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Maternity Allowance if Self-employed

(66 Posts)
Morningnewspaper Tue 01-Aug-06 22:48:23

Does anyone know about maternity allowance if you're self-employed and has anyone been through the process? How do you do it and how much do you get and for how long? Obviously I can't apply for stautory maternity pay from my employer...

freddysays Wed 02-Aug-06 13:24:51

Hi there
you can apply through your local job centre.It involves a bit of fomr filling and ou need your midwife to stamp your form but other than that it can be quite straight forward.

I actually phoned my jobcentre and tehy kindly posted me a form, which saved going in which was a blessing because they are normally grim places to be spending any length of time.

With my first son it was really straight forward and I got my money into my account each week from the correct dates. THis time my forms went arry and I have only started to recieve payment but its been backdated so its not so bad.

I amself employed and really the information they require is limited so really I advise you to get in touch and get your claim in...

lummox Wed 02-Aug-06 13:27:21

Hi there. I'm pretty sure you can get the form online now - I'll have a quick google.

You get about £106 per week for 26 weeks (unless you return to work before that).

The form itself is incredibly annoying. I did a thread about it, which I will also try to find.

lummox Wed 02-Aug-06 13:45:19

Here's the link to getting the form and info about MA online:

site with downloadable MA1 form

lummox Wed 02-Aug-06 13:47:07

and here's my steam coming out of my ears whilst trying to fill out maternity allowance application form thread

Morningnewspaper Thu 03-Aug-06 09:14:55

lummox you are right I did post twice! I forgot to look here, so thank you both so much for your help - very helpful indeed. I am 22 weeks at the mo so will crack on with it when 28 weeks. Did you both abstain from all work for 26 weeks or did you end up doing a bit?

lummox Thu 03-Aug-06 17:04:09

I had to do two days work about three months after ds was born, and being a paranoid type I rang the local social security office to tell them. They said that this meant that I forfeited my right to any further MA even though I was only going to do those two days and not do any more work.

I really had no choice about doing the work, so I had to choose betweem doing the work and not charging for it, which would have looked really odd, or losing out on three months money. I decided to stop claiming MA.

What has annoyed me since is that I now think that they were wrong to say that I lost my whole claim if I did any work. Won't bore you with why unless you're interested (it involves statutory instruments, so unless you have an insomnia problem.....).

Morningnewspaper Thu 03-Aug-06 17:17:46

It really amazes me - there's you being honest and then it all blows up in your face. I am interested in the whys and wherefores of why they were wrong - if you have the time and inclination to fill me in! I wonder what would have happened if you hadn't informed them.....

lummox Thu 03-Aug-06 17:35:20

Well, you did ask........

The relevant statutory instrument is The Social Security (Maternity Allowance) Regulations 1987

The relevant section says:

Disqualification for the receipt of a maternity allowance
2.—(1) A woman shall be disqualified for receiving a maternity allowance if —

(a) during the maternity allowance period she does any work in employment as an employed or self-employed earner, and the disqualification shall be for such part of the maternity allowance period (but for not less than the number of days on which she so worked) as may be reasonable in the circumstances;

So it seems to me that you definitely cannot receive MA for the period you actually work (which is fair enough). But your disqualification is only for a period that is "reasonable in all the circumstances".

In my case I lost three months of MA for doing two days of work, which seems to me longer than a reasonable period.

On the question of whether anyone would have found out, I guess it would depend on how you do your invoicing/ handle your tax and stuff. There would be some risk of being found out, but it might be quite low. On the other hand, the effect of being found out could be quite serious if it was thought that you had done it deliberately.dishonestly. For me, just after I had had ds I wasn't really in a mood to take any sort of risks, or add to my stress level. I think I will do the same with my next mat leave which will start in January, but hope that I won't have to do any work in the first six months.

Bit of an essay - sorry.

spinach Fri 04-Aug-06 18:57:07

I'm getting incapacity benefit at the moment because i cant work for pregnancy complications... can i claim MA too? or anything else? I'm self employed. Incapacity is only £52 per week, so MA would be nicer!

aitch71 Fri 04-Aug-06 22:14:11

hmmmm, i think what a lot of people do is make sure that they don't put any invoices out until the 26 weeks is up. not that i did that of course, oh no...

the form is a bit of a fiddle, so i downloaded it and phoned the lovely lady at our local dole shop and we completed it over the phone so that i knew everything would be fine about it going through. didn't get round to it until after the baby was born, though, i am most impressed at your administrative skills.

Morningnewspaper Sun 06-Aug-06 11:16:47

Thanks again Lummox - they do sound like they got it wrong in your case! I would definitely contest it if they do that again - it just doesn't seem right. How frustrating!

Spinach - I believe that you can claim MA from 28 weeks PG if you are eligible for MA in the first place - does that help???

Aitch -

liquidclocks Sun 06-Aug-06 12:08:48

Spinach - it depends on your work history before you had to stop. The website says:

You must have been employed by your employer in the 15th week before the week your baby is due.

To get SMP you must have been:

* Employed by the same employer without a break for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the week your baby is due. Part weeks count as full weeks.
* Earning before tax an average of £84.00 a week. This is called the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions (NI) and is the amount you have to earn to qualify for benefits. You have to earn more than this amount before you actually start paying NI.

I got it having done only the minimum time with my employer before having to give up for pg health reasons, but I didn't claim incapacity benefit in between finishing work and SMP starting. Hope that helps.

libertygirl Wed 23-Jul-08 13:36:04


I've just stumbled across this thread whilst in google.

I'm 26 weeks pregnant, self-employed but not in profit. (only been going a year) It turns out that due to my trying to earn money I've penalised myself.

I just phoned up to see if I'm entitled to anything and it appears not. She said if I'd been in profit I would get 90% of it or £117 (whichevers least). Well 90% of 0 is 0 so thats that.

It seems that I should have just tried to earn money without informing them and I would be raking it in.

As has been proved by a previous poster...honesty doesn't pay.

And they wonder why half the country is not trying to get work.

I wish I'd just got a regular paying job now as my pregnant friend tells me that she will get over a £100 for 39 weeks because she did a 9-5 job rather than going down the self-employed route.

I'm just dreading telling my husband as I feel I've let him down (I'm sure he won't see it like that...I blame it on hormones!)

It appears maternity leave won't be happening like I planned. Just going to have to juggle baby and work to get us through the credit crunch.

Thanks for listening, I feel better getting that off my chest!

cupcake76 Wed 23-Jul-08 14:06:13

Message withdrawn

cupcake76 Wed 23-Jul-08 14:09:57

Message withdrawn

Jane7 Wed 23-Jul-08 17:42:20

this thread has really interested me. i'm a freelance writer and i'm planning to keep writing, even if it's just a little bit, when baby is born. my mother is convinced that i should still get some kind of maternity pay, but i think not.
does anyone know the answer?
i'm planning to take at least a month when i do nothing, then after that, i'm planning to do a day or so a week. i guess that rules me out for any kind of maternity allowance?

Pontypine Wed 23-Jul-08 19:22:52

I am self employed and have just sent mine off. You can send it off about a month before you get it - i won't get mine until end of august but i can claim from 20th july.

If you go to the job centre plus website you can download the form (only about 20 of the 30 pages need printing) and on there are all the relevant dates.

You get it for 39 weeks now and it is £117 a week or 90% of you GROSS earnings (i.e what you earnt before you fiddled through all of the postage for stuff you've flogged on ebay and the new laptop you've treated yourself to to get your profit down for tax reasons - can you tell i'm a book keeper!!)

If your SE earnings are low, do you mind me asking what tax credit you get? if you get working tax with disability element of child tax at the higher family rate - due to being on low income (i.e working 16hrs or more a week but not actually earning much profit and having to use childcare) you can also claim the Surestart maternity grant of £500 but that is 11 weeks before baby is due!

All this money is fab isn't it - i am going to save mine up for some fab new jeans and the HIGHEST HEELS i can find when i have had my DS - obviously i will not be earning any money at all during my maternity leave *cough cough*

hope that helps!

waitinggirl Thu 24-Jul-08 09:22:26

oh, this thread is so useful - thank you.

am s/e, but have been doing an MA for since October and have barely worked - only earned about £350 since then. anyone know if i am still entitled. am still paying my NI contributions etc.

will try and look at these forms.

am only 18 weeks, so no rush, and will probaby wait a while, but thank you thank you for all the info.

pleasecutmygrass Thu 24-Jul-08 10:46:03

This has to be the single most useful thing I have ever learned on mumsnet!!!!! Do you think it applies in Scotland? {{{please say yes, please say yes, please say yes!!}}}.

RIBS Thu 24-Jul-08 11:19:12

Ive found it a total nightmare!! I was passed from pillar to post - no one seemed to know whether I was entitled, as I would still be taking drawings and I will have to occasionally go into work for appointments etc. I sent my application off over 2 months ago and still have no idea. I would recommend you send your application in asap as I was advised they are only just dealing with applications from May.
I've found both the job centre and Inland rvenue to be clueless about this. The form may as well be in another language as well!!
Good luck!!

kezabuckley Tue 12-Aug-08 22:50:29


i was wondering if anyone nows the answer to this

i work part time paye

and then part time self emplyed and earn roughly the same in each

I am confused to what i will be entiltled to

is it 90 % of what i earn in both jobs for 6 mnths or just 90 % of what i earn in my paye and then get nothing from my self employment

Teuch Tue 19-Aug-08 11:46:07

Kez - I am currently trying to get that very same answer!

I don't pay NI through my PAYE as I am just over the Lower Earnings Threshold, but the guidance is woolly ("if employee pays, or would pay if it were not for their level of earnings"!) - I don't know if I 'would' or not.

However, I think that eligibility for SMP excludes you from Maternity ALlowance so it will probably be 90% of PAYE earnings only.

ellideb Tue 19-Aug-08 11:59:07

Sorry to say but I have also found them a complete nightmare. I didn't start my maternity leave until 4th august and twice now they have tried to pay me from the 29th June (I was still working then) so twice I have had to phone them up, which is in itself a task because you don't often get put on hold if there is no one to take your call, you are just told to phone back later and they cut you off which I am sure costs more angry, anyway, becasue they have to keep recalling these payments I'm still waiting to be paid. No-one has apologised for the hassle and I'm just hoping I get some source of income before my baby is born. angry angry angry arseholes.

tizzlepops Wed 27-Aug-08 17:19:48

Hi Girls,

I'm self employed too and been trying desperately to find some help filling out this bl**dy form! I'm due at the beginning of december so hoping that will give me long enough to get my claim and some mat allowance before the baby turns 18!!!

Does anyone know if:

1. you need to 'un' register as self-employed to claim the allowance

2. you just give any weeks for the 13 weeks or is it best to give 13 weeks where you have earnt most? I got the impression that as long as you are paying class 2 NI contributions you should get the full whack of mat allowance?

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