How to claim

You can claim Maternity Allowance once you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

In order to claim, you’ll need a Maternity Allowance (MA1) claim form. You can either:

  • print it and fill it in
  • fill it in online and print it
  • order a form if you cannot print it

The form has notes to help you fill it in.

You’ll need to give information about your employment in the 66 weeks before your baby is due (called the ‘Test Period’). You can use the Test period calculator to work out these dates.

Send your claim to the address on the form.

Call Jobcentre Plus to ask for alternative formats of the form, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

What to send with your claim form

You will need to include other documents when you send in your claim form.

Proof of income

You need to provide proof of your income, such as:

  • original payslips
  • a Certificate of Small Earnings Exemption (if applicable for the 2014 to 2015 tax year)

If your proof of income includes times you were paid but not working (‘on furlough’) under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, mention this in the ‘additional information’ section of your form. Include the dates that you were on the scheme and how much (as a percentage) of your normal pay you were actually paid.

Proof of a due date and birth

You need to provide proof of your baby’s due date, even if the baby has already been born. This could be:

  • a letter from your doctor or midwife on headed paper
  • your MATB1 certificate

If your baby has already been born, you also need to provide proof of that. This could be:

  • a birth certificate
  • a letter from your doctor or midwife on headed paper - this can be the same letter as the one proving the due date
  • your MATB1 certificate, if the section about the actual date of birth has been filled in by a doctor or midwife

Additional information

You may also need to provide:

  • your SMP1 form, if you were refused Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) by your employer
  • more information about your partner’s self-employed business and the unpaid work you do for them, if you’re applying for Maternity Allowance for 14 weeks

When you’ll hear about your claim

You should get a decision on your claim within 20 working days.

If you’re eligible, a form will be sent to you confirming your entitlement and asking you to confirm your last day of employment before leave.

If you disagree with a decision

You can challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.