If you’re not eligible for SMP, you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance instead.  If you’re self employed, have recently stopped working or haven’t been with your current employer for long enough to qualify for SMP, you’re in one of the categories that may qualify for Maternity Allowance.

Who is eligible and for which type of Maternity Allowance

If one of the following applies to you, you may be eligible for the 39 week Maternity Allowance:

  • you’re employed, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay
  • you’re self-employed and pay Class 2 National Insurance (including Voluntary National Insurance) for at least 13 of the 66 weeks before your baby’s due – the amount of Maternity Allowance you get depends on how much Class 2 National Insurance you’ve paid
  • you’ve recently stopped working

In the 66 weeks before your baby’s due, you must also have been:

  • employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks
  • earning (or classed as earning) at least £30 a week over any 13-week period

You might get Maternity Allowance for 14 weeks if for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due:

  • you’re married or in a civil partnership
  • you’re not employed or self-employed
  • you take part in the business of your self-employed spouse or civil partner
  • the work you do is for the business and unpaid
  • your spouse or civil partner is registered as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and should pay Class 2 National Insurance
  • your spouse or civil partner is working as self-employed person
  • you’re not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay or the higher amount of Maternity Allowance (for the same pregnancy)

How much will I get?

This will depend on your eligibility as there are two types of Maternity Allowance, each is paid every 2 or 4 weeks into your bank account:

  • Up to 39 weeks – £139.58 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)
  • Up to 14 weeks – £27 a week

When can I claim?

You can make a claim for Maternity Allowance once you’re 26 weeks pregnant, and payments can start from 11 weeks before your baby’s due date.

The www.gov.uk website has a maternity entitlement calculator to work out how much you could get.