Sure Start Maternity Grants
- Who can get Sure Start Maternity Grants?
- If you have any savings
- How Sure Start Maternity Grants are paid
- Effect on other benefits
- How to claim
- When to claim
- What information do I need to provide?
- Disputes and appeals
A Sure Start Maternity Grant is intended to help you pay for the immediate needs of a new baby if you are getting a specified benefit or tax credit. We do not pay if there is another child under 16 in the family at the time of the claim unless the other child under 16 is:
- dependent on you or your partner and their baby is the subject of the claim in question, or
- one of twins or a greater number of children expected or born from the same pregnancy.
New rules apply to claims from 13 August 2012 for multiple births expected or born on or after 29 October 2012. The scheme is being extended to provide for payment of a Sure Start Maternity Grant (SSMG) in circumstances where there is already a child under the age of 16 in the family and there is a subsequent multiple birth. A Sure Start Maternity Grant will be payable for the additional child(ren) born as a result of a subsequent multiple birth. For example:
- where any existing children under the age of 16 are all the result of single pregnancies an SSMG is payable for all but one of the new babies, so one SSMG will be payable where the claimant is expecting twins, two SSMGs would be payable where the claimant is expecting triplets;
- where any of the existing children under the age of 16 are the result of a previous multiple birth an SSMG is payable for the number of new babies expected or born minus the maximum number of existing children who were born as part of an earlier single multiple birth, so if the claimant already has 6 year old twins but is now expecting triplets, one SSMG is payable in respect of the new babies.
The same principles apply where a dependant aged under 20 already has a child under the age of 16 but is now expecting more than one child. For example the dependant already has a 2 year old but is now expecting twins, one SSMG is payable for one of the new babies. [Legislation 1]
A Sure Start Maternity Grant is paid from the Social Fund as a lump sum, and you do not have to pay it back. It is paid when the conditions below are satisfied. It is not limited by a budget and everyone who is entitled will get a grant.[Legislation 1A]
The grant is £500 in respect of each baby for whom an award is made. A grant cannot be awarded more than once for the same baby except in certain cases. These are where the grant was originally awarded to one of the natural family, but the baby is under 12 months when placed with a new family as a result of adoption proceedings, a residence or parental order, or legal guardianship. Or where the mother and the child’s other parent are not partners when the Sure Start Maternity Grant is claimed and the other parent is the one looking after the child.
Who can get Sure Start Maternity Grants?
You are only eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant if:
- the baby you are claiming for is the only child under 16 in the family (except as explained above);
- you or your partner are getting Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award or Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element; [Legislation (2)] and
- one of the following applies:
- you or your partner are pregnant and expecting a baby within 11 weeks,
- you or your partner have had a baby in the past 3 months,
- you or your partner have a dependent child or dependent young person who is pregnant and expecting a baby within 11 weeks or who has had a baby in the past 3 months,
- you are the responsible parent of a new baby, claim within 3 months of becoming responsible and are not the partner of the child's mother at the date of claim
You can also claim if you or your partner are getting one of the benefits or entitlements above and have:
- been granted an adoption or residence order for a baby who is under 12 months old
- been granted a parental order in respect of a surrogate birth of a baby
- had a baby placed with you for adoption by an agency
- been appointed the legal guardian of a baby
- adopted a baby overseas where certain criteria are met.
If you have a partner, either of you may claim the grant, unless you are claiming because you have become the responsible parent of a baby and are not the partner of the child’s mother.
We use partner to mean:
- a person you are married to or a person you live with as if you are married to them, or
- a civil partner or a person you live with as if you are civil partners.
Savings do not affect Sure Start Maternity Grants.
How Sure Start Maternity Grants are paid
Payment will usually be made by Direct Payment into a bank, building society or other account provider which you have nominated.
Effect on other benefits
There will be no effect on other benefits from having a Sure Start Maternity Grant.
How to claim
Contact Jobcentre Plus and ask for claim form SF100 (Sure Start). For details of your Jobcentre Plus office, look for the display advert in the business numbers section of the local phone book.
When to claim
- If you, your partner or dependent child are expecting a baby or have recently had a baby, you must claim during the period from 11 weeks before the week your baby is due up until your baby is 3 months old.
- If you are the responsible parent (but not the mother) of a baby not more than 12 months old, and you are not the mother’s partner, you must claim no later than 3 months after the date you became responsible.
- If you have been granted an adoption or residence order in respect of a baby, you can claim a grant as long as the baby is not more than 12 months old when you do. You must claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant within 3 months of adopting or within 3 months of the date of the residence order.
- If you and your partner have been granted a parental order for a baby under Section 30 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 or Section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, you can claim a grant as long as the baby is not more than 12 months old when you do. You must claim within 3 months of the date shown on the parental order.
- If you have been appointed guardian of a baby, you can claim a grant as long as the baby is not more than 12 months old when you do. You must claim within 3 months of the guardianship taking effect.
- If you have had a baby placed with you for adoption, you can claim as long as the baby is not more than 12 months old when you do. You must claim within 3 months of the baby being placed with you.
- If you have adopted a baby oversees you can claim a grant as long as the baby is not more than 12 months old when you do and the adoption falls within section 66 (1) (c) to (e) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. You must claim within 3 months of the adoption taking effect or being recognised.
If you are waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit or entitlement, you must still claim within the time limits above.
What information do I need to provide?
You will need to tell us the date your baby is due (sometimes called the expected date of confinement). If the baby has already been born, tell us the date of birth, adoption, residence order or parental order, or when the baby was placed with you for adoption or guardianship began.
For a Sure Start Maternity Grant you will also need to show that you have received advice on the health needs and general welfare of the new baby and, if you claim before the baby is born, on maternal health. There is a certificate on the back of the claim form for this.
The certificate must be signed by a health professional, for example:
- a community or hospital midwife
- a health visitor
- a practice nurse.
Disputes and appeals
If you want to know more about the decision or you think it is wrong
Please get in touch with Jobcentre Plus within one month of the date of the decision letter. If you contact us later we may not be able to help you.
You, or someone else who has authority to act on your behalf, can
- ask for an explanation
- ask for a written statement of reasons for our decision
- ask us to look again at the decision to see if it can be changed. There may be some facts you think we have overlooked or you may have more information which affects the decision
- appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal (but this must be in writing)
You can do any of the actions listed above, or you can do all of them.
You can find more information about decision making and appeals in leaflet GL24 “If you think our decision is wrong”, available from any Jobcentre Plus office or the Catalogue of DWP products on the DWP website.
Legislation 1: Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 2005, Regulation 5A. (back to Sure Start Maternity grants)
Legislation 1A: The Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 2005 (back to Sure Start Maternity grants)
Legislation 2: From April 2012 to April 2013 this means a Child Tax Credit rate of £548 a year or more, or more than £1,095 a year if you have a baby under one year old. (Back to 'Who can get Sure Start Maternity Grants')