About Maternity Allowance
Maternity Allowance is paid weekly to help you take time off work to have a baby. It’s paid for a maximum of 18 weeks.
The current rate for Maternity Allowance is £224.98 a week, paid directly into your bank account. The amount is not increased if you have twins or triplets.
In addition to the Maternity Allowance, we also offer another benefit called Maternity Grant.
Maternity Grant: single payment
How to claim Maternity Allowance
You can claim your maternity allowance by completing an online form.
Your midwife will fill in the first part of the form with details about your pregnancy. Your midwife will then email you a link to the form and you must fill in the rest of it.
This should be done shortly after your 28 week appointment.
Eligibility for Maternity Allowance
Your Maternity Allowance is based on your Social Security contributions.
We look back 1 year from the date that you want your Maternity Allowance to start and if you have paid contributions (or had your contributions credited) for that period, you’re likely to be entitled to some or all of the Maternity Allowance.
If you don’t have enough contributions, one of our advisers will contact you to let you know.
Paying contributions in another country
If you’ve paid Social Security contributions in another country during your relevant period, you may be eligible based on these contributions. Contact the Health Zone to find out more.
When your Maternity Allowance can start
You can choose to start your Maternity Allowance anywhere between 11 weeks before your due date and up to your due date.
You must have finished work for your Maternity Allowance to start.
Babies born early
If your baby is born early and you've already given up work and started your maternity leave, your Maternity Allowance won't be affected.
You won’t be able to claim Maternity Allowance if your pregnancy lasts less than 24 weeks, unless a living child is born.
Babies born after their due dates
If your baby is born 8 or more days after your due date, you may be able to get your Maternity Allowance extended.
You don’t need to do anything if your baby is born late, we will automatically update your claim for you.
Working and claiming Maternity Allowance: ‘keeping in touch’ days
You can’t work and claim Maternity Allowance at the same time but, you are allowed to go into work for 'Keeping in touch' days. ‘Keeping in touch’ days allow you to stay in touch with your work place while you’re off work to have a baby.
During your Maternity Allowance claim, you:
- can have a maximum of 10 ‘keeping in touch’ days
- can be paid for ‘keeping in touch’ days without it affecting your Maternity Allowance
- can’t have any 'keeping in touch' days in the first two weeks after your child’s birth
If you work for more than 10 days you need to let us know, as this will affect your Maternity Allowance.
What counts as a 'keeping in touch' day
A ‘keeping in touch’ day is counted each time you attend work, even if you’re in work for less than 1 day or less than your normal shift. For example, a half day training course or a 1 hour meeting would count as a keeping in touch day.
Protecting your contribution record while claiming Maternity Allowance
If you qualify for Maternity Allowance, we’ll credit your Social Security contribution record for the period of your claim.
Contribution credits protect your record as though contributions had been paid. They help your entitlement to benefits in the future.
Payment of contributions
After your Maternity Allowance ends
After your baby is born, you may be able to protect your entitlement to a pension and Survivor’s Benefit with Home Responsibility Protection credits.
You can get these credits if you’re planning to:
- not return to work
- take unpaid leave
- work less than 20 hours per week
Home Responsibility Protection credits don’t cover you for sickness or future maternity benefits.
Contribution credits for parents working 20 hours or less: Home Responsibility Protection
Claiming Maternity Allowance and Income Support
If you claim Income Support and start claiming Maternity Allowance, your Income Support will be reduced by the amount of your Maternity Allowance award. This is because Maternity Allowance is considered as income.
Claiming Maternity Allowance and other benefits
You can’t receive Maternity Allowance and another contributory benefit at the same time.
Contributory benefits include:
- Short Term Incapacity Allowance
- Home Carer's Allowance
- Incapacity pension
- Survivors benefit
If this affects you, we’ll write to you to explain what benefits we’ll pay.
Giving birth in another country
If you give birth in another country and Jersey has a health agreement with that country which includes maternity benefits, we may be able to pay Maternity Allowance.
Speak to one of our advisors in the Health Zone if you’re planning on having a baby outside of Jersey.
Contact Health Zone on +44 (0) 1534 444444.
Claiming a higher allowance for your husband or partner
You can claim an increase in your Maternity Allowance if your husband or partner is claiming
Home Responsibility Protection credits and is living with you.
If you get Maternity Allowance at a lower rate because you don’t have enough contributions or credits, any increase for a husband or partner will also be lower.
Changes in your circumstances
You must let us know if you:
- return to work whilst in receipt of Maternity Allowance
- change address
- change your bank account
- plan to leave Jersey for a short period or permanently (this may affect your entitlement so check with us before you leave)
- go to prison (your benefit can’t be paid for any part of a prison sentence)
- have any changes in your circumstances that would affect the payment of benefit to your husband or partner