Social Fund Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you are receiving certain benefits or tax credits, you could get a Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is a one-off, tax-free payment to help towards the cost of maternity expenses and baby items. You do not need to pay it back.
To qualify for a Sure Start Maternity Grant, usually you must have no other children in your family and you must get one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- Universal Credit
You may also be eligible if you get Support for Mortgage Interest loan payments.
You have or care for at least one child under 16
You may still be able to get a grant if:
- you are expecting more than one baby (such as twins or triplets)
- the child (or children) you are caring for is not your own nor your partner’s and was over 12 months old when the arrangement started
- you have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection and you have a child or children from before you arrived in the UK
You are not the one pregnant or have given birth
You may be able to get a grant if a dependant of yours who is under 20, and who you receive benefit for, is:
- expecting their first child
- expecting more than one baby (such as twins or triplets) and have children already
You are adopting a child or becoming a surrogate parent
If you are adopting a child or becoming a surrogate parent (a person who takes care of a child when the parents are unavailable) such as a foster parent, you may be able to get a grant.
The baby must be younger than one on the date you claim. You must get one of the benefits above and any one of the following must apply:
- You have become responsible for the baby and you are not the mother
- The baby has been placed with you for adoption
- You have got permission to adopt a baby from abroad
- You have got a parental order for a surrogate birth
- You have been appointed as guardian
- You have an adoption or a residence order
Help and advice
You can get more information about Sure Start Maternity Grants by phoning 0800 022 4250.
How to claim
Sure Start Maternity Grants
Mail Opening Unit
PO Box 42
You can also request a form by post.
There is a different form and postal address if you live in England or Wales.
If you live in Scotland, you need to apply for Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
With your form you will need to provide:
- Proof of expected date of confinement
- date of birth, adoption, residence order, parental order or guardianship
If you claim before the baby is born, the certificate at page 10 of the SF100 must be signed by a GP, hospital doctor, midwife, health visitor or practice nurse to confirm the advice on the health and welfare of the baby and your health.
You will get a letter telling you if your claim was successful. If you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.
When to claim
We must receive your filled-in form, at our offices, within six months of:
- the baby being born
- the date of the adoption, residence or parental order, or guardianship appointment
- the date you took responsibility for the baby
If you are pregnant, you can claim from 11 weeks before the baby is due.
If you are waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit or entitlement, or have asked for your Child Tax Credit award to be reviewed, you must still claim within these time limits.
Important: The date the claim form is received in a Department for Communities office is the date it can consider payment from, not the date you download the claim form.
How much you'll get
If you do not already have children a Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500.
If you already have or care for a child under 16, you can only get a grant if you are expecting a multiple birth (for example twins or triplets). The amount you would get is shown in the table below.
|Grant if you have twins||Grant if you have triplets (or more)|
|If you have not had a multiple birth before||£500||£1,000|
|You have already had twins||£0||£500|
|You have already had triplets (or more)||£0||£0|
If you are unhappy with a decision
If you think our decision is wrong, please get in touch with us within one month of the date of the letter telling you the decision.
You, or someone who has the authority to act for you, can:
- ask for an explanation of the decision
- ask for a written statement of reasons for the decision (if we have not already sent one)
- ask us to look at the decision again to see if it can be changed. There may be some facts you think we have overlooked, or you may have further information that affects the decision
When we receive your request we will look at the decision again (carry out a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’) and send you a letter explaining whether or not we have been able to change the original decision. This letter will also explain the next stage of the appeal process.