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Maternity allowance - self employed

(17 Posts)
tootsieglitterballs Thu 28-Sep-17 12:28:06

I'm in the process of applying for maternity allowance as I'll be taking a break from my business for at least 3 months when baby comes.

I've filed my tax return for 2016/2017 and paid class 2 national insurance contributions for the 2016/2017 tax year (even though based on my first years profit I didn't need to)

In experience, will I need to make any further NI contributions to receive the full amount of MA? It's not an issue if I do need to, but I'd just like to budget it for it, just in case.

For the MA amount, it's my understanding that if I'm fully paid up with my NI contributions for the 'test period' I would be entitled to the full amount I.e £139 (I think it is) per week - have I understood this correctly?

Thanks for any help / advice / guidance!

meltingmarshmallows Fri 29-Sep-17 12:26:16

I'm in the same boat, applied and then was sent a letter saying I would get the lowest amount of MA but that they had contacted HMRC re: sorting out my NI contributions which wouldn't be due until Jan.

Paid that and am now awaiting my letter from MA to confirm I'm entitled to the normal amount.

I wouldn't have thought you'd have to pay more NI, as it only relates to the test period. So I think if you've paid that, you'll be sorted smile

tootsieglitterballs Fri 29-Sep-17 12:59:33

That's great to hear they are sorting it out @meltingmarshmallows .

I'm so behind in arranging it all... 32 weeks and haven't even got my matb1 form yet! Figured get all of my accounts sorted first and then cross that bridge!

In fairness to myself, I've been 'doing' my accounts since may, I just may have got ever so slightly distracted by falling pregnant, doing a massive house renovation project that it may have slipped my mind! But it's done now, NI paid up, and hopefully I'll get my form from my midwife over the next week or so, fingers crossed!

meltingmarshmallows Fri 29-Sep-17 13:07:49

Ah don't worry I am the same Weeks and not really on the ball with it!

I am having to wind down my business for several months too so there's enough to do with ensuring books are up to date for 17-18 so I don't forget anything ... You've done well with a renovation too haha!

You have done it the best way around with MA. They got back to me almost to the day of the twenty whatever working days they said. But as you've already sorted NI should just be a letter to say you're getting it & let them know when. It's been a bit of a faff having to go back and forth with them and HMRC.

KoolKoala07 Sat 30-Sep-17 23:42:34

Sorry to hijack the thread but when do you have to claim for maternity allowance? And what are the qualifying factors? Some self employed ladies I know weren't eligible for ma.

tootsieglitterballs Sun 01-Oct-17 08:44:26

I think you can put your claim in from 15 weeks before your due date (I've left it very late!)

You must have declared yourself as self employed (and filed a tax return) and national insurance contributions must be up to date (i.e. If you haven't paid any for the period of the test period, you will only get the minimum amount which I think is about £30 PW )

It's recommended that if you don't earn the amount to pay NI , you make voluntary class 2 payments instead.

InThisTogether Mon 02-Oct-17 22:14:27

Had a letter last Friday saying that I was entitled to the lower rate of £30-something.
I knew I qualified for the higher rate as my National Insurance contributions were up to date (albeit some of them made from employment rather than self-employed as I only registered in June).
I phoned the Self Employment helpline on Saturday morning and they said they were already in the process of amending it as HMRC needed to liase with Maternity Allowance dept but that I would get the higher amount and would get a letter confiming this shortly. Lo and behold I got my letter this morning confirming the £140 weekly amount. And I did a little dance! This was about 18 working days from application, they advised it would be 24.
Good luck OP!

mrsfandt Mon 02-Oct-17 22:29:10

Great to hear such a positive outcome for you @InThisTogether !

meltingmarshmallows Tue 03-Oct-17 00:34:13

I got my letter from HMRC a day after my last post here, confirming I had qualified for the full amount. Yay!

tootsieglitterballs Tue 03-Oct-17 08:00:42

Awesome results everyone! Fingers crossed... getting my matb1 form next week so I’ll get it all sent off then! Paperwork is all filled in ready to go 😊

KoolKoala07 Wed 04-Oct-17 23:11:09

Thank you. It can so confusing!

justtheonethen Thu 05-Oct-17 06:38:33

Sorry to hijack but I'm getting confused. I worked for 14 of the test period weeks as an employee on paye. I will be self employed for the rest of it.

I won't have filed a tax return but can make voluntary contributions. How do I make voluntary contributions? Do I wait until they tell me to? Will I not be eligible if I haven't done a tax return?

Also my midwife said I didn't need a matb1 to do it confused.

Sorry for hijack but I'm getting more and more confused!

tootsieglitterballs Thu 05-Oct-17 07:53:05

@justtheonethen I think as long as you were paying NI contributions then you could be ok... I however would call HMRC and have a chat with them, make any extra payments they need and then apply for MA. I’ll be 34 weeks by the time I send my form in, and turnaround, if you have paid NI contributions is about 4 weeks (nowt like cutting it fine!)

justtheonethen Thu 05-Oct-17 08:33:04

Thanks tootsie.

InThisTogether Thu 05-Oct-17 09:57:49

It's terrible to admit (baby brain!) but I spent so much time trying to work out how to pay my NI voluntary contributions that now I can't remember what I actually did to get the direct debit set up... it was more fiddly than usual asI hadn't yet filed a tax return.
I know in my case I needed them done by X date in order to qualify (as I had a period between employment and self employment of being a student and wasn't paying any in).
I'd phone HMRC and ask, although if I recall it was to do with the online system Government Gateway (a way to access your self assessments etc).

I feel managing to sort thus all out means being self employed with a tiny baby will be a walk in the park in comparison!

ElleMcElle Thu 05-Oct-17 14:10:41

Ugh. This is the bit of self-employment I really hate! I'm terrible at all this stuff. When is the "test period" that they look at? I'm 26 weeks and haven't done my tax return yet to get my NI paid - it's on my to do list, but not getting done!!

effiehabb Wed 18-Oct-17 12:03:18

I've been watching this thread with interest as I am in exactly same position as the op as in I've already paid my self assessment back in June to try and make this process easier rather than doing what I normally do and pay end of Jan! grin

I sent off my MA via recorded delivery on the 4th September, received text on the 6th, it pretty much took the entire 24 working days for me to receive a letter stating that I would get the minimum of £27 a week, despite paying early. So frustrating. The letter didn't have a great deal of detail, just that they would contact HMRC and they would bill me any outstanding NICS then they could re-evaluate my claim.

Anyway, what happens is despite paying nics early they kind of sit there before HMRC take it in January, if you go into your 'payments/credits received' in your self assessment account you will see your NICS payment sat there saying 'not yet used', a payment of £36.40 will eventually show up in 'payments/credits received' as a credit transfer out with the date (2nd October in my case) this shows that HMRC have taken the class 2 nics for the test period of 13 weeks @£2.80 totalling £36.40 to qualify you for the full amount.
Anyway cut a long story short I received my letter this morning from DWP saying the decision had been changed and I was getting the full amount. It took nearly three weeks from the original letter to receiving this one, no time in between did I have to do anything or receive a letter from hmrc.

I hope this makes sense or at least helps and means you won't panic too much when you receive the first letter stating you will get the minimum despite already having paid.

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