Getting financial support when you're pregnant

Last updated: 20 June 2017

Maternity pay

If you work, speak to your employer early about your maternity pay.

If your employer doesn't offer maternity pay, you can apply for Statutory Maternity Pay.

Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks. It is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

Use the maternity pay calculator to work out how much you could get.

Find out more about statutory maternity pay on the GOV.UK website.

If you take Shared Parental Leave you'll get Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is usually paid if you don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.

You can claim Maternity Allowance when you've been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

Find out more about Maternity Allowance on the GOV.UK website.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. This is called a Sure Start Maternity Grant.

You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby's due date or within 3 months after the baby's birth.

You don't have to pay the grant back and it won't affect your other benefits or tax credits.

Find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant on the GOV.UK website.

Healthy Start Scheme

If you're pregnant or have a child under 4, the Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like milk or fruit.

If you qualify for the scheme, you'll be sent vouchers you can use in different shops.

You can also get coupons to swap for free vitamins for:

  • pregnant women
  • breastfeeding women
  • children aged 6 months to 5 years old

Find out more about Healthy Start on the GOV.UK website.

Further support

Speak to a Citizen's Advice adviser to find out about other financial support you could get.

The Money Advice Service has a tool that will tell you when to claim certain benefits.

There is more information on the NCT website about family finances.