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Maternity Allowance - awkward employment status

(14 Posts)
SeatOfMyPants Sun 02-Jul-17 22:07:06

Just wondered whether anyone else has experienced this. Im panicking because I think I fall through the cracks here and I won't get anything. Am very screwed if that happens.

I am self employed - have been for several years, with a low income.
I have also taken on short term PAYE contracts at the same time.

I fulfil the criteria for MA, but only through my employee work: it's my paye (short term contracts) jobs that qualified me for the weeks worked and NI earnings needed for MA. Because I've been getting my income from those I haven't earned anything substantial from SE this year.

But I had to resign from that job (my latest short term contract) because of severe sickness (pregnancy related) which meant I couldn't do the commute.

So, I have been without a job since April, but since working (tying to work) on self employed stuff whilst living off savings. I have not registered as unemployed, but neither have I earned money from my self employed status (partly because i was still very ill for a while) and now I have to go out and find myself se work whilst being pregnant, which isn't the easiest to do in my field.

MA is not available for the unemployed. But there is something on he gov website saying that you may be eligible if you've recently left your job.

I am envisaging a real headache trying to communicate my odd employment status here. Anyone out there with similar issues?

peachgreen Sun 02-Jul-17 22:18:47

When are you due? Do you pay National Insurance through your self employment?

SeatOfMyPants Sun 02-Jul-17 22:27:58

October (22nd)

And no I have a Small earnings exemption and I haven't earned anything this year to speak of from SE because I've been focusing on the short term contracts as my main income. I have been paying NI through those of course.

SeatOfMyPants Sun 02-Jul-17 22:29:01

And whilst I'm working on my SE at the moment, I'm not earning anything yet.

OhFuds Sun 02-Jul-17 22:32:21

Have you kept all your payslips from when you were employed? You should be entitled to MA if you have paid NI even tho you are no longer employed, I know my friend was even tho it had been a few months since she had stopped working.

I claimed MA 3 times and the people on the helplines are very helpful.

peachgreen Sun 02-Jul-17 22:38:31

I think this is the relevant bit in that case - your SE won't count as you don't pay Class 2 NI:

In the 66 weeks before your baby’s due, you must also have been:
•employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks
•earning (or classed as earning) £30 a week or more in at least 13 weeks - the weeks don’t have to be together

So as long as you were employed for 26 weeks over the past year and a bit, and earned £30 a week for at least 13 of those, you should be eligible

peachgreen Sun 02-Jul-17 22:39:25

I think this is the relevant bit in that case - your SE won't count as you don't pay Class 2 NI:

In the 66 weeks before your baby’s due, you must also have been:
employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks
earning (or classed as earning) £30 a week or more in at least 13 weeks - the weeks don’t have to be together

So as long as you were employed for 26 weeks over the past year and a bit, and earned £30 a week for at least 13 of those, you should be eligible

SeatOfMyPants Sun 02-Jul-17 22:41:10

Yes! I do.

I'll phone the helpline. Really worried about it, so best get an answer. I'm just concerned that my situation is a bit too complex than usual and I'll be given wrong info because of that. But I guess I can try. Which helplines did you call?

KCpip Sun 02-Jul-17 22:59:53

This is similar to the situation I was in in my last pregnancy. You might find your employment qualifies you for MA even though you are now only classed as SE. Sorry I can't remember the number but agree there are some MA claim lines where the staff are pretty helpful. I was pleasantly surprised as I expected lots of red tape trying to speak with them about my situation but they are totally used to lots of different circumstances and it's worth speaking to them. Good luck!

desperatelyseekingcaffeine Sun 02-Jul-17 23:04:23

Call the helpline and ask. As poster above said they are amazingly helpful. I had to claim MA this time despite being continuously employed by nhs for over a decade. We have an odd system where rotating around to a different hospital at the wrong time pre pregnancy makes you ineligible for smp. I had to call as I hadn't realised and was making a late claim and they were really good.

Titchypanda Mon 03-Jul-17 12:32:33

I had my baby at 25 weeks. I hadn't had enough weeks to qualify for Smp ( found out I was pregnant 2 weeks after starting new job) but did for MA from past 2 years.

The helpline was useless and had no idea. They just sent me a form. I filled it in and got a message saying it had been awarded and back dated to when baby was born. I still don't know how long it is awarded for, so not sure when I have to go back to work.

SeatOfMyPants Mon 03-Jul-17 13:41:54

Called the helpline. The number you find through google is the 'can I send you a form' jobcentre plus number, but they also passed me the advice and guidance line for the people who actually make the decisions. That was 03456088610.
yes, I am eligible for the full rate and there shouldn't be a problem that my status currently isn't clear cut. Many thanks to you who shared advice.
Hope you're doing ok titchypanda - 25 weeks must have been scary!

Titchypanda Mon 03-Jul-17 14:08:23

Thanks seatofmypants! We're all fine. There's a massive long post on here called help emergency caesarean at 25w which chronicles our whole journey. If you skip to last page I've just updated it smile

beccii161016 Tue 04-Jul-17 01:12:22

You'll be eligible for it providing you've been employed recently, even if you aren't any longer. It will work the same way as it does if you're employed when claiming MA. You'll send 12 weeks worth of your last payslips off and they'll work out your average weekly wage. You'll get 90% of whatever that amount was a week. Unless it comes to over £140 week in which case you will only get £140 because that's the maximum cap.

You won't be eligible through your self employment but seen as you say you've been employed recently that won't even matter

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