Who is it for?
Unemployed pregnant women and employed or self-employed women who are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.
Who pays it?
Job Centre Plus.
Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
NI17A. On form Mat B1 from midwife or GP and MA1 claim pack from Job Centre Plus office. By phone on 0800 0556688 or on-line at www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
What are the age limits?
Effectively from 16.
National Insurance based?
How long does it last?
39 weeks. Payable from 11th week before the week the baby is due.
Is it taxable?
Increases for dependants?
Yes – for adults who earn below certain level.
Payable if in EU or other?
Yes, but in other countries only for temporary absence.
Points to watch
Women will get maternity allowance if they have been employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the week the baby is due and earn at least £30 a week on average.
You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website
The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform