What is Maternity Allowance?

Definition of Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is a weekly payment from the government which is available to some women who are pregnant or have just given birth. It’s usually paid to you if you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. You can claim for Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks and payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

You can use the UK Government’s maternity entitlement calculator to check your eligibility.

Maternity Allowance is paid every two or four weeks and is:

  • £172.48 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings for 39 weeks if you're employed or have recently stopped working
  • between £27 and £172.48 a week for 39 weeks if you're self-employed
  • £27 a week for 14 weeks if you do unpaid work for your spouse or civil partner’s business

Receiving Maternity Allowance will not affect your tax credits but could impact other benefits such as Council Tax Reduction, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

You’ll need an MA1 claim form to receive Maternity Allowance and you should get a decision on your claim within 24 working days.

Check out our Maternity pay for self-employed mothers guide for more useful information for self-employed mums.

Disclaimer: The content included in this glossary is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this glossary. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.

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