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Maternity Allowance queries

(6 Posts)
KikiRC Fri 19-Aug-11 14:11:29

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!

iskra Fri 19-Aug-11 15:09:43

Hmm... I don't know. But I don't think that if you took a short term temp job, it would make any difference to your entitlement to MA. Since you would be seeking a job while pregnant, you wouldn't be entitled to any mat pay from your employers, & would still be expected to claim MA. I think.

Might be worth posting in Employment?

KikiRC Fri 19-Aug-11 17:31:33

Good idea, I didn't realise there was an Employment section. Will do. Thanks.

Cattleprod Fri 19-Aug-11 19:38:20

I don't know about the employed/self employed question, but I'm similar to you in that I make things for shops and galleries. You can work for 10 days during your mat leave, called KIT days, and any other odd days you work in addition are subtracted from your MA pro-rata (although they didn't check last time). This is just about you working though, and doesn't mean that your business can't function or make money for you.

Cattleprod Fri 19-Aug-11 19:40:31

I have a question about MA too though - I just filled in my form, and had to declare that I received child benefit for DS. Will this mean I receive a reduced amount of MA?

StainlessSteelCat Fri 19-Aug-11 20:01:45

Oh buggeration. Just posted off my MA claim and didn't see the bit about CB. That'll be another hour of my life lost on the phone next week to sort that out [daftbuggersmiley].

However, I'm pretty certain it doesn't count against MA - I don't remember it affecting the MA I received for DC2.

As I understand MA, you just need to have earned enough in your qualifying weeks (see notes on MA form) and not be eligible for SMP. If you start being an employee after you become pregnant you won't qualify for SMP, but you still claim SMP from that employer then send off the form they send back with your MA application. Any earnings (up to about 30 weeks pregnant) can be used to show you have earned enough in your qualifying weeks.

KIT days can be used - as cattleprod said, up to 10. Payment for work done prior to mat leave won't count against you MA. Don't forget to claim child tax credits ASAP (they don't back date very far) that'll help make up some of the shortfall.

Some useful links :

General guides to maternity benefits

Downloadable form for MA application - and notes

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