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anyone had decision about Maternity Allowance overturned? Help.....!

(13 Posts)
Trebuchet Wed 15-Oct-08 08:58:05

In the odd position of being self employed but pay class 1 nat's weird but I'm in the only profession that does this so subsequently no-ones ever heard of it at the benefits office.

2 years ago I applied for MA and had no probs, letter from accountant explained anomoly. This time I applied myself as accountant charged £500, and have been told I can't have it as

1 I am not self employed!? (I AM!!!!!)

2 I have not paid any class 2 NI (Coz I pay class 1)

I have tried explaining this over the phone but its a circular argument they say well you mustn't be self employed then if you pay class 1.

Anyway I have put all this in writing, sent copies of letters from accountant from last time and have pointed out thet under EXACTLY the same circumstances I got it before. All thats changed is that now one enormous centre deals with all applications rather than it being a local thing.

I am really worried though. It did not occur to me that I would not get it as had no probs before, and the only way I can afford to get all the stuff I need in is if I get this money. I haven't bought a thing yet, been waiting til I could afford it.

Anyway, can anyone help? Anyone been through anything similar?


flowerybeanbag Wed 15-Oct-08 09:34:55

Are you sure you're self-employed? Not by your own definition but by this?

You don't say why it is you pay class 1 not class 2, but if you're self employed and want to claim mat allowance you have to have paid class 2 as far as I am aware. And isn't class 1 only for employed people? Are you employed by your own company for example? If you have your own limited company and are a director of it you are an employee, could that be it?

Sorry, not an expert in NI rates or anything, that's just my basic understanding.

mumoverseas Wed 15-Oct-08 09:58:42

thats a really useful link flowery. Much easier than reading through lots of bumph about readymix concrete case! can never remember whether he was or wasn't!

flowerybeanbag Wed 15-Oct-08 11:45:02

It's good isn't it? V handy.

Um. He wasn't. I think. IIRC. Don't quote me on it.


Trebuchet Wed 15-Oct-08 19:08:47

Hi yes I am definitely self employed, I am an actress and we are apparently the only profession who pay class 1 NI while still being self employed. Can't understand why nobody queried it at all 2 years ago...

Trebuchet Wed 15-Oct-08 19:49:09


BetsyBoop Wed 15-Oct-08 20:06:28

if it helps this is the "decision maker's guide" (DMG) as used by DWP staff to decide on claims, you need Ch10 for MA.

It has been updated since your last claim & does now specifically say you must have paid Class 2 conts (obviously I don't know what it said before though)

there is an appeals process see here if you don't agree with the decision made, but they will refer to the DMG to ensure the original "decision maker" follows the rules for that benefit.

(I used to work for DWP when they were still DSS)

BetsyBoop Wed 15-Oct-08 20:07:42

sorry that should be vol10 ch62 (use tabs at top to navigate)

Trebuchet Thu 16-Oct-08 13:53:24

Thanks BetsyBoop

Bramshott Thu 16-Oct-08 13:58:07

Can Equity help? If it's a specific problem for actors, you'd think they might be able to advise?

flowerybeanbag Thu 16-Oct-08 15:20:49

Little update for this thread. Trebuchet CATted me about this. I asked if I could share what I said to her via email with the thread in case of interest or other people reading in similar situation so here goes -


'I did a quick search on HMRC website for regulations for entertainers. As far as I could tell from that, entertainers were traditionally considered by the DSS as generally working under 'contracts of service', therefore employed for tax purposes and therefore subject to class 1 NICs.

Then there was some case law exploring that in 2003, and the result was in fact entertainers should instead usually be classed as self-employed, and pay class 2 NICs. They introduced a scheme for entertainers who had paid class 1 NICs between 1998 and 2003 to get those refunded as they should in fact only have been paying class 2.

So as far as I can tell, entertainers are now generally considered as self-employed, and therefore should only pay class 2.

I'm not an expert as I said, this is not my field, but I would suggest investigating carefully the advice you've been given by your accountant. I would also suggest contacting HMRC for further specialist guidance, rather than trying to explain it to the benefits people.'


Happily, Trebuchet has been now in contact with a very helpful lady at HMRC in the tv industry unit (!) who has confirmed that she is self-employed and has been paying Class 1 contributions, and has given her the appropriate information to tell the benefits people.

Bramshott Thu 16-Oct-08 15:46:01

Great news FBB - well done! Glad that Trebuchet has it sorted out and that HMRC were helpful (which they can be, if you get the right person!)

Trebuchet Fri 17-Oct-08 21:13:10

This is it, I never even knew the tv industry unit existed!! She said there is no reason why I shouldn't get MA as there is this weird discretionary thing for actors but just have to hope the Jobcentre see it that way! Will keep you posted. Thanks for all the support and excellent advice x

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