Sure Start Maternity Grant – the basics!

Sure Start Maternity Grant

Looking for help with the costs of caring for a new baby?  The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a £500 payment to parents with a low income.

Who is eligible?

The grant is not a loan.  You can spend it how you wish and you don’t have to pay it back.

To qualify, you need to be receiving Child Tax Credit of more than the family element or Working Tax Credit with a disability element.

You can also claim Sure Start Maternity Grant if you are getting Income Support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit.

The grant is available for your first baby. You can only claim for other births if there are no other children under the age of 16 living in your family.

You must receive health and welfare advice from a health professional before you receive the grant.  Your midwife will discuss this with you.

How to apply

To apply, ask you midwife or Jobcentre Plus office for form SF100.  Your midwife or other health professional will need to sign the form.

You can apply from 11 weeks before the birth until three months afterwards.  It is important to apply before the deadline.

If you are waiting for a decision on a Tax Credit claim and running out of time to claim your grant, submit the form anyway.  Explain that you are waiting for a decision on your Tax Credit claim.  It doesn’t matter if you receive a refusal.  You can ask them to look at your application again once you are getting tax credits.

The grant is not a loan.  You can spend it how you wish and you don’t have to pay it back.

What if I’m not eligible?

The rules about Sure Start Maternity Grant are very strict.  If you do not meet the eligibility requirements, you will not receive the payment.  If you are on a low income, you may be able to get other financial support.

You can ask the Jobcentre Plus about Social Fund grants and loans, Community Care Grants and Budgeting Loans.

You may also be able to get help with your housing costs.  Ask your Local Authority about Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance.  If you have a mortgage, your may be able to get help with your mortgage interest payment.  Ask your Jobcentre Plus about this.

To find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant, take a look at this page of the DirectGov website.

Take a look at MyFamilyClub’s easy guide to benefits for a simple break-down of what other benefits you may be entitled to.

You might also want to check out our simple guides to Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit, Maternity Pay, and help with healthcare costs.

Maternity Action also has a great information sheet on Money for Parents and Babies.