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Am I entitled to Mat Allowance??

(17 Posts)
LuckyOwl28 Thu 26-Jun-14 13:50:16

Since last October I bought into a children's books franchise and have registered as self employed. I'm desperately trying to complete my online self assessment form which is proving to be an absolute nightmare!!

Does anyone know if I will qualify for mat allowance, even if I have made a loss? I am making voluntary NI contributions....

Any advice appreciated I get so confused with the advice on gov website!!

spence24 Thu 26-Jun-14 14:04:57

From what I've read, you should be entitled. I'm in the same boat as you - I run a shop, but it's still early days and have declared a loss each year so far. I think this sort of thing can be discussed with your midwife, which I plan to do on my next visit so I can get the ball rolling!

RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jun-14 14:11:03

https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility

3. Eligibility
Maternity allowance for 39 weeks
You might get Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks if:

you’re employed, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay
you’re self-employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions
you’re self-employed and have a Certificate of Small Earnings Exception
you’ve recently stopped working
You must also have been:

employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the week your baby is due
earning at least £30 a week over any 13-week period
You may still qualify if you’ve recently stopped working.

If you have earnt £30 in any of the 13 weeks during the 66 weeks, you should therefore qualify.

It shouldn't matter if you've made a loss overall. Just that you have earnt £30 in 13 weeks.

You need to provide evidence of the 13 best weeks you've had, and they'll calculate your payment from that.

And you'll need to provide evidence that you've been self employed at least 26 weeks in the last 66 weeks before your due date (which it looks like you have).

Does that help you at all? I found it complicated and mine was a lot less complex.

Marnierose Thu 26-Jun-14 15:48:51

As a midwife I know nothing about what benefits people are entitled to. You might have a more up to date midwife though. Try the job centre or your local children's centre - they are often really up to date and knowledgable about financial help.

LuckyOwl28 Thu 26-Jun-14 22:27:53

Really helpful info thanks ladies.

Red toothbrush do you know if the 13 weeks need to run consecutively?

Thanks again

RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jun-14 22:33:14

Not sure. When I read it, I read it as not consecutively, but I'm not 100% sure and could be wrong on that.

The job centre should be able to help if you are really stuck. All my paperwork has come back with them being the department in charge.

ItsAlwaysBetterOnHoliday Thu 26-Jun-14 22:52:02

If you're up to date with your class 2 NI contributions, you should be fine. Also the 13 weeks don't have to be consecutive. (Fellow self-employed person here, although still waiting for confirmation that the DWP are going to pay my MA!)

Jcb77 Thu 26-Jun-14 23:32:01

There's a number on the government website under the MA section which takes you straight through to people who deal with MA. I phoned about several things and got through quickly each time to a helpful, polite and really very pleasant person without having to run the gauntlet of multichoice answer phones and such irritants. Worth a call.

LuckyOwl28 Fri 27-Jun-14 15:03:48

Will definitely give them a ring, thanks so much for all your help!

One thing I'm unsure of is how to provide evidence for cash sales as I don't do a receipt for every book I sell at events.

Sure they'll be able to answer when I call.

Thanks again!

rootypig Fri 27-Jun-14 15:05:16

The weeks do not have to run consecutively smile

RedToothBrush Fri 27-Jun-14 15:15:09

ItsAlwaysBetterOnHoliday, mine took a while to come back (only got it last week). It was longer than they advise it takes, so I wouldn't worry too much at the moment.

I didn't even have to provide proof of income as they assume if you're paying NI that you're earning enough. So as long as you've been paying your class 2 NI you should be fine smile

s88 Fri 27-Jun-14 16:47:06

No the 13 weeks don't need to run consecutively. I am on material allowance as could use any pay slips out of a possible 60 weeks I think it was

goofygoober Sat 28-Jun-14 11:38:03

Sorry to hijack the thread - does anyone know if applying for mat allowance will affect our tax credits? I also made a loss, but still earnt £30 for the 13 weeks (not consec). I don't see the point in applying if the TC will just take it off us. Any advice greatly received. Thank you.

fifi669 Sat 28-Jun-14 11:59:52

Maternity allowance unlike maternity pay isn't classed as taxable income. It falls into the same bracket as income support.

Even with maternity pay, the first £100pw is ignored for tax credit calculations.

goofygoober Sat 28-Jun-14 15:07:18

Thank you so much for your response fifi

ItsAlwaysBetterOnHoliday Tue 01-Jul-14 13:08:39

Thanks RedToothbrush. I tried calling today but their systems are currently down... try again tomorrow I guess!

Btw, for anyone wondering about class 2 NI contributions, I found confirmation (knew I'd seen it somewhere) that as long as you've been paying them over the test period for MA you are considered to have met the minimum earnings for MA.

If you have paid Class 2 NI contributions at the end of each week in your 13 week earnings period, you will be treated as having enough earnings to receive standard rate MA.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-benefits-technical-guidance/maternity-benefits-technical-guidance (might need to use CTRL+F to wade through all the information...)

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