If you’re not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) as you have recently moved or changed job, you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) instead.

You could claim if you’re employed but cannot get SMP, have recently stopped working or are self-employed. You’ll need to have worked 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the baby’s due date – it doesn’t matter if this is with two different employers. You also need to have earnt £30 a week for 13 weeks in this period.

What if I’m moving overseas?

Always apply for MA via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the same way as in the UK.

If you don’t meet the criteria because you weren’t living in the UK at the time of the application, or your qualifying work was undertaken in the European Economic Area (EEA), or in a country where there is a reciprocal benefit agreement, your claim may be transferred to that country. DWP will write to you about this.

If you’re moving outside of the EEA and to a country with no reciprocal agreement, then you may receive a notification from DWP that you could be entitled to the MOD ex-gratia payment in lieu of MA.

What is the MOD ex-gratia payment?

The serving person may be able to claim MA from the MOD on your behalf. Defence Instructions and Notices 2018DIN01-026 provides further information – this is available to serving personnel and unit admin staff on the Defence intranet.

Claire Hallam, AFF Money & Allowances Specialist, says: “It can be very difficult to navigate the process of applying for MA, particularly if you’re overseas or recently returned. Some families who have contacted AFF are in the process of challenging DWP but are unaware that they can claim via the MOD for the ex-gratia payment, or they are in an EEA country and don’t realise their claim may be transferred to another country. By helping families understand this we can ensure the correct process is followed, so eligible families receive their claim.”

Let us know about any issues with maternity allowance by emailing moneysupport@aff.org.uk. For more info, see gov.uk

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