Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you’re on a low income and getting certain benefits or tax credits, you could get a Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is a one-off payment to help towards the cost of maternity and baby items. The grant is tax free and you don’t have to repay it.
Rules for Sure Start Maternity Grants
You usually qualify for the grant if:
- you’re expecting your first child - or you’re expecting a multiple birth (e.g. twins or triplets) and have children already
- You already get certain benefits;
You may also be able to get a grant if a dependant of yours, who is under 20 years of age and who you receive benefit for, is expecting their first child – or is expecting a multiple birth (e.g. twins or triplets) and have children already.
You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within 3 months after the baby’s birth.
You don’t have to pay the grant back and it won’t affect your other benefits or tax credits.
How much do you get?
A Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500 and you don’t have to pay it back.
You may not get a grant if you already have children.
If you already have children
If you already have children under 16, you can only get a grant if you’re expecting a multiple birth.
|Children under 16||Grant if you have twins||Grant if you have triplets|
|You have 1 or more (and one of them are from multiple births)||£500||£1000|
|You have already had twins||£0||£500|
|You have already had triplets||£0||£0|
How is a Sure Start Maternity Grant paid?
The grant is paid into a bank, building society or other account provider's account.
Usually, to qualify for a Sure Start Maternity Grant there must be no other children in your family and you must get one of these benefits:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element
- Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
If you already have children you may still be able to get a grant if you’re expecting a multiple birth (e.g. twins or triplets).
You must claim by the deadline (see ‘Time Limits’ below)
If you’re not giving birth
You may also be able to get a grant if you’re adopting or becoming a surrogate parent.
The baby must be less than 1 year old on the date you claim. You must be receiving one of the benefits above and one of the following must apply:
- You’ve become responsible for the baby and you’re not the mother
- The baby has been placed with you for adoption
- You’ve got permission to adopt a baby from abroad
- You’ve got a parental order for a surrogate birth
- You’ve been appointed as guardian
- You’ve an adoption or a residence order
How to claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant
You can apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant by completing claim pack SF100 (Sure Start). To get a claim pack, contact your nearest Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office or you can download a copy from the 'Do it online' section on the NIdirect website. You should return your completed claim pack to the Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office.
You can claim from 11 weeks before the week your baby is due. The latest you can claim is 3 months after your baby is born.
If you’re becoming responsible for a child, e.g. through adoption, you must claim within 3 months of this happening (e.g. the child being placed with you).
What else you need to know
A health professional (e.g. doctor, midwife or health visitor) must also sign the health professionals’statement at the back of your claim form.
You’ll get a letter telling you if your claim was successful.
You can get more information from your Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office.
- Social Security / Jobs and Benefits office (contacts section)
- Money from the Social Fund (DSD website)
How to appeal
You can appeal the decision about your Sure Start Maternity Grant if you’re unhappy with it.