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10 January 2019, 08:32 | Updated: 10 January 2019, 08:36
The Sure Start Maternity Grant offers soon-to-be-parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland a one-off upfront sum of £500. Here's how to apply...
All parents know too well that having baby is expensive, but new parent could soon get up to £600 to spend on their expenses.
It’s claimed the basic cost of raising a child until the age of 18 is £75,000 and up to £155,000 if you include childcare costs, so a small cash grant might not seem like much but at least it can help elevate some of the financial pressure after giving birth.
The Sure Start Maternity Grant offers soon-to-be-parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland a one-off upfront sum of £500, while residents living in Scotland can get £600 through the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
What’s more, you don't have to pay it back and accepting the cash grant will not affect your other benefits or tax credits either.
You can usually qualify of the Sure Start Maternity Grant if you’re pregnant with your first child, or are expecting a multiple birth (like twins) and have kids already.
You can still apply for loan even if you have any of the below benefits:
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
Your income or how much you receive in benefits won’t matter either but there are some rules around eligibility that you can read here.
What’s more, you can also get a cash payment if you’re a surrogate child or adopting a child.
If that's you, the baby must be less than 12 months old on the date you claim, you must be receiving one of the benefits above.
For more terms and conditions on this it’s best to check their website.
The amount you can claim depends on how many children you are expecting and if you’re a first time parent you can get £500.
If you already have at leas tine child under the age of 16 (none of whom are multiple births) then you get £500 fir twins and £1,000 for triplets.
If it's your first child, you can get £500, or if you already have at least one child under 16 (and none of them are from multiple births), you can get £500 for twins or £1,000 for triplets. Or if you've already had twins, you can get £500 if you have triplets.
In order to apply for the grant you'll need to fill in the Sure Start Maternity Grant (SF100) claim form or if you live in Northern Ireland, you can download a claim form from nidirect.
The grant must be claimed within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby’s birth, and if you’re now responsible for a child that’s not you’re own (and not your partners) you must claim within 6 months of this happening.
A health professional, such as a doctor or midwife, must also sign your claim form and the form can be sent by post or taken to your local Jobcentre plus.
If you need help with your claim, contact the Sure Start Maternity Grant helpline on 0800 169 0140 or contact Jobcentre Plus.