Understanding the Sure Start Maternity Grant

Welcoming your little one into the world is exciting, but it often comes with its fair share of financial challenges! To ease the burden on expectant parents, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is available. 

Here, we'll run through what the Sure Start Maternity Grant is, how to find out if you’re eligible for the grant, and how to go about claiming the grant.  

What is the Sure Start Maternity Grant?

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 provided by the government to help new families with all of the costs associated with having a baby. This grant is an amazing resource for lots of expectant parents, and it can go a long way to help cover all of the various expenses related to the new addition to the family, such as buying a pushchair, car seat, and feeding essentials. Head here for more specific buying advice on how to shop for these products.

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is not a loan and does not need to be repaid, making it a welcome, string-free form of help for families navigating early parenthood.

Who is entitled to the Sure Start Maternity Grant?

The eligibility criteria for the Sure Start Maternity Grant are designed to target those who may need it the most.

You may be eligible if you or your partner receive any of the following benefits:

In some cases, even if you don't receive the mentioned benefits, you might still qualify if you're facing financial hardship. This is usually assessed on a case-by-case basis. Even if you aren’t eligible for some of these benefits before you have your baby, it's a good idea to check if you will be after they are born, as you have until they are 6 months old to claim for the Sure Start Maternity Grant. 

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What are the Time Limits for the Sure Start Maternity Grant?

Timing is key when it comes to applying for the Sure Start Maternity Grant. There are strict time limits within which you must submit your application. 

  • Pregnancy: You can apply from the 29th week of pregnancy, or 11 weeks before your baby is due, until six months after the baby's birth.
  • Adoption: If you are adopting a baby, you can apply from the week you're told you have been matched with a child, up to six months after the adoption.

Meeting these time limits is really important to ensure that you receive the financial support when you need it most.

Can I Get the Sure Start Maternity Grant if I Have Other Children?

The number of children in your family does play a role in determining your eligibility for the Sure Start Maternity Grant. Generally, the grant is available for the first child you have. This isn’t the case in multiple births (e.g., twins, triplets), where you can claim for each baby. If you become pregnant with twins and already have one other child, you could still be eligible for a £500 grant.

If you are already a carer or an adoptive parent, you can also still claim for the Sure Start Maternity Grant for your own first-born child.

If you have other children, this does not automatically disqualify you from receiving the grant. The primary focus is on the specific circumstances of your family and your financial situation. Each case is considered individually, and the presence of other children does not necessarily exclude you from eligibility.

If you’re looking for more information about financial help out there as a parent, head here for our guide to child benefit. Or, for help with childcare, check out our guide to tax-free childcare.
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