from week 29 of your pregnancy or up to 3 months after your baby is born. YOU CANNOT APPLY AFTER THIS TIME. If you or your partner are working you may need to wait until after your baby is born to know whether you can claim Child Tax Credit at a higher rate than the family element and therefore be eligible. You may like to phone the ask helpline to help you calculate if this is going to be the case so you can have everything ready for your application before your baby is born.
You may also find you can get a higher Tax Credit award and therefore become eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant by having your Tax Credit award based on your income in the current tax year rather than the previous tax year. For more information about this see our Tax Credit pages or phone the ask helpline 08457 858072
How to apply
You can collect a Sure Start Maternity Grant form from your local Jobcentre Plus or download one from www.direct.gov.uk or phone Jobcentre Plus Social Fund on 0845 603 6967. (Or from your Local Sure Start Midwife) This form can be returned to Jobcentre Plus or posted to Wembley Benefit Delivery Centre, P.O. Box 110, London SW95 9EA. We would recommend that you always photocopy forms before sending them and send them by recorded delivery.
Please Note: If your baby is nearly 3 months and you are still waiting to hear about your Tax Credit award you may need to apply for your Sure Start Maternity Grant and tick the box which states you are waiting to hear about your Tax Credits; you will then be given extra time to prove your eligibility.
If you are not sure if you might be entitled to a Sure Start Maternity Grant please phone the ask helpline on 08457 585072 and speak to an Information Worker.
If you want to track the progress of your Sure Start Maternity Grant application phone Jobcentre Plus Social Fund 0845 603 6967.