Having children can be financially demanding and there will be additional costs associated with parenting twins, triplets and quads.
Maternity pay and maternity leave
If you are in permanent employment you will be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay from your employer for 9 months and you will be entitled to take up to 1 year’s maternity leave. You have to give your employer notice of when you intend to start your maternity leave.
Remember to show your employer your MAT B1 certificate when planning your maternity leave. You can ask your midwife or GP for a MAT B1 certificate. It is usually issued around the 20th week of your pregnancy and will be needed for you to be able to claim Statutory Maternity Pay.
If you are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay you may be entitled to claim Maternity Allowance and more details can be obtained from the Department of Work and Pensions.
If you are physically unwell during your pregnancy and you are unable to work, you may be eligible to claim sickness benefits.
Depending upon your circumstances you may be eligible for some or all of the following vouchers, benefits or schemes:
You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you’ve registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim.
To claim, complete the Child Benefit Claim Form. Child benefit is paid every 4 weeks and can be backdated for up to 3 months from the date of your claim.
If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, the Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like:
- Cow’s milk
- fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
- Infant formula milk
- Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
You can also get free vitamins; for yourself during pregnancy, breastfeeding vitamins and for children aged 6 months to 5 years old.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
You may be able to claim for a grant of £500 to help with the costs of having a baby.
To qualify you have to be pregnant with your first child or you are expecting a multiple birth and either yourself or your partner have to be in receipt of certain benefits.
The grant has to be claimed within 11 weeks of your expected due date or within 6 months of giving birth to your baby.