Have you been turned down for the Sure Start Maternity Grant?
Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service has become aware of a number of clients who have incorrectly had their application for Sure Start Maternity Grant (SSMG) turned down because they are in receipt of Universal Credit and have an income.
We have received confirmation from the Department for Communities, which administers the SSMG, that this is incorrect.
Who is eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant?
To be eligible for the £500 Sure Start Maternity Grant usually there must be no other children in your family and you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- Universal Credit
You can claim from 11 weeks before the birth until your child is six months old.
You may still be able to get the SSMG if:
- you already have children under 16 and you’re expecting a multiple birth, such as twins; or 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.
- you’re not giving birth but 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 (twins or triplets) and has children already.
You may also be able to get a grant if you’re adopting or becoming a surrogate parent.
How to appeal the decision
If you meet all the criteria above and still have had your SSMG application turned down, you should request that the decision is reconsidered, call us on 0800 028 3008 (lines open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm) for guidance on what you need to do or visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/appeal-benefits-decision.
For further information and details of how to apply for the SSMG view our factsheet on www.employersforchildcare.org/parents/download-library/