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MA queries/ advice

(3 Posts)
KikiRC Fri 19-Aug-11 17:34:24

I didn't realise this Freelancing page even existed- fantastic! Will be visiting regularly, I'm sure.

Sorry if this has already come up. I have a couple of queries, really.

I'm self-employed and do a few different types of work under this, all in the same field. My main work (i.e. the work I make the most money from) is project-based and happens at specific times of the year, mainly from around May- October. The rest of the year I supplement this with other smaller bits of work.

My baby is due in March 2012, and my current big project will be done & dusted in about mid-late October this year. Realistically although I'll get a few bits of work over autumn/ winter, it will be p/t and sporadic.

I won't be able to do the big, better-paid stuff next year, because I'll be on MA.

MA is great, but won't even cover my share of the mortgage! So I need to work as hard as I can, and earn as much as I can before the baby comes and MA starts.

Realistically, I think I should take up a temporary p/t job, because my freelance work simply won't earn me enough to save anything up. But if I took a temporary retail job etc, say a couple of days a week- would this mean I would no longer qualify for MA, as I'd be on a proper salary?

The other option is I could spend autumn/ winter making up a lot of stock (I sell some things through shops/ galleries etc.) But this would mean I'd have money trickling into my account all through my maternity leave, even though I wouldn't technically be 'working' during that period. Does anyone have any experience of this, and if it's 'allowed'- i.e. if delivery notes etc clearly show that work was sent to stockists before the MA time began?

Sorry this has ended up being a long one! X

mranchovy Fri 19-Aug-11 22:37:57

If you qualify for SMP you can't get MA. But to qualify for SMP you have to be working for the same employer for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before your due date (ie at least a week before conception).

So starting a part time job now would be fine.

The law says you may not get MA if you do any work (other than up to 10 'keeping in touch' days) - it doesn't say anything about receiving income. So if DWP investigate your situation (why should they?) and look at your bank account, you need to be able to explain how you have been receiving income without doing any work. It sounds like you can explain this, so go ahead and do that too!

Finally, make sure your Class 2 NI contributions are up to date, as you need 26 weeks of these to qualify for MA.

Good luck with getting enough in the bank to see you through, and of course with the pregnancy smile

KikiRC Sat 20-Aug-11 15:00:00

Thanks, Mranchovy, this is all great news. Means I just need to get grafting now, then!


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