To recommend all sahms who might have another baby register as self employed...

(158 Posts)
sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:19:31

...and pay their class 2 national insurance contributions?

If you register, and pay your NI you're entitled to the full amount of maternity allowance (£137 a week for 9 months) it doesn't matter how much, if anything, you earn. The NI contributions are less than £2 a week. If you pay them for 2 years you'll get the full amount back within a couple of weeks of MA.
So register, sell a couple of bits on test or similar, do a tax return once a year (very simple if you're not earning much) and then claim MA.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:20:10

Etsy, not test!

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 15-Oct-13 15:23:33

sneaky

GinGinGin Tue 15-Oct-13 15:27:00

Is this actually legal?

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:27:59

Completely.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:29:17

Plenty of self employed people make very little money, and for MA it's the NI contributions that count, not how much you earn/how much income tax you pay.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:31:56

"If you
-are registered as self-employed, and
-have paid class 2 NI contributions, and
-do not hold a small earnings exemption certificate
you will be treated as having enough weekly earnings to result in the standard rate of MA for any week covered by that Class 2 NI contribution"

Taken from the booklet that comes with the MA claim form.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 15-Oct-13 15:32:24

People have done this for years with tax credits, but you are not able when UC comes in. Even with tax credits though it wasn't just a simple tax return you had to prove you were running a business and if asked produce documentation.
With UC you have to work a min number of hours for a certain amount or lose your benefit. It is going to hit low income self emplyed very hard.
You can always volunteer to pay NI as a sahp anyway, I have always done this to protect my future pension. Just get in touch and sort out a dd.

wigglesrock Tue 15-Oct-13 15:33:44

When I claimed MA (almost 3 years ago), I had to provide 12 weeks of payslips within a certain period of weeks, so it could be calculated how much Maternity Allowance I was entitled. I got the full amount, but I was under the impression that an average of earnings was taken. Is it different if you have an employer?

gallopinghorse Tue 15-Oct-13 15:33:46

I am technically self employed as a partner in my dh business. So yes I am currently receiving ma

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:35:12

I don't claim tax credits. I just registered as SE and paid class 2 NI, I work freelance, but even if I'd only earnt £2 last tax year that wouldn't change my entitlement to MA.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:36:46

Yes it is different if you have an employer.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:38:28

I assume the paperwork to deal with calculating SE people's average incomes is just not worth doing, so they use NI contributions to judge it instead.

jacks365 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:39:37

It doesn't quite work like that I'm afraid. You do need to show an income to claim also the figure you quote is the maximum you can get but it's 90% of income up to £136.78 so say you have an average income over the qualifying period of £100 you would only get £90. If your average is below £30 you do not qualify at all.

LittleRobots Tue 15-Oct-13 15:39:48

MOre than - I thought the NI was paid re: pension through us getting child benefit? (Obviously not wrt MA).

Sneaky - wish I'd thought of it!

jacks365 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:41:26
sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:41:42

That is true for those who are employed jack, but not if you are SE.
I am entitled to the full amount of MA because I have paid my class 2 NI. I have not been asked for any proof of income.

sebsmummy1 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:41:58

This is very very interesting to me. As wigglesrock said, when I had to claim MA last year because I hadn't been with my new employer the right amount of time to get SMP I had to send in payslips and the amount I received from MA was dependant on how much I had earnt. Before that I had been self employed for a decade and had always filled out my self assessment tax return and paid my NI.

I assumed you would have to prove you had worked a certain amount of hours or made a certain amount of money to be able to claim in a similar way to when I was employed.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:44:24

If you are SE and pay full class twos you are entitled to the full MA. If you are self employed and hold a small earnings exemption certificate you are assumed to have earnt £30 a week and so get 90% of that.
There is no inbetween if you are SE.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:46:34

I thought the same sebs mummy and was dreading sorting out the paperwork to prove my earnings.
All I actually had to do was tick the box saying I'm SE and paying class twos, I assume they then check you're up to date with payments and that's that.

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 15:47:47

It's a proper loophole which sahms could easily and totally legally exploit.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 15-Oct-13 15:49:27

shocking that loopholes like this exist. if you choose not to work you forsake your entitlement to the things to help those that do.

jacks365 Tue 15-Oct-13 15:50:34

https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility
If you check this link it clearly states you need to be paying class 2 plus have the required income for self employment.

OrangeOpalFruit Tue 15-Oct-13 15:50:59

I know of a couple of friends who have been able to claim 2 lots of SMP simultaneously because they worked 2 part time jobs and paid NI on both. I'm employed part time and pay NI, but I have the chance to do some self employed work as well. If I took this on and paid NI on those earnings I wonder if I could claim 2 x SMP too. Would be well worth doing if so.

Reality Tue 15-Oct-13 15:51:29

No, I recently claimed MA as I was self employed and I had to have earned more than 126 quid or whatever it is in the qualifying weeks.

You are misinformed.

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