Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you’re on a low income and get 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 and baby items.

Eligibility

Usually to qualify for a Sure Start Maternity Grant there must be no other children in your family and you must get one of the following benefits:

You may also be eligible if you get Support for Mortgage Interest loan payments.

If you already have children under 16

You may still be able to get a grant if either:

  • you’re expecting a multiple birth, such as twins
  • the child you’re caring for is someone else's (but not your partner’s) and the child was over 12 months old when the arrangement started

If you’re not giving birth

You may 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
  • expecting a multiple birth (twins or triplets) and have children already

You may also be able to get a grant if you’re adopting or becoming a surrogate parent.

The baby must be less than one year old on the date you claim. You must get 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 much you'll get

A Sure Start Maternity Grant is £500 and you don’t have to pay it back.

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 one or more (and none of them are from multiple births) £500 £1,000
You have already had twins  £0 £500
You have already had triplets £0 £0

    How to claim

    To apply claimants must complete claim form SF100 (Sure Start) and return it to the address below.

    The Mail Opening Unit
    Limavady JBO
    9 Connell Street
    Limavady
    BT49 4AN

    There’s 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.

    Details required include;

    • verification of expected date of confinement, and
    • date of birth, adoption, residence order, parental order or guardianship.

    If a claim is made before the birth of the baby, the certificate at page 10 of the SF100 must be signed by a GP, hospital doctor, midwife, health visitor or practice nurse confirming the advice on health and welfare of the baby and the maternal health.

    You’ll get a letter telling you if your claim was successful. If you get Universal Credit, you won’t get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.

    When to claim

    From 11 weeks before the baby is due until 6 months after the birth; or

    The date of the adoption, residence or parental order, guardianship appointment; or

    The date a parent took responsibility and ending 6 months later.

    If the claimant is waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit or entitlement, or have asked for their Child Tax Credit award to be reviewed, they 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 downloaded the claim form.

    How to appeal

    If the claimant wants to know more about a decision or thinks it is wrong they, or someone else who has the authority to act on their behalf, can:

    • ask for an explanation
    • ask for a written statement of reasons for our decision
    • ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration to look again at the decision to see if it can be changed
    • appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal.  This must be in writing or on an approved form and accompanied with a Mandatory Reconsideration notice.

    The claimant can take any of the actions above, or take all of them, but they must get in touch with us within one month of the date of the decision letter.

    Help and advice

    You can get more information about Sure Start Maternity Grants from Lisburn Jobs and Benefits office.

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