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NI contributions and maternity allowance, what a charade!

(7 Posts)
eastegg Mon 05-Jun-17 22:49:24

This is not a question but more of an answer to a question someone out there may have . A quick word to the wise in the hope that I can pass on what I've just discovered and possibly set someone's mind at rest.

Basically if you're self employed, are due to have a baby at a time which means that you haven't yet paid your NI contributions (through self assessment because hmrc changed the rules 2 years ago so it has to be paid that way rather than by direct debit) for the required period in order to claim MA, you will be notified by DWP that you are only going to get the lower rate. They will send you a brief text message in the first instance, which will arrive before the (slightly) more explanatory letter, thus causing you to crap yourself that you are only going to get £27 a week instead of the full rate.

You will then get the letter from DWP, which will explain that because hmrc took the timely payment of NICs out of your hands by forcing you to do it through self assessment, you of course haven't paid them yet. HMRC, you will be told, are going to write to you to 'give you the chance' to pay them 'early' (you would have done it already by DD if they hadn't changed the system!) and that (this is the good bit) that will enable DWP to look again at your MA claim to see 'if you might' be entitled to the full rate.

I think I 'm more sensitive to how bloody farcical this is because I've been self employed for 16 years and had 2 children already during that time, never had a problem with MA and know damn well that I should be entitled to the full rate and have done everything I should have done during those 16 years. HMRC have simply made it impossible to pay the NIcs at the relevant time!

Anyway, a nice lady at DWP told me ( I had to call and be on hold for 25 mins because at that point all I had was the stupid text message) that the above process would be gone through and I would get the full rate eventually. There'll be a delay of a few weeks while all this expensive and stressful layer of admin is done.

So if you are in the same boat, relax cos I think it's all going to be ok. And try not to get as worked up about it as I have!

OP’s posts: |
KCpip Mon 17-Jul-17 23:48:36

Oh god I hate red tape like this! Thanks for your detailed post. I actually phoned the MA line about something different today and ended up having a conversation with the guy where he was basically telling me I'd end up with this £27 letter but not to worry, just to phone them up and they'd talk me through what I would need to do to get the full amount which I would hopefully be entitled to. I was equally thinking I'm sure I'm entitled to it but thanks for the heads up where it sounds like you have a new crap system in place (claimed MA 2 years ago without issue) that makes it a slower process. I also thought after that phone call that £27 a week letter would have freaked me out if I hadn't got a bit of a heads up.

Jivebunny89 Tue 18-Jul-17 10:27:15

Thank you @Eastegg for sharing this. There isn't enough clear information about Maternity Allowance available- so this all helps!

crazywriter Sun 06-Aug-17 16:04:43

I had something similar in 2015 when sorting out MA with DD2. It was a hassle but the lady at DWP was understanding and helpful thankfully. HMRC really have created an issue with the new way of paying NICs.

Twincat Thu 24-Aug-17 22:44:54

Hi, Am I right in thinking from this new NI system that, having not yet paid this years contributions (2016-2017), I'll owe a large chunk before I qualify for the self-employed MA?

eastegg Mon 04-Sep-17 14:02:23

IIRC twincat it's about £36 or so.

Sorry for delayed reply. They will write to you requesting it.

OP’s posts: |
Twincat Mon 04-Sep-17 20:32:41

Ah ok not as much as I was expecting. Cheers!

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