September 24, 2023

Financial support for mothers who take leave to care for their newborn baby will rise by £600 on Monday, the biggest increase in maternity benefits ever.

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Anyone who qualifies for the standard benefit rate will receive a 10.1% boost to £15.82 a week, or a total of £617, according to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Cash assistance begins tomorrow and is expected to benefit about 40,000 mothers on maternity leave this year.

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The benefit provides financial support to those who are not eligible for the statutory maternity benefit.

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Boost: Maternity benefit increases in UK this month

DWP Minister Viscount Younger of Leki said: “We want every child to have a good start in life, which is why we are increasing our support for moms.”

“This builds on our expansion of free childcare for working parents starting this summer, along with an increase in Universal Credit’s childcare spending cap and additional help with down payments.

“These changes will help parents get ahead in their jobs and make better livings to support their families.”

Who can claim maternity benefit?

According to the DWP, maternity benefit payments provide protection for women before and after childbirth for up to 39 weeks and are intended for those who are not eligible for statutory maternity benefits, usually because they receive low wages or are self-employed.

You can receive maternity benefit from the 26th week of pregnancy. Claims within three months of delivery will still be eligible for the full 39 weeks payment amount. Claims after that will receive some payouts, but not the maximum amount.

You can receive maternity benefit for 39 weeks if you worked or registered as self-employed for at least 26 weeks or earned £30 a week or more in at least 13 of those weeks in the 66 weeks preceding the birth of your child . weeks.

You can still claim this if you have recently stopped working. According to the DWP, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had different jobs or periods of unemployment.

In addition, you can still claim benefits if the baby was born dead after the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy or was born alive at any time during the pregnancy.

It is very important that you will need to report changes in your circumstances that occur while you are receiving maternity benefits, for example if you return to work.

The UK Government administers maternity benefits in England, Wales and Scotland. He is transferred to Northern Ireland, but mothers there have the same advantage. Northern Ireland will increase the allowance and statutory maternity benefit by the same amount from £156.66 to £172.48 per week from 10 April.

The DWP said: “Together, these new statutory maternity rates will protect hundreds of thousands of mothers when they take parental leave.

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“During 2021-2022, the Department of Work and Pensions paid out £360 million in maternity benefit, supporting 46,000 mums during and after pregnancy.”

Working mothers receiving the standard rate of statutory maternity benefit from their employer have also increased by 10.1% since April 2, or £15.82 a week.

What other support is available?

1. The government is also providing additional financial support to mothers receiving universal credit who are unemployed or have low income, the DWP said.

Parents receiving qualifying income-related benefits such as universal credit or tax relief for the first time can apply for a £500 one-time grant to help purchase essentials for their child.

2. For welfare-receiving parents who want to start working or increase their working hours, Universal Credit’s marginal cost of childcare is increasing this summer, meaning the government will pay more parental childcare fees. Parents receiving benefits will also be helped to pay for child care up front rather than in arrears if needed, making the payment cycle easier for them.

3. From April 10, the Universal Credit will increase by 10.1%. This is in addition to additional £900 total cost-of-living payments being made to millions of households on means-tested benefits.

The first of these installments of £301 will be paid between Tuesday 25 April and Wednesday 17 May 2023. Further payments are due in autumn 2023 and spring 2024.