maternity allowance help

G/C from preg and due in july, but was wondering if any new mummies have recently applied for MA too, and could help me!

This will be an essay, so thanks in advance if you get through it. OK, so I left my job the month I got pregnant. Didn't particularly want to but was practically forced to hand in my notice by my manager when I was obviously requiring too much support from work. (Dad committed suicide at the age of 42, extremely unexpected and traumatic for me, yet its not harsh of them to expect me back at work within 5 days, ie before the funeral, which I did do, only to set me back even further. And how dare I have holidays booked and expect to go on them after taking bereavement!) Sorry to sound so bitter, but I really do think they could have done better. Baby was planned since before dad died and before I left work, so expected to use maternity leave.

However I've been on JSA for a few months now, when I finally realised I could be getting some money while job hunting! But the job centre have been useless, its so hard to get any information whoever I phone. I was told I couldn't get any other money, so to keep claiming JSA up until my due date, which is a farce as I'm 35 weeks now and wouldn't really be working anyway. I've had offers of jobs/interviews but they all get retracted when they realise how preg I am, as I'd only get a couple of weeks work in before leaving, which is fair enough really.

After a meeting with the job centre it turns out I could get maternity allowance, failing that ESA, and the job centre man gave me the forms, but I'm stuck filling it in! I know I won't get much help from them, so wonder if anyone here can help...

I'm not entitled to SMP, I was employed for 26 weeks out of the 66 leading to my due date, and earned more than ??30 a week, so I should qualify, apart from the bit which says I must have stopped work to have the baby. Well I didn't stop specifially for having the baby, but the job centre man didn't seem to think this was a problem?

Except there is a question on this. If I say yes to it, I have to give the start date of my mat leave, but I obv left before that would have kicked in, so don't know what to put. It says not to put the last date I worked here.

Has anyone come across this? I cannot find anything on directgov or anywhere about this. I think the most important bit is working enough weeks in the test period, which I did (just), and I wondered what people who get made redundant and things put, as surely they get MA too?

Posts

  • Not sure if I'll be much help, but I claimed MA (just got my last payment boo hoo). You should have worked out your time that you can qualify with? For me this dated back to July 2008, which was when I got my final pay after handing in my notice after my 1st mat leave. You have to pick 13 weeks (or is it 12OMG sorry!) to prove your pay.

    You must have 12 or 13 weeks -pay? I think they ask when you finished work because you can't be paid by work and claim MA at the same time. Is probably the same with JSA and MA. Not entirly sure there.

    Hope you get sorted soon. Good luck and hope I helped a teeny bit!

    xxx
  • Not going to be much help as I was working when I had to claim, just didn't earn enough for smp.
    Would the date your mat leave started when you'll stop getting your jsa? as like Nimmy says I think it's so you don't get both at the same time.
    Sorry if I've not helped at all, good luck with it.
  • Hi there, I was in a similar position to you. I found out I was pregnant in Sept and left my job in November, not for a pregnancy related reason, we were moving away from the area. I never went back to work (loong story) but knew that I was entitled to some sort of MA as I had worked for enough weeks before due date.

    Aaanyway, when it came to filling out the forms for MA, I too didn't know what to put as I didn't leave work for pregnancy reasons, and I didn't leave to start maternity leave. I think I just put the date I left work (in Nov) as the start of my mat leave, and then wrote in the space for extra info about my situation. Whatever I put must have been enough as I qualified for MA, so maybe you could do something similar?

    Sorry if that was a nonsensical ramble, hopefully it can be of some help!

    Laura x
  • I think I did similar to parabola, I made my claim in December, and I had left work in sept at 17 weeks pg as a voluntary redundancy.
    I told them the date I left work, and as I was no longer working my ma automatically started at 29 weeks.
    I got a letter back from them querying something I put on the form and I just wrote my situation again, as from memory (still have baby brain lol) they were asking when did I leave to have my baby, so I wrote again that I didn't actually leave to have the baby, and gave all the dates again.
    As you say, the most important factor is that you did work during the qualifying period.
    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks everyone. Still dithering between what to put in case I mess it up for myself and end up not eligible, but its reassuring to know that you ladies got your MA! I'll probably put the date I left work, with a side note explaining thats the date I left work, and give next fridays date or similar, saying thats the date I'm going to stop jobseeking, effectively to go on mat leave from that. As my JSA hasn't actually stopped yet, I've been told to keep it on til I get MA. Would that work?! Turns out I could have stopped job seeking at 29 weeks, and started my MA then, but I'm 35 weeks now - will I still get 39 weeks of MA paid to me?
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