NI17A - A guide to Maternity Benefits
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Effect of SMP on other benefits
You cannot get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Maternity Allowance (MA) while you are getting SMP.
But it is possible to go on getting Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) and an adjusted rate of Employment and Support Allowance if you were getting this when the MPP started.
Where you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance or SSP directly before your MPP, and you continue to be sick you should keep giving medical evidence if this is still needed.
Statutory Sick Pay
Most people who work for an employer and earn enough on average to equal or exceed the National Insurance lower earnings limit (LEL) get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from their employer when they are unable to work due to illness or disability. The LEL is £109 a week for the tax year 2013/14 but you do not have to pay National Insurance contributions to be entitled to SSP. However, you are not entitled to SSP if you are sick while you are getting SMP.
If you are still employed at the start of the 11th week before the week your baby is due and are sick for 4 days or more in a row, you may be able to get SSP for periods of sickness up to the day before your SMP is due to start. But if you are off work sick because of your pregnancy in the 4 weeks running up to the week before the week your baby is due you cannot get SSP and your employer will start paying you SMP; if SSP is being paid to you, it will stop and SMP will start.
If you are still under a contract of service to the employer paying you SMP, you could be entitled to SSP from them if you are sick after your SMP ends. You should inform your employer and let them have whatever evidence they require from you. Your employer will then check if you are entitled to SSP and, if so, they will pay it. If you are not entitled to SSP, your employer must give you form SSP1 to explain why.
Employment and Support Allowance
If you do not go back to work for your employer when your SMP ends because you are incapable of work, and you are not entitled to SSP (for example, because of your maternity absence you may not satisfy the earnings rules), your employer must issue you with an exclusion form SSP1. Follow the instructions on the form if you want to claim Employment and Support Allowance from Jobcentre Plus. If your contract with your employer has ended you should contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 0556688 to claim Employment and Support Allowance.
If you get Employment and Support Allowance when your entitlement to SMP starts, you can continue to receive it provided that you continue to supply Jobcentre Plus with medical evidence of your incapacity, unless you have been told that this is no longer required. The weekly amount of Employment and Support Allowance will be reduced by the weekly amount of SMP that you get. Employment and Support Allowance will again be paid in full when SMP ends and it will continue for as long as your entitlement lasts.
For more information contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 66 88.If you have speech or hearing difficulties you can contact Jobcentre Plus using a textphone on 0800 023 48 88.
- Employment and Support Allowance (GOV.UK)